Forgive Those Who Hurt You Long Ago
No matter how difficult a situation, you can remember that God wants us to forgive one another “just as God through Christ has forgiven you”
"Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.” (Ephesians 4:31-32)
When someone hurts you or you experience an injustice, God knows about it. In fact, of course, He knows every wrong that has ever occurred on earth, as well as the good things. "His understanding has no limit" (Psalm 147:5), and He knows that, as with all human action, "it has all been done before" (Ecclesiastes 1:9).
King Solomon wrote, “I observed all the oppression that takes place under the sun. I saw the tears of the oppressed, with no one to comfort them. The oppressors have great power, and their victims are helpless” (Ecclesiastes 4:1). He noticed that people should not “be surprised if you see a poor person being oppressed by the powerful and if justice is being miscarried throughout the land” (Ecclesiastes 5:8). He said this because, "not a single person on earth is always good and never sins (Ecclesiastes 7:20), so we need to recognize that we, too, are sinners in need of forgiveness.
No matter how difficult a situation, you can remember that God wants us to forgive one another “just as God through Christ has forgiven you” (Ecclesiastes 4:32). And because “The Lord loves righteousness and justice”(Psalm 33:5) , you can rely on God to help you overcome injustice by being a loving and forgiving person. It will probably be difficult, but “those who are wise will find a time and a way to do what is right, for there is a time and a way for everything, even when a person is in trouble” (Ecclesiastes 8:5-6).
Prayer, Care, and Share Jesus
Have bad things ever happened to you or the people close to you? Whether these things have happened recently or long ago, we know God is very serious about us forgiving others, just as in Christ, God forgave us.
Maybe you’ve experienced something like this or similar:
- Somebody caused an accident and someone close to you died or was injured for life;
- A parent, school teacher or another authority figure abused you or someone close to you;
- A criminal killed or injured someone close to you in a robbery or attack;
- Someone close to you betrayed you. Whether or not you know the person that hurt you, your friend or family member, it is very tempting to harbor anger, hate or bitterness towards them - even if you’re close to God.
There’s nothing wrong with feeling angry in your loss. Jesus understands your pain and anger because He suffered on your behalf. Because of the sacrifice He made for you, and the forgiveness He has already granted you, Jesus asks you to forgive people who bring hurt and pain into your life.
You may not even know where to start when you realize you need to forgive someone. You might ask, “How can I forgive?” Well, here are some suggestions:
- Realize and accept you have the anger or bitterness in your heart about the incident (however deeply buried in your memory;
- Accept from the Scripture that you have to forgive as you are forgiven;
- Surrender the hurt and anger to Jesus in prayer - If possible, pray this out loud with a friend
- Forgive the person(s) in the Name of Jesus;
- Start praying the Lord's blessing on the person that you need to forgive.
A Helpful Tip: Don't worry if you don't know the name of the person that wronged you or if they may not even be alive now. Forgive them anyway - the Lord knows them. If the process is very difficult, - get help from trusted friend or a counselor.
Pray this week:
You will forgive people who hurt you and start to pray for the Lord to bless them.
Roots of bitterness grow deep and spread to cover all areas of a person's life. Have you chosen to 'forgive' those who have done evil to you in your past? You should ask God to forgive them for you and through you. Forgiveness is for your healing. Do you have a situation you're having a hard time with? Talk to a caring Christian about it.