A few of my friends said some hurtful things to me or maybe I just got easily offended somehow. And so I avoided them. At first, I thought I truly forgave them by avoiding them and not wanting to talk to them anymore. Anyone ever done that? And so days and weeks passed by as I’m studying and reading the Word the things said to me kept replaying in my head over and over again. At first, I thought this is some “emotional battle” but in reality it wasn’t really. Too often we give the enemy more power than he really deserves. God is also good about revealing certain things to us in order that we may grow spiritually.
It was the ROOT of my unforgiveness. It was bitterness. You know, my every day prayer to God is “Create in me a clean heart, renew a steadfast spirit within me. I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against You.” Well, we all know God is good about answering prayers that are straight from His Word.
God revealed my sins to me. I pondered what it truly means to forgive. For as long as I have been walking with the Lord, I needed to get back to the basics.
1John 2:11 tells me that if anyone who hates another brother or sister, they are walking in darkness. Such person does not know the way to go having been blinded by darkness. This described me very well. Before God revealed my sin to me, I was walking in darkness. I had the option to forgive immediately or continue to walk in sin. Then God showed up and revealed to me that I truly DID NOT forgive.
I did a few things to make sure I forgave those who hurt me.
1. I prayed. I sought the Lord. I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you. –Psalm 119:11
2. I prayed for those who hurt me. They did it unknowingly. I don’t think they planned on hurting me with their words. I decided to keep praying for them until that bitterness root was lifted and removed. It wasn’t a prayer like, Oh Lord make them realize how prideful they are. My prayers were more like, Lord bless their family abundantly. Protect them. Your goodness and mercy shall follow them all the days of their lives! Show them your goodness.
Bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. – Luke 6:28
3. I continued to show love. I can’t make everyone like me but I can be intentional about showing grace, love and mercy to those who hurt me.
Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful. – Luke 6:36
Hatred stirs up strife, but love covers all offenses. I want to live my life without strife. How about you?
In His Love.