When someone hurts us by being cruel, or spiteful, or just by accident, it is hard to let it go. I know about this because I have been hurt, and seen my children used and abused (given medications they didn’t need and emotionally conditioned) as an attempt to “get back” at me. Now they don’t even want any part of me, except my money. Yeah- it’s OK to send them money but don’t have any other contact.
Sorry, kids- Luv ‘ya but it don’t work that way.
I am sure many of you have had similar experiences- shunned at work, exploited at home, maybe much worse. By strangers or friends, or even family.
It hurts and all we want to do is make it stop hurting. But how?
The cure is almost harder to accept than the hurt: we need to forgive. Forgiving the person who hurts us is, really, the only way to make the pain go away. You may always be a little “sore” but the pain will fade as you get better at forgiving.
“That jerk doesn’t deserve my forgiveness! Don’t hold your breath waiting for me to forgive them.” Understood. Acknowledged, and I will even go as far as to say I know just how you feel. But it’s not your choice- God commands us to forgive. In Mattiyahu (Matthew) we are told that if we don’t forgive on Earth our Heavenly Father will not forgive us. And the Lord’s Prayer asks God to forgive us as we forgive others; in other words, measure out to us as we measure out to others. That means if we don’t, He won’t. Hmm….maybe I should revisit my attitude.
In Proverbs we are told that we should give our enemies food and drink, and it will be like pouring hot coals on their head. The idea (I think) is not to be vengeful but to wake them up- make them suffer the indignity of what they did to us by being compassionate to them. Perhaps they will do T’Shuva, and save themselves from Sheol.
In Ezekiel God says He gets no pleasure from seeing the sinner die; rather, he would prefer that the sinner turn from his sinful ways and live. Aren’t we supposed to be holy, as He is holy? We can get closer to God by forgiving.
To err is human; to forgive, Divine. DUH !!!
The other thing to remember is that Proverbs tells us not to return evil for evil, but wait upon the Lord. He will judge. If you think that someone doesn’t deserve forgiveness, you are actually taking the place of God. Not something He is very likely to appreciate, ya know?
I have found, for myself, that forgiveness is one of the hardest things I have to do as a Believer. I discovered something that makes it easier, and I would like to share that with you, hopefully to make it easier for you, too.
Pray for them. That’s right- pray earnestly for the people who hate you and have done you wrong; who have hurt you; who have hurt those you love. When I pray for them, I don’t ask God to forgive them because that decision is actually between them and God. That’s not my place to tell God what to do, but I can ask Him to help them come to Him. I pray they find salvation.
Another way I help myself into being able to pray for someone who has hurt me is to look into the future, and imagine what that person will be facing when they come to judgement. The hurt they caused is finite, and the quicker I pray for them and forgive them for what they did to me, the quicker I will stop hurting. Emotional pain is like a log in my eye: when I remove the log (through forgiveness) I can see the truth about what they will have to endure, for all Eternity. That certainly is nothing compared to what they did to me, which will be nothing more than a faded memory, if even that, when I come into His Glory in the Acharit HaYamim.
It sounds easy enough, but so does anything else until you try it. Truth is, I still get angry and feel the pain of certain things. Deep cuts take a long time to heal, and they always leave a scar. But with God’s help (yes, you most certainly can ask God to help you forgive), the guidance found in His Word, and the peace I receive from the Ruach, I am getting better and better at forgiving.
The more I forgive, the less it hurts. Forgiveness is spiritual aspirin that makes the pain go away.
Here’s another way to look at it: when you forgive something it is easier to forget about it. When you don’t forgive, you end up reliving it, and the pain just keeps coming back. It’s like tearing off the scab before it can heal. And here’s a hard truth that you must accept- if you keep reliving the pain, it is not their fault anymore! That’s right- they hurt you, that was a one-time deal. If the person, or people, hurt you over and over, it is still the same thing. Each time you relive it, you are now the one hurting yourself. Now it’s your fault, not theirs. Rehearsing our anger is like throwing gasoline on a fire about to die.
If you want to stop hurting, you need to stop reliving the event and forgive the person. Start out by praying for their salvation, and move on. Let their ultimate forgiveness stay between them and God; you do what is right in God’s eyes regarding your own actions. He wants…no, He commands… you to forgive those who hurt you. Obey the Lord. It ain’t easy! Man-o-Manischevitz , it is hard to do! But do it, we must.
Forgiveness is the only way to make the hurt go away. I know it’s a lousy turn of events. First this piece of work, this sorry excuse for a human being, this so-and-so does horrible things to me and now God tells me I have to forgive them. And if I don’t, I will never feel better. It sounds like a no-win situation.
It’s not; in fact, it’s a win-win because when you forgive you not only make the hurt go away, but you receive God’s blessings in your life. He will bless you for your obedience, and you will be so much better off that you will even start to think (maybe) that the sin against you was itself a blessing in disguise because of the spiritual maturity it helped you to achieve.
Okay, maybe that’s a little far-fetched. But not too much.
Look back in your life and see if there are still scabs that are haven’t healed, wounds festering in your heart and hurts that won’t go away. Pray for that person who sinned against you and see if you don’t feel better. Do it honestly, do it heart-fully, do it trustingly. I really believe that you will feel better, because it has worked for me.
Take spiritual aspirin and call on Him in the morning.