How do we forgive someone when they’ve hurt us, betrayed us or spoken nasty words behind our backs?
Maybe you’ve clicked on this post and you’re curious about what I’m going to say but you’re already thinking “Elise, I can’t forgive that person for what they’ve done to me.”
I get it, I do. I’ve been in situations where it’s been really tough to forgive someone. I think so often it can almost be easier to bandage the hurt up and not allow it to heal. Actually dealing with the hurt and going through the forgiveness process is hard and uncomfortable.
I want to share what the bible says about forgiveness and then a few practical tips to help you forgive.
Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.
Colossians 3:13 (NIV)
As Christians, forgiveness isn’t an option. - it’s not like choosing between ice cream flavours - do I want this one, do I want that one. As Christians, forgiveness is something that we are called to do. Why? Because God sent his son Jesus to die for all of our sins so that we could receive forgiveness and live a full life. As we are forgiven, so we are to forgive.
I want to share two pieces of advice that I’ve received from people who have helped me go through the forgiveness process. These are things that I’ve practically done when I’ve needed to forgive people and I know they will help you too.
1. Pray and ask God to help you forgive that person
When I was younger, I used to think that forgiveness was a one-time thing. I used to think that I could forgive, and then it would be over. But I’ve learnt that forgiveness isn’t instant. I’ve found in my own life that I’ve asked God to help me forgive someone and then when I’ve seen them, I’ve felt that pang of bitterness boil up again, and I’ve had to ask God to help me forgive them again. Sometimes forgiveness can be dealt with in a moment, other times it takes weeks, sometimes it takes months and months. But know that God will help you, if you let him in and keep trading your bitterness for forgiveness.
2. Pray for the person who has hurt you
One of the best antidotes to bitterness is to pray for the person who has hurt you. I know this might feel weird and uncomfortable at first, but I promise you that praying blessing over someone who has hurt you is one of the quickest ways to speed up the forgiveness process and help you let go of the bitterness in your heart.
These are the two pieces of advice that have helped me release bitterness and full forgive someone who has hurt me. It’s powerful and life transforming! I’ve heard it said that forgiveness is more for you than the other person, and I couldn’t find it more true.
Forgiveness allows us to live free of the junk of bitterness that holds us back and enables us to live a full, spiritually healthy lives where we can make a difference and help others. This is the kind of life that I want to live! Are you in?
If this post has helped you, I’d love it if you could comment a big ‘yes’ and let me know. I’d love to hear your advice on forgiveness - comment and let me know.