Ephesians 4:32, “And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.”
I used to think that the person who wrote this, must have never experienced real hurt. Sometimes, hurt goes so deep that it’s easier to avoid or close the door on that relationship rather than walk in love and forgive. I’ve watched some people attract hurt like it’s a magnet, like there’s an all out war waged against them to see how much they can withstand. You can’t compare hurts, that’s like comparing boo boo’s. On the surface, they may look the same, but some go deep and takes longer to heal. Some are so deep they take a surgeons hands to repair damaged tendons and bones.
Just like everything else in life, forgiveness takes a conscious decision and a disciplined mind set. I remember asking a wise man once, “How do I know I’ve really forgiven?” His answer was, “You will always remember the wounding, but it will no longer hurt you.” In other words, you’ll not relive the pain of the event as if it just happened to you.
Not there yet? Let me give you an exercise to do. Whenever you feel the pain of the episode, remember what Jesus took for you and say, “Thank You!” Then ask the Lord to bless that person. Matthew 5:44-45, Jesus said these words; “But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.“
It’s in our nature to forgive, not hold a grudge because we are sons and daughters of God. Unforgiveness is like drinking poison and hoping the other person will die. Oh the thoughts will come back, trust me! But you have a choice to continue thinking that way, or let it go and bless them. Remember, as a man thinks, so is he! If you hate how you feel, change the way you think.
Father, today I want to live as a daughter who loves, letting go of the crippling affect of hurt. I want to stand upright before you, walking in your grace and forgiveness. Forgive them, they don’t know what they’ve done. I know that as I forgive others, I am forgiven. I’ve probably hurt others and not even known it. If that’s the case, may I have the opportunity to make it right so that I may set free the captive from their prison of rejection and hurt. You long for us to walk in total forgiveness, it’s the reason you sent Jesus to die in our place, to take the full punishment for all our sins so we could stand before you forgiven. Oh how I long to live daily in that grace. Today, I step toward your outstretched hands and place in them, every hurt I’ve held onto. It’s in Jesus’ Name and for the price He paid. Amen