When we’ve become offended in some way, it’s easy to hold a grudge against the person who’s hurt us. Hurt feelings can cause a person to curse or to say other things that aren’t pleasing to God. In fact, bitterness is so strong that it could even cause a person to go weeks without speaking to friends or loved ones!
However, bitterness is not Godly! The Bible tells us to walk in the fruit of the spirit which is reflected by “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.” (Galatians 5:22-23.) In order to continually walk in this loving and peaceful state, we have to learn to forgive the people who have hurt us. I’m going to share with you a method that helps me to walk in a state of forgiveness, even when my feelings have been hurt.
Let me give you a little background information first. One day I was sitting in bible study when a Christian Counselor, Rev. Paul Morgan, Ph.D., spoke to the congregation. Rev. Morgan shared with us the importance of the prayer of forgiveness. I was immediately drawn to this process that I’m now going to share with you.
Rev. Morgan shared with us that it takes ninety seconds before a thought becomes an emotion. In other words, it takes ninety seconds before we experience anger regarding something that is said to us. Therefore, whenever you feel something unpleasant, that awful feeling in the pit of your stomach, you should immediately go into a prayer of forgiveness. This way, you’ll prevent the negative words from taking root inside of you.
If you don’t capture the thought before it becomes a negative emotion, the negative emotion could cause you to walk out of alignment with God. For example, how many times have you said something hurtful to someone else in anger? Exactly! So, before you say something that you may regret later, go into prayer instead.
Once you’ve said the prayer, and repeated it as many times as necessary to make the negative thought disappear, you’ll then be able to handle the situation in a more appropriate, loving and God-pleasing manner.
Here’s my forgiveness prayer. Feel free to use it!
Dear God, please help me to forgive this person for hurting my feelings. Help me to see the greatness in her and to love her the way that You do. Help me to relinquish the anger that I’m experiencing so that I can walk in the fruit of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Help me to heal from this incident and to release any bitterness that I may be harboring. Please give me guidance in this situation, Holy Spirit, so that I can approach it in the way that is most pleasing to You. Help me God to do Your will. Thank You, and in Jesus’ mighty name, I pray. Amen.
The next time that someone hurts your feelings, remember to release it by saying a forgiveness prayer! Share your forgiveness prayer with us below!