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Christian Life

Girl to Girl Talk: “I Need Help Forgiving People”

Holding-Hands

Every week, I go through the “Girl Talk” section of Project Inspired and look for those seeking advice and counsel. I want to help answer some questions you may have about living out your Christian life and walk of faith! We want PI to be a safe place where you can ask questions.

This week, a PI Girl wanted some advice on how to forgive people who have hurt her and/or offended her. Click here to read the full post.

“[There are] two people I need help forgiving. One is this guy I dated for six and a half months and then we had a really messy breakup. I still talk to him every now and then, but it still hurts…I told him I forgave him, but how do you know if you’ve truly forgiven someone? I still feel some hostility toward him. Also, I used to be friends with this girl and I’m not anymore because she said that I get on everyone’s nerves and she said some other offensive stuff to me… I’d just like to be at peace with her….” —Anonymous PI Girl

 

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How to Forgive Others and Why We Should Forgive

1. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you in your areas of weakness.

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. (2 Corinthians 12:9)

 

2. Don’t harbor bitterness. It can harm you more in the end and damage your health.

A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones. (Proverbs 14:30)

 

3. When you are a peacemaker, you will be blessed and God will honor you.

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God. (Matthew 5:9)

 

4. Let God fight your battles for you. The Bible talks about God being our shield, our fortress (Psalm 91), our hiding place, our safe refuge, our strong tower and our comforter. We need to trust God sees when His children are hurt and know that He goes before us and will go to war for us.

You will not have to fight this battle. Take up your positions; stand firm and see the deliverance the LORD will give you, Judah and Jerusalem. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Go out to face them tomorrow, and the LORD will be with you. (2 Chronicles 20:17)

 

5. Overcome evil with good. Jesus spoke of turning the other cheek on multiple occasions and to love not just your neighbors and those who love you, but also your enemies.

Don’t be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. (Romans 12:21)

 

6. If you cannot forgive, God can’t forgive you. God’s Word talks about forgiveness and reconciliation and new beginnings. We need to openly and freely give so we can not only receive freedom ourselves, but also realize how much WE HAVE BEEN FORGIVEN. Who are we to judge others? As much as someone has hurt us, we have also hurt the Lord in our lives at some point, but guess what? God forgives. He keeps no record of wrongs. When we believe in Him and the One He sent to free us, Jesus Christ, we are FREE indeed! We need to forgive others, which not only frees the other person, but frees the forgiver. Holding a grudge is dangerous and detrimental not only to the person buying the sin in their heart, but is also damaging to their relationship with God. God wants us to not be hypocritical, but rather to give grace, even when people least deserve it. Let us pray we can be more like Christ, and release love, kindness and goodness, and extend mercy unto others, amen? (Matthew 10:8)

But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins. (Matthew 6:15)

Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy. (Matthew 5:7)

 

7. If you are merciful, you shall receive mercy. Jesus explained to the disciples and the people He taught that the Kingdom of Heaven is not anything like the world. People want to be revengeful and to pay back what they deserve…but even Jesus, the Son of God, who was spoken about years before, who was God in flesh, was rejected, despised and mistreated. Even Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.

WOW, so humbling and powerful. Jesus could have sent legions of angels to get Him off the cross, but He didn’t…why? Because God is a reconciler and is all about forgiveness and cleansing through the Word. Jesus is the Word and He dwelt among the people of the earth, showing that God is who He says He is. God loves the world and wants a relationship with us, and regardless of what WE have done, it is a FREE gift. We don’t owe God anything except to just receive the free gift of salvation by believing in His Son as the Messiah.

 

8. Give out forgiveness just as you would want to receive forgiveness. Think about this for a moment. Think of when you have been in trouble with your parents or have been in a situation where you desperately needed forgiveness. You would do anything in that moment for a pass, correct? Maybe at school you forgot a project you worked hard on to complete, or you said something that was misinterpreted, or came home late or whatever the case. We need to remember that we ALL need forgiveness. Sometimes people who are hurting and mean need the most forgiveness. This doesn’t mean to let people take advantage of you, no, but we can let go and let God.

Also, put yourself in the other person’s shoes for a minute. We need to humble ourselves and LOVE one another. Loving people is not always peaches and cream and always good. Sometimes love requires SACRIFICE. Jesus knows all about this, for He went before us humbly from the throne room of God to the earth to die for each one of the sins He didn’t even commit. Amazing love!

Luke 6:27-31 is so opposite of what the world and the flesh tell us to do. Read what Jesus tells us to do in situations where we want to retaliate:

But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. If someone slaps you on one cheek, turn to them the other also. If someone takes your coat, do not withhold your shirt from them. Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. Do to others as you would have them do to you.

 

9. Love your enemies. Jesus says that loving people is required as a believer in the Lord. God is LOVE. Jesus makes a good point to His followers by saying that even the wicked can love people at times, and knowing that we are calling to rise above in love even more than those who don’t know, we need to even love those who hurt and harm us, as hard as that may be at times.

If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do that. (Luke 6:32-33)

 

10. Pray that God will help us to forgive those who harm us. Pray to God and ask Him to heal your heart, to guard you and to order your steps, and to show how to love whomever has wronged you. Just remember Jesus was betrayed by His own disciples who “claimed” to love Him and to never forsake Him, but Peter denied Him three times, and Judas turned from Christ and told where Jesus was for a small sum of money. You see, people WILL hurt, leave, betray you on this planet, but GOD will NEVER leave you. You need to show the love of Christ, which is possible by the Holy Spirit, if you ask God for this grace and ability to see through His eyes, so that people will see Jesus in YOU by your love and actions. Remember, love NEVER fails (1 Corinthians 13).

By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another. (John 13:35)

 

PI Girls, how can I be praying for you? Does this help you at all? Do you have any other pointers or advice? God bless you, PI Girls! Jesus loves you!

If you have any other questions or need prayer, message me:
Facebook: facebook.com/ChristiGiven
Twitter: @ChristiGiven
Instagram: Christi_Given

Image: Lightstock | Luke Mattson

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2 Comments

  1. Project Inspired

    Posted by Seraph on May 11, 2015 at 18:43

    Some of the questions still weren’t answered. How do you know if you’ve forgiven someone? Shouldn’t it be possible to have forgiven someone and still be angry or sad at what they did because no matter what it still hurt? Even if we keep no record of wrongs, it seems foolish to forgive and “forget” because there’s no way to pretend something didn’t happen, regardless of whether you’ve forgiven the person or not.

    • Project Inspired

      Posted by noelleheart on February 14, 2016 at 20:35

      You’re right about forgiving and forgetting. It’s not that simple and it’s ok to feel sad and upset and hurt and maybe a little angry. Even Jesus got angry, but the big important point is to forgive, as in not hold on to that anger and allow it to fuel resentment or other lasting feelings toward others.

      Also, if you didn’t let your emotions run their course and bottled them up inside, that would be emotionally unhealthy.

      However, after you have calmed down and it’s been a few minutes/days (depending on the situation), try to start letting go by taking to God about what hurt you and ask Him to start helping you heal.