Why is it so hard to forgive those that have hurt us? Many of us hold onto those hurt and resentful feelings for too long. We cling to the anger and the frustration aimed at another person. We must realize this ONLY hurts us. The other person is usually not affected by your lack of forgiveness. We are the ones that carry all of it around and it can do a lot of damage while you are clinging so tightly to it.
If we hold onto forgiveness and we do not forgive others, then we are getting in the way of the good things God can do in our lives. God has forgiven us for everything we have done (if we accept Christ into our hearts and ask for forgiveness of our sins), so why should we not forgive others? Who are we to hold onto forgiveness? By forgiving others we bless them and ourselves.
One very important thing to remember about forgiveness is that it does not mean you agree or condone what someone has done. It only means you forgive what they have done. You do not have to continue being friends with someone just because you forgive them. If someone is not a good person for you to be around or to be friends with, then you need to distance yourself from them. You can also forgive them and move on, you are not saying that you think what they did was right or okay.
I held onto resentment and hurt for a long time. Not until I realized that it was only hurting me and that if I forgave this person that I was not saying all that they had done was right or okay. I was just CHOOSING to forgive them. It was so freeing. Forgiving someone who hurt me gave me such a peace that only God can give. By my forgiving this person, God was blessing me with peace. Not forgiving this person was only hurting me and getting in the way of that peace that God so wanted to give me.
Here are some verses to remind you what God says about forgiving and blessing others:
“Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.” Ephesians 4:32
“Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven” Luke 6:37
“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” Matthew 6:14-15
“But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,” Matthew 5:44
“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 18:21-22