Forgiving people who have hurt you is difficult, but not forgiving them can mean carrying frustration and anger around endlessly. Our hope is to help you gain the power you need to forgive.
First, what is forgiveness? It is not just a response to an apology. It is not just something you feel. Forgiveness is a choice. An action. Forgiveness is a gift from God in which He removes our sins and does not remember them anymore. This is a freeing gift! Forgiveness is the gift of peace.
Be assured that by forgiving a wrong doer is not to say we condone their actions. What they did was wrong and sinful. That is not okay, but if we were to sit and realize how much God has forgiven us for all the wrong we have done we should want to forgive others. Through God's forgiveness we realize His peace in our own lives. This allows us to move on beyond the offense, instead of remaining angry and hateful.
Once we choose to forgive we are promising not to dwell in remembrance of the sin and to let our anger go. God is perfect and forgives perfectly. We, on the other hand, are not perfect so we forgive imperfectly. We may offer forgiveness but hold on to the hurt feelings. FORGIVENESS IS A PROCESS! With God's help you can help lose the hurt.
Forgiveness can be the most challenging part of our healing process. It requires us to put our indignation and value of the person who hurt us aside. It is a humbling experience, to say the least.
When we think of forgiving those who hurt us we may think it's easier said than done.We may ask ourselves why should we forgive them?! How can we?! Stop and look at your own words and actions. How many people have we been unkind to? Did we ask them for forgiveness? Did we ask God?
God tells us we must confess our sins to him. By doing so we are able to receive His perfect forgiveness. We don't have to do anything special to receive His loving grace. Even if we could it would never be enough and we wouldn't know for sure that we were forgiven. God loves you and wants to forgive you even before you ask. As you begin to forgive others love will show through you and begin to change your life and the people close to you.
Sometimes,too, we tend to forgive others easier than we forgive ourselves! Know this, the same rules apply for us. REALLY! If you have a hard time forgiving yourself try focusing on God's all loving forgiveness. Forgiveness changes lives! It has changed ours.What a burden that is lifted when we allow our hearts to forgive and let go. Allow yourself time to forgive. It doesn't always happen right away. We forgave our abusers many times over and sometimes we have to forgive again when challenged with difficult memories that surface in therapy. Don't give up! God loves you and know the troubles of your heart.