It can be hard to forgive someone who has hurt you, especially if they are not sorry for what they have done. The Lord’s Pray says, ” forgive us our trespasses, As we forgive them that trespass against us. So we start from the premise that we also have fallen short and need forgiveness.
When we do not forgive others, bitterness has an opportunity to occur and can remain for years. I say, ‘bitterness has an opportunity to occur,” because it is really up to us how we respond to offenses. When we refuse to forgive, bitterness, anger, and hatred grow until it consumes us. The good news is there is a cure for bitterness. It is forgiveness
When we refuse to forgive, bitterness, anger, and hatred grow until it consumes us. The good news is there is a cure for bitterness. It is forgiveness! I am not telling you it will be easy, but when we are willing to forgive, the power of God will be present to help us.
The Benefits of Forgiveness
Forgiving is more for ourselves than it is for the other person: Many times, people don’t even know you are angry with them. They walk around free while you are bound with bitterness. Forgive those who have offended you, betrayed you, or mistreated you, because unforgiveness does not hurt the other person. It hurts you. There is a saying that refusing to forgive someone is like drinking poison and expected the other person to die.
- Forgiving gives us the power to heal – When we are constantly angry and hold negative feelings, it affects our health. This negative energy causes high blood pressure, headaches, arthritis, depression, stomach problems, and a host of other maladies. So when we don’t forgive, we are hurt twice. Matthew 6:14 For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.
- Forgiving gives you the power to move forward – When we do not forgive, we become emotionally and physically stuck. Constantly rehearsing in our minds what has been done to us. We become spiritually paralyzed and can not move on to other things, such as new jobs, new relationships, ministry.
- God commands us to forgive – There are times when we don’t want to forgive. Especially if we feel justified. God does not tell us to forgive if we feel like it but forgive because we have been forgiven. If we do not forgive others, our relationship with God is in jeopardy, and our prayers will become hindered. Mark 11:25-26
- Forgiving gives you the power of mercy – We all know that we will reap what we sow through the law of reciprocity. The bibles teach that blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy. This wisdom reminds us that we are not perfect and will, at some time in life, will need to be forgiven also. Matthew 5:7.
- Forgiving gives you back personal power – When you forgive, you are empowered, and it releases you from the power the offender has over you. When we hold resentments and hatred, we from becoming a prisoner of our emotions. We open ourselves to become a bitter person who is not pleasant to be around. When we forgive someone, we become free from the hold that person has over us. We are free at last!
Refusing to Forgive
Refusing to forgive affects us emotionally: I heard a preacher once say, unforgiveness. I like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die! When we are unable to forgive, it can fester and become a root of bitterness. The bible speaks of a root of bitterness springing up and defiling many.
It negatively affects how we see things and how we act. Saul became threatened by David when David was hailed as a great warrior by the maidens. The bible says that from that time forth, Saul began to eye David. This was when anger and jealousy came into Saul’s heart, and he desired David dead. 1 Samuel 18:6-10.
Prayer of Forgiveness (Pray in Faith no by how you feel)
Father, I come to you in the name of Jesus. I thank you for the power that is in that name. I release forgiveness to ______________ for hurting me. I choose to no longer hold onto anger, bitterness, and hatred. Father, as you have forgiven me, I forgive and release forgiveness to __________. Continue to pray to release forgiveness to all those who have hurt you. As you allow forgiveness to your heart, you will feel a fullness of God’s grace and love.