How easy is it to say you forgive someone? How easy is it to pray for those who hurt you? I know first hand just how difficult it can be to forgive. It seems counterproductive that you, the person hurting, should have to extend prayers and forgiveness to those who hurt you, especially those who never even ask nor admit to causing you the pain.
Why does the victim of bullying have to pray for the bully? Why does the abused, battered woman have to pray for her abuser? Why does the person being gossiped about have to pray for the gossiper? Why does the abandoned child have to pray for their parents? It just doesn’t seem fair to have to pray for your enemies.
Jesus teaches us that this is the way of an everlasting life with Him. In order for us to have the glorious life that awaits us in His Kingdom, we must do things that seem uncomfortable and unnatural to us. We must do things counterproductively now in order to produce everlasting productivity. We must forgive!
Think about it like this: what if you died today and walked up to The GPP (God’s Private Party) Lounge asking for your sins to be forgiven and to be let into the VIP Event and he simply says, “No!” or “Step Aside, Maybe Later.” How would that make you feel? Later could be years, months, or all of eternity because it has no date. Whereas not being let in at all is much worse. If you’re not accepted into the GPP (God’s Private Party), then that only leaves one other place for you to go – Hell’s Kitchen! I don’t know about you but I’d rather be at the VIP event of eternity having a good ole’ time than there!
Forgiveness isn’t just about helping you get into heaven either. It’s a way to help you start healing. While you may not want to forgive others, try forgiving yourself for allowing them to hurt you. We may not always want to see the traps set by people; however, a lot of times, the signs are right in front of us. We just choose to ignore them.
How many times have you been driving down a road and seen the stop lights turning from green to red? Even though you clearly see the yellow light cautioning you to stop and go no further, you hightail the speed limit in order to pass through the light. Same principle goes in life. There are signs of caution telling us to go no further, yet we ignore that information instead opting to do what we want to do.
Say this prayer with me:: Lord, I come to you knowing that I am not perfect. I do not always do the right thing, make the right decisions or best judgements in people. As a result, I’ve been hurt. Yet, no matter how hard I may try not to, I admit there may be times when I’ve hurt someone because people have hurt me. Please forgive me for not turning to you instead in prayer. I ask that you keep me guided on the right path by helping me to fully forgive those who have wronged me. May I learn to love them in spite of their transgressions just as you love me in spite of my own. In Jesus name I pray, Amen.
Sincerely with love,