Colossians 3:13 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.
It’s happened to us all – someone did something to us that was hard to forgive them for, or felt what they did was unforgivable. Hurt can go deep, and it comes in many forms. But what can make it so much worse is being unable to forgive them. This doesn’t justify what they did, by any means. And it doesn’t mean they have to be a part of your lives, or you have pretend you don’t remember what happened – some things are unforgettable. But, holding bitterness and contempt toward another is a form of self-destruction. It’s something that eats away at you, day after day, year after year. I’ve heard it said it’s like drinking poison and expecting someone else to die.
God asks us to forgive others. This benefits the other person, but it even more benefits you. By forgiving someone, you’re letting go of the pain. You’re giving it to God, as he’s volunteered to carry all of our burdens for us, and letting Him take care of it. You’re saying, “I don’t have to give this one more second’s thought. I’ve handed this over to God, and I trust He’ll take care of this and handle it as it should be handled.” Let God be your vindicator. This takes the pressure off of you. God stepped in the gap and said, “I’ll take it. Give it to me.”
When we think we just can’t let it go, think of how God’s forgiven us. He sent His only son to die on the cross for us, for OUR sins. Some of the things mankind has done seems unforgivable, but God forgives every time we repent. Can you imagine sacrificing your own child to save your other children, to cleanse them of their sins, and they continue to sin over and over and over again? That’s the kind of God He is – merciful, gracious, loving. We’re not perfect, and He knows it. We’re still His children and he continues to show us grace. He asks we do the same for those that wrong us. Those that hurt us aren’t perfect, and deep down, we know it. If we forgive those that hurt us, ask for God’s healing and strength, and ask for God to help those who hurt us to get back on track – that’s a win, win, win. You’ll be at peace and you can move on. Forgiveness is for our own good.
Ephesians 4:31-32 Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.