Have you ever struggled with forgiving someone for something that they did? Maybe someone hurt you in a way that made life difficult for you or perhaps it was something small that just eats away at you. Or you may be struggling with forgiving yourself for something that you did in your past. Regardless of what it is we can all admit that forgiveness is a difficult thing to do.
I do not consider myself an expert on this topic, but I will say that I have learned to forgive some people in my life that have done some pretty hurtful things. Some of these people have never apologized others aren’t even sorry. However, I can only control my own actions and the bible makes it very clear to forgive and forget. With that said, the following 4 points have been very helpful in my life in regards to forgiveness; I hope they help you today as well.
1. Be okay with the fact that life is not fair.
Praise God that life isn’t fair, because we wouldn’t be here if it was. We’ve all fallen short in our lives, but God forgave us before we ever sinned. As believers our reward is in Heaven, not on earth. When things happen that seem unfair in this life, be okay with it. Remember that our calling is eternity, not this temporary life.
Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth… But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven… For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. – Matthew 6:19-21
2. Leave no room for bitterness.
We are in control of our own feelings and emotions. Don’t put that in someone else’s control. Do not let your heart become bitter. Even if people never ask us for forgiveness; we still need to forgive them in our hearts. Live a personal life at a higher standard; leave no room for bitterness inside of you.
Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you. – Ephesians 4:31-32
3. Be willing to be the bigger person.
We always have to be willing to be the bigger person. No matter who is at fault, we have to be willing to be the ones to say sorry first. Even if the other person never says sorry; we still need to be okay with being the one big enough to accept that.
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
4. Give up all hope for a chance at a better past.
Never look back, we need to stop looking behind ourselves wishing things would have gone differently. Everything happens for a reason whether we ever find out why it happened or not. We need to learn to trust that God takes us through every season for a specific reason. Give up all hope for a better past, but have hope for a better future.
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. – Jeremiah 29:11