How to Forgive Others and Let Bitterness Go
Written by Christi Given | February 3, 2017
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 said that she feels a certain family member plays favorites and that now she has built up some resentment toward this person. Click here to read the full post or to join the Girl Talk forum.
The Bible talks about envy, bitterness and anger and how it affects the person storing it in their mind, soul and body. When you forgive someone, it’s not necessarily you letting that person off the hook (or justifying what they did), but rather you letting yourself off the hook to move forward in freedom.
A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones. (Proverbs 13:40)
People with understanding control their anger; a hot temper shows great foolishness. (Proverbs 14:29)
The Bible tells us that if we choose to not forgive others, then Jesus cannot forgive us. We are to forgive seven times 70 or more! There is no end to how many times God has forgiven us, so we should not count how many times we forgive our neighbor, family member or friend.
But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins. (Matthew 6:15)
My son, pay attention to what I say; turn your ear to my words. Do not let them out of your sight, keep them within your heart; for they are life to those who find them and health to one’s whole body. (Proverbs 4:20-22)
Address the Issue and Forgive
Honest communication is also key in addressing relationship issues. If you have a problem or issue with pain pertaining to a certain person and how they are treating you, you can tell them up front. Being forward and honest with people is the best policy in life and will result in more peace and better relationships.
Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?” Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.” (Matthew 18:21-22)
Nothing can really change in your circumstance outside of prayer, except when you are openly communicating. People sometimes have no idea how much they have hurt you and may be clueless in their actions toward you. To get even better results in your relationships and to have more peace, you need to speak up and forgive them in your heart genuinely.
And whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father also who is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses. (Mark 11:25)
How to Forgive Others and Why You Need to Let Bitterness Go
1. Forgive because God forgives you.
2. Forgiveness not sets only the person free, but also sets you free.
3. Pray for the person and that you will store no resentment in your heart.
4. Pray for peace. Jesus tells us we are blessed when we are a peacemaker (Matthew 5:9).
5. If we don’t forgive, then God can’t forgive us (Matthew 6:15).
6. Envy and bitterness affect your health. The Word of God will bring life and peace to you (Proverbs 4:20-22).
7. The enemy is sneaky and loves secret sin. Confess your pain to others and pray so you can heal.
8. The Bible tells us to forgive 7 x 70! (Matthew 18:21-22)
9. When God forgives us, He remembers our sins no more (Isaiah 43:25).
10. God takes our sin and casts it into the deepest blue ocean. God tells us that love keeps no record of wrongs (1 Corinthians 13:5).
PI Girls, do you have any anger or bitterness in your heart toward someone? Can you pray and confess that sin and repent by forgiving that person? Comment below if you need prayer!