“Learn to Forgive Chapter”
Forgiving someone that caused you pain is one of the most difficult things to do. Many of us have been wounded, mishandled, and touched inappropriately by the hands of someone we loved and trusted. People may have spread lies about you or treated you unfairly. Maybe you were abandoned or physically and emotionally abused. The list of injustices is endless. You’re entitled to feel angry and resentful about the things that have been done to you. Forgiveness is a process that does not take place overnight, but it’s imperative that you are willing to forgive because unforgiveness will hinder answered prayer.
Forgiveness is to stop feeling resentment toward someone or to pardon an offense or an offender. Jesus said, “If you forgive those who sin against you, your Heavenly Father will forgive you. But if you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins” (Matthew 6:14-15). Think about the severity in what Jesus said. God will not forgive your sins if you refuse to forgive people that hurt you. That’s a frightening thought.
You might be thinking, “It’s not difficult for the Great and Powerful God to forgive.” I get it, but no pain that someone has caused you could ever compare to the tremendous sins we commit against God every day. No matter how many times you ask God to forgive you, if your heart is truly sorry, He will. Don’t let unforgiveness cause God to turn a deaf ear to your prayers. If you are a child of God, refusing to forgive is not an option for you.
Pray For Your Enemies
“But to you who are willing to listen, I say, love your enemies! Do good to those who hate you. Bless those who curse you. Pray for those who hurt you” (Luke 6:27-28). Jesus commands us to love our enemies and pray for those who mistreat us. You’re probably saying, “Really Jesus?”
This command is very challenging because praying for our enemies does not come naturally. We want to defend ourselves when people do us wrong, and we want to put people in their place when they’ve hurt us. It’s okay to defend yourself and confront people on issues, but it must be done in a loving way.
It’s unfair that people can be so cruel and evil and seem to get away with it. Yet, as a child of God, you are commanded to forgive, love, and pray for those who deserve to be punished. Revenge and punishment is reserved for God to administer. When Jesus hung on the cross suffering for you and me, He asked God to forgive those who played a part in putting Him there. What a powerful example of forgiveness and praying for your enemies.
Jesus is God, but He was also human. He understands everything you go through and he’s experienced every feeling you’ve ever felt. Every command He’s given us, He Himself obeyed when He was on the Earth. You may not have arrived in the area of forgiveness, but you must be willing to get there.
Excerpted from Confessions of a Praying Woman by Tytenisha L. Osgood. Copyright © 2014 by Tytenisha Osgood. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.