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- Forgive and grow. These two powerful words hold the key to healing and restoration in our relationships. It is a fact that God commands us to forgive, for forgiveness holds immense power to set us free from the burden of anger and resentment. However, we must also be wise, understanding that trust cannot be easily regained but needs to be re-earned by the one who has lost it. Reconciliation, if possible, is a beautiful thing—a chance for both parties to mend what was broken and move forward together. But let us remember that God does not require reconciliation; He simply asks us to extend forgiveness from our hearts. As we set off on this journey of forgiving and growing, we should strive to be quick in extending forgiveness while being careful in our forgetting.
- For true growth comes when we learn from past hurts and allow them to shape us into wiser individuals. Erasing painful memories may seem impossible at times, yet it is crucial that we do not dwell on them excessively or let them define our future interactions. I have heard it said that refusing to forgive someone is like taking poison and expecting the other person to die—how profound! In reality, however, it is the one who refuses forgiveness that suffers most deeply within their own soul. So I encourage you wholeheartedly: release yourself from this self-imposed prison of bitterness by choosing forgiveness as an act of liberation. I encourage you to do all you can to keep the friendship alive, as far as it depends on you. (Romans 12:18) There will be times, as in my life, when other people have no interest in forgiveness or reconciliation. For those times, it is best to do what my brother Tom Greguska told me to turn the page and begin a new chapter in your life. There will be arguments and disagreements in life, yet our job as Christians is to make peace, forgive, and grow from all hurtful situations we encounter. ~ Bill Greguska
Matthew 6:15 But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.
How To Forgive When It Hurts?
Forgive And Grow, But Remember That Trust Needs To Be Regained!
- Forgiveness does not mean you are condoning bad behavior. God commands us to forgive. It’s not optional. He is our example, and if He can ask His Heavenly Father to forgive those who nailed Him to the cross, we can learn to forgive with His help. There is absolutely nothing impossible to overlook with God’s help. We must work through the pain and grief of really traumatic events. Forgiving does not sweep something aside and pretend it didn’t happen. That will only come back to haunt you later.
Learning How To Forgive!
- When I find myself in that place, I attempt to go to the person I hurt and humbly apologize for what I did or said. I would say, “I was wrong for ______; please forgive me?”
- Other times, I and the other person both said or did the wrong things. In that case, I would say, “I am sorry for my part in this situation. Would you please forgive me? (I would not expect an apology in return, but if there is one, that would be great!
- In both examples, I confessed my sin, wrongdoing, destructive action, or words and then moved on with a clear conscience and hopefully amended relationship.
What To Do When Someone Does You Wrong?
Facts About How To Forgive Others?
- Forgiveness does not always mean reconciliation. Forgiveness and trust are two different things. Some people are unrepentant. They may not feel like they have done anything wrong. Perhaps, they may be sorry for the moment, but you know the bad behavior will continue for whatever reason. God does not call us to be in abusive relationships. He does not call us to be doormats or to remain in toxic or unhealthy relationships.
- Forgiveness is not easy; saying “I forgive” is easy, but genuinely forgiving takes prayer and faith and continually giving it over to God until it does not bother you any longer. You know you have forgiven when you can think about the wrongdoing and not have it bother you any longer.
What Does The Bible Teach How To Forgive Someone?
- Forgiveness doesn’t mean you condone what the person did or that you have to trust the person.
- Forgiveness is about getting your heart right with God. It is foremost about your relationship with God.
- It frees you from a lifetime of bondage to a bitter and hardened heart.
- Forgiveness isn’t a one-time act. You’ll have to continue to choose forgiveness.
- We forgive because God has forgiven us. We need to try to forgive and forget.
- Forgiveness doesn’t mean you’re letting the other person off the hook. It’s entrusting God to take care of the situation for you.
- Forgiveness isn’t reconciliation.
- Reconciliation requires genuine repentance from the person who was wrong, and grace from the one offended.
- It’s not for the person that wronged you. It is to set you free. It is so you are not held prisoner paying the price for someone else’s wrongdoing. Forgiving is for you and you alone. Often the person who has hurt you feels nothing…no shame, guilt, or remorse. The wrongdoer may have forgotten the event, but we can stay trapped in bitterness, anger, and unforgiveness for years. It can affect our emotional, mental, spiritual, and physical well-being while others are oblivious to our pain. Unforgiveness rarely harms the other person. Usually, we are the only victim of our unforgiveness.
- Forgiveness is between you and God. You do not have to go to the other person. Forgiveness is you handing over the wrongdoing and the person who did it and saying, “Lord, I give this to you so you can deal with it. It is between you and them now so I can be free.”
- Forgiveness does not mean that you “forget” the wrong you did to yourself. Forgiveness is like cleaning out a wound. If you don’t clean out an injury, it festers, hurts, and doesn’t heal properly. Once it is cleaned out, it can improve. Once healed, you will always have the scar, but it doesn’t hurt anymore.
How To Forgive And Grow From Our Hurts!
Forgiveness Is Not Optional
(This section is from The Book I wrote)
Lord, it’s wise for me to think occasionally about people with whom I’ve had problems or disagreements. I may say I have forgiven them, but have I done so entirely? Just knowing that you command me to forgive others is reason enough to do so, and when I think how good I feel when I’m forgiven, that can be my motivation. We all mess up, and forgiveness is the remedy.
Lord, you have taught us to forgive each other; please equip me to fully forgive those who have hurt me, wronged me, or betrayed me in any way, even though it is against my nature to do so.
Lord, Help me to do your will, Lord, and kick my will out the door, now and forever. Lord, I have learned that to not forgive someone in order to “teaching them a lesson,” or maliciously “pay them back,” is like drinking poison and expecting that it will hurt the other person. Lord, When I forgive others, it is not necessarily forgetting, but it is choosing to let go of an offense and not picking it up again. You have also taught me, Lord, that regaining trust takes time.
Never forget the three powerful resources you always have available to you: love, prayer, and forgiveness. ~ H. Jackson Brown, Jr., is an American author who is best known for his inspirational book, Life’s Little Instruction Book.
Some Specific Scriptures To Encourage You:
Matthew 6:14-15 ESV
For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
Ephesians 4:31-32 ESV
Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.
1 John 1:9 ESV
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
Ephesians 4:32 ESV
Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.
Luke 17:3-4 ESV
Pay attention to yourselves! If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him, and if he sins against you seven times in the day, and turns to you seven times, saying, ‘I repent,’ you must forgive him.”
Colossians 3:13 ESV
Bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.
Matthew 18:21-22 ESV
Then Peter came up and said to him, “Lord, how often will my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?” Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you seven times, but seventy times seven.
Matthew 6:9-13 ESV
Pray then like this: “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
Matthew 6:14 ESV
For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you,
Leviticus 19:18 ESV
You shall not take vengeance or bear a grudge against the sons of your own people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the Lord.
Matthew 6:12 ESV
And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.
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