Waseca County Pioneer 111 W. Elm Ave.

Waseca, MN (507) 837-6767


Learning how to forgive

“How do I forgive someone who did…?”  “I can’t forgive them.”  “I am not ready to forgive.”  These are statements I hear all too often from people.  They share their pain and hurt with me and then give me one of those lines.  Unforgiveness will stop your growth in Christ, it will hinder your faith, cause division in relationships, and be a poor witness to the power of God to redeem, heal, and restore.
Over the past several weeks we have been talking about forgiveness, and now we continue that discussion so that we can gain freedom from the hurt and brokenness we experience.  There is joy in the Lord to be had, why would we want to continue in hurt if there is joy?  We end up stuck in unforgiveness when we lose sight of God and His best, we focus on our pain making ourselves out to be martyrs in our misery rather than allowing God to do His work.
Our job, as followers of Jesus, is to act in love towards one another.  Not to hold anger between each other but to put it aside so that God can work out His justice, correction, and restoration.  We do not need anger or hurt to hold someone accountable for their actions, but we do need God to work on our hearts so that we can experience His healing in our lives and find joy once again.
In Colossians 3 we are given a list of sins that people commit, the list remains applicable even to today.  There is nothing new under the sun and people have been good at hurting one another since Adam blamed Eve and Cain wasn’t Abel.  We have to let God pass judgment and respond in love to the pain and hurt.  Verses 12-13 of Colossians 3 states: 
12 Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13 Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.
If we continue in unforgiveness we join those that stand against God’s best, not forgiving another person is sin, left unchecked it will develop into hatred, bitterness, and self-righteousness.  God’s call is to forgive with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience done so with love so that unity may be developed.  Jesus forgave us before we were born and died on the cross for our sins and the sins of others.  To deny another person forgiveness is to proclaim that they are unworthy of the love of God.
We have been called to unity in Christ, to forgive as He forgave us, to find joy in the Lord, and hope for eternity through salvation.  Once we recognize that we are struggling to forgive one another, we ask God to give us strength to forgive.  Then we extend forgiveness in our hearts, building strength to speak the words out loud.  Anytime the pain and hurt come back, we forgive again, not allowing the pain and hurt to spoil our hearts.  We cannot control other’s actions, but we can forgive and continue to forgive trusting that God is just and He will avenge our pain.
Turn over your hurt to God, ask Him to heal you and to forgive others.  As you do the work of forgiveness ask God to meet your emotional needs that were produced through the hurt.  Don’t hold a grudge when you forgive, but also guard your heart and life so that you are not hurt again in the same way.  Ask God to heal you, redeem the hurt for His glory and restore you to right relationship with God.  Finally pray for the one that hurt you, that God would work out His justice and redeem their souls through repentance and salvation.
Forgiveness is not easy, but its benefits make an impact for all eternity.  Ask God to forgive you and help you to forgive others.


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