Why Forgiving Someone Actually Helps YOU
Written by Christi Given | July 18, 2018
Project Inspired started a group specifically for the Girl Talk questions, which typically come from the Girl Talk chat wall on Facebook. Click here to safely join our chat group.
This week I want to address how to forgive someone and why it’s beneficial to you.
On the Girl Talk forum, there are many questions about betrayal, pain and hurt. Many ask, “How can I forgive this guy [or this friend] who hurt me, and why should I?”
Let me explain something to you: Forgiveness isn’t so much about the person you are forgiving, although it can help them in their healing, too. Forgiveness frees YOU from bitterness and anger.
Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. (Ephesians 4:31-32)
We must realize that God is our source, our hope, our joy and our treasure. If we try to run to any other source or if someone hurts us, then we tend to crumble and our world falls apart. We shouldn’t hold grudges as Christians or be unable to get over how someone has treated us. Yes, pain is justifiable and suffering seems so unfair, but Jesus bore our sins and suffered for our mistakes. We have been forgiven, so the Bible commands us to forgive.
Forgiveness is so serious that actually the Bible says if we do not forgive others, Jesus cannot forgive us. We just repent, ask God for help and must realize the damage of unforgiveness. JESUS asks us to forgive 7 times 70! Wow, that is a lot of times, don’t you agree? Well, the Bible says if the person repents or stops, then you can forgive them. We don’t want to be taken advantage of by any means, but to repent means to change directions. We need sincere repentance for sincere forgiveness.
For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins. (Matthew 16:14-15)
Forgiveness and Health
The effects of unforgiveness are so damaging that they actually can affect your health. God tells us that bitterness and envy can rot the bones. We know that hope deferred makes the heart sick. We must acknowledge that our attitudes of the heart can make us free, or can keep us in bondage. We must pay attention to our emotions and how we treat people, and also examine if we can be merciful and forgiving ourselves.
So watch yourselves. If your brother or sister sins against you, rebuke them; and if they repent, forgive them. Even if they sin against you seven times in a day and seven times come back to you saying “I repent,” you must forgive them. (Luke 17:3-4)
You Are Forgiven, So Forgive
If you find yourself asking God for forgiveness, but you rarely forgive your roommate or your sibling, you may want to go to the throne room of God and do some soul searching. If you have anyone on your mind who has hurt you or betrayed you, ask Jesus to release you from the bondage of bitterness, anger, wrath, malice and unforgiveness. We all need to examine our motives, our hearts, and to test if we are in the faith.
What is faith? Faith is the assurance, the confidence that Jesus will be faithful (Hebrews 11). God will come through for us; we know that He always works things for our good, so why do we doubt? Why do we hold man on a pedestal?
Pedestal can mean 1) “…the base or support on which a statue, obelisk or column is mounted”; 2) “a position in which someone is greatly or uncritically admired.”
When we put someone on the throne of our hearts, or we do not hold onto things loosely and temporarily on earth, things are broken down here and we cannot expect them to be everlasting. Only God’s Word and what we do for Christ will last. We must go to Yeshua for our hope and joy, and through the overflow we can freely give and forgive.
We will be happy and healthy because the way that people treat us will not determine our joy or peace. We must give our heart and mind to God, and remember that He holds the whole world in His hands and that He sent Jesus to die for the whole world. He wants no one to perish, and if we want to be Christlike, we must follow the ways of Jesus. We must act like little Christs if we say we follow him, amen?
We must yield to the Holy Spirit and be gracious even when our enemies, family or friends forget us or mock us. The Bible says that we are to “turn the other cheek.” Do you find yourself giving “an eye for an eye,” or are you forgiving and do you let it go? Do you love your enemies? Do you give your cloak even to those who annoy you? We must check our hearts and love like Jesus, amen?
PI Girls, I recommend journaling and asking God to clean your heart of anyone you need to forgive. Know that Jesus forgave you for all of your sins on the cross; you just need to run to Him in prayer and in His Word, the Bible. May God bless you!
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