We’ve all been there: hurt, broken, wounded, disillusioned and in pain… whether the pain was a minor sting or a deep, searing cut, the pain of being hurt is part of the human experience. Finding healing through the pain can be a journey. Through prayer, council, therapy, support from people who love you and sheer determination, you can move past the hurt and experience healing. As we journey through that process there is one thing we can focus on that will help ensure our hearts are mended and made whole again.
Forgiveness is one of the most powerful and transformative actions we can take in our lives – it releases us from carrying around the weight and toxicity of bitterness and sets us free to be whole once again. It can be incredibly difficult to forgive someone who has hurt us, but it is essential for our own emotional and spiritual well-being.
Forgiveness frees us from the burden of anger and resentment
Holding on to anger and resentment can weigh us down and make it difficult to move forward in our lives. When we forgive someone, we release those negative emotions and open ourselves up to healing and growth.
Forgiveness can repair relationships
When we forgive someone, it opens the door to reconciliation and the possibility of repairing a damaged relationship. While not all relationships will be restored to how they were originally, (and some shouldn’t be), the door of possibility is open where it would be safe to do so. It takes courage and vulnerability to forgive, but it can lead to deeper and more meaningful connections with others. I am a better friend today to the women God has placed in my life because I have learned to forgive hurts from my past relationships.
Forgiveness is a reflection of God’s love and grace
As Christians, we believe that God is a God of forgiveness and grace. When we forgive others, we are reflecting God’s love and mercy to the world. People can see Jesus in you when you choose to forgive.
Forgiveness is a choice
Forgiveness is not always easy, but it is a choice we can make. We may not be able to change what has happened, but we can choose to release our hurt and anger and move forward in a spirit of forgiveness.
Forgiveness can bring peace and healing
When we forgive someone, it can bring a sense of peace and healing to our own lives. It allows us to let go of the past and focus on the present and future.
In Matthew 6:14-15, Jesus says, “For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.” Forgiveness is not just a good idea – it’s a command from God. When we choose to forgive, we are obeying His will and showing our love for Him.
Although it’s not always easy, forgiveness is always worth the effort. Here are some practical steps we can take to cultivate a spirit of forgiveness in our lives:
- Acknowledge the hurt – It’s important to acknowledge the pain and hurt that someone has caused us. This doesn’t mean dwelling on it or holding on to it, but simply recognizing the impact it has had on us.
- Choose to forgive – Forgiveness is a choice we can make, even if we don’t feel like it. It may take time and effort to get there, but it is a choice we can make.
- Let go of the need for revenge or justice – Holding on to a desire for revenge or justice can prevent us from forgiving. We may never get the apology or restitution we feel we deserve, but we can choose to let go of that need and focus on forgiveness instead.
- Pray for the person who hurt us – This can be a powerful way to cultivate a spirit of forgiveness. Praying for someone who has hurt us can help us see them as God sees them, and can soften our hearts toward them.
Forgiveness is a powerful and transformative action we can take in our lives. By choosing to forgive, we can release ourselves from the burden of anger and resentment, repair damaged relationships, reflect God’s love and grace, and find peace and healing. I pray that if you are finding it challenging to forgive someone in your life, that today you would be filled with an extra measure of grace to do the hard but necessary thing, and begin the process of forgiveness.