Difficulties of forgiveness
Learning to forgive is difficult for most of us. Especially when you are hurt by someone you have a close relationship with. When someone tries to tarnish your character, abandons you, hurt or abuse you it is not something you easily get over.
All of us have been hurt at some point in our lives. I have been hurt by people I considered closed to, I have had someone try to tarnish my character by spreading lies, I have lost someone I loved to murder. Throughout the years I have battled with forgiveness, I have tried to look past certain situations. Sometimes I have let things go but when faced with something from the past, I recognize that I am still holding on to the situation. Recognizing the hold that these people have on me, I have constantly prayed that God will help me to forgive.
We should also be mindful that sometimes our actions hurt others whether it is intentional or unintentional. We want forgiveness from God for our actions likewise we should forgive.
Results of unforgiveness
Unforgiveness controls our emotions, it causes us to become bitter, lost and constantly filled with anger, whether by hearing a name or someone mentioning the situation. I have often heard the quote that forgiveness is not for the other person but for you. While I agree that forgives is for the forgiver, I do believe it is for the other person as well. You see, God expects us to love each other, regardless of who the other person is and what they have done to you. Forgiveness especially as a believer allows you to openly pray for the person that they get to experience the salvation that you have, and to be at peace with man.
Easier said than done
I do admit it is something easier said than done but if we really want to please God and we are struggling with unforgiveness take it to God in prayer. I am not saying that things will change overnight but over time, God will help you to move on from the situation and you just might find yourself praying out of love for the one that hurt you.
Leave it to God
When hurt let us not try to take situations into our hands as the scripture states “Repay no one evil for evil but give thought to do what is honourable in the sight of all.” Roman 12:17). It also states, “Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord.” (Romans 12:19).
I was watching a video on Facebook a couple of days ago about a woman who was badly abused by her husband, after many years she eventually got away. After a while, he was killed. When she went to the funeral, she said she heard God telling her to forgive him. At first, she fought it, but when she eventually forgave him, she was at peace.
I used to pray that God will remove the person that took my first husband’s life, after a while I found myself praying for his salvation instead. Some things are out of our control and will hurt us because we simply can’t control the actions of others, but God wants us to leave it all to him.
This scripture is often overlooked “For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.” (Matthew 6:14). We were all born in sin and shaken in iniquity, none of us is perfect. God looked at us while in sin and decided to send his son to die for us. He gave us a chance when we did not deserve it, likewise, he wants us to give others a chance. “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy” (Ephesians 2:8). Let us extend mercy to others as the father extended mercy towards us.
Pray for each other
Let us pray for those who the enemy has taken as his tools on earth that God will open their hearts and they will turn their lives around and become a living testimony to others, thereby pulling even more persons to Christ. Let us also pray that we do not become stumbling blocks to others. If you have harmed anyone both knowing and unknowingly, let us pray that they will also forgive us as we receive the forgiveness of God.
“If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.” (Romans 12: 18).
Latanya Fraser Cato is an elementary school teacher who enjoys reading and writing poetry. She is currently a Sunday school teacher at her church in Japan and has served on various youth-related ministries both in church and school in her home country Jamaica. She has a passion for counseling and helping others. She has published a book of poems entitled Soul’s Inspiration which she hopes will assist individuals facing various challenges..