Wow, its day 2. If you are just joining in, catch-up on one here
Yesterday, we learned about self forgiveness which is just as important as forgiving others. Today we will be walking the path to forgiving others. For someone who loves to learn from people’s experiences, this area was one I learned from experience itself. Did it just happen over night? Not at all. It took years. I was hurt too much that it grew into bitterness and resentment and gradually, I began to sink into self inflicted depression because I won’t stop thinking about those hurt. The more I thought about them, the more real it felt.
This particular area was very difficult for me. If I was told earlier that I would lead a beautiful life forgiving people who have hurt me, I wouldn’t have waited so long to discover this myself. But again, thanks to “Master experience”, I am so glad I discovered it. So now I can share with you all so we can all lead the beautiful life God has designed for us all.
For years, I couldn’t face my offenders in my head and mind and so this was so difficult to come face to face. When I got the insight into praying for them, it was as though the whole world was against me and now even God was. I soaked my pillows with tears of anger and frustration and had every reason to blame. The thing about forgiving others is that you feel like a log was lifted off you when you do. To pray for my offenders was a difficult thing to do for me. I won’t come telling you, it’s as easy as 123. Truthfully it’s not. It’s like eating dry bread without water. You will feel the tightness in your throat when you are about to open your mouth and then the words would disappear. But you know what? You have to take the courage to go find your voice and let it out.
Oh that week I took every of my difficult offenders to God. I didn’t pray for anything else, just them, one after the other. Before this period of total brokenness, I always prayed for super powers to repay every offenders in their own coin. So imagine the hurt when I had to pray for them instead. I began finally after much complaints and trying to make God see reason with me and trying to justify my reason to be angry. But for everyday I prayed for them by name, speaking out loud as though they were in front of me; “I forgive you in Jesus name”. I gradually felt light and confident enough to face them.
I must say that forgiving someone’s offense can be very hard to do and the worst part is seeing your offender everyday and they do not feel any form of remorse. Another thing that can be extremely painful is if someone you trusted did it. There are so many instances when we can be so offended and resolve within us that such a person do not deserve our forgiveness. Yet we keep hearing, “To err in human and to forgive is divine” and you keep wondering how? As questionable as that quote is, it’s the blunt truth.
The truth I came to discover is that no one benefits from not forgiving another. In fact, all you end up doing when you don’t is, giving them a hold of your emotions and the power to control it as they will. They enter a room and your heart skips many beats meanwhile they don’t care or even notice you. The part that baffled me is that some people do not genuinely know they have offended us. These ones are quick to apologize immediately or even walk up to us to ask if they offended us.
Okay now, let’s discuss about those who are happy offending us and thrive in shaking our joy. Oh yes, I was a victim to these kind of people. It looked like whenever they saw me, it was the time to dance the Salsa with my emotions but I resolved in my heart that no one was gonna shake my joy no more. So instead of concentrating on the hurt, I began to push myself in the positive direction to become the better of me. And that I did by forgiving everyone of them. The interesting part is when they began to see me smile when they are around made them uncomfortable. My joy began to sip through and they became bothered even more. I took back the hold of my emotions from them and had the power to use it as I will. Oh yes!
The scope of forgiving others is too broad and cannot be shared in one day. So I’ll round up by giving you difficult practical but doable steps to walking this path. Note that it wasn’t just like a snap of finger, it was with God’s help, it was gradual and I took every step with great determination not to return to where I was coming from and I got to my new state.
Steps to learning to forgive people
- Begin by believing that there is a good in everyone.
- Begin to see that good in them.
- There is an admirable quality in them, find it. (Even if it’s one)
- Let the good in them outweigh your judgement of their bad.
- Now imagine them as that inlaw you have to live with for peace to reign.
- Also ask yourself what if your spouse or someone you love so much did same to you.
- Okay now, to the question above, you would say, “I will go to God”. Fine. Now go to God about that person too.
- Tell Him how you feel around this person and what you wish them. (Trust me I had wishes too. Not great ones)
- Tell Him how you want to feel around this person from now on.
- Tell Him what you cannot tell any man about that person.
- Lastly tell Him to help you forgive before you are hurt.
The last point is a part of the prayer I make every day as an individual and with my family. The Bible says in Matthew 6:34b (AMP) “…Each day has enough trouble of it’s own.” One of it is people hurting us. Another one is in the Lord’s Prayer in Matthew 6:13a (AMP) “And do not lead us into temptation but deliver us from all evil…” People will test our forgiveness by hurting us.
Finally, just like we find peace when Christ forgives us, we also find peace when we forgive others. See you tomorrow as we conclude these series. Until then, Keep forgiving and stay beautiful.
“For if you forgive others their trespasses [their reckless and willful sins], your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others [nurturing your hurt and anger with the result that it interferes with your relationship with God], then your Father will not forgive your trespasses.” – Matthew 6:14-15 (AMP)
“We win by tenderness. We conquer by forgiveness.” – Frederick W. Robertson
“I can forgive, but I cannot forget, is only another way of saying, I will not forgive. Forgiveness ought to be like a cancelled note – torn in two, and burned up, so that it never can be shown against one.” – Henry Ward Beecher
“Forgiveness is the economy of the heart. Forgiveness saves the expense of anger, the cost of hatred, the waste of spirits.” – Hannah More
“To be a Christian means to forgive the inexcusable, because God has forgiven the inexcusable in you.” – C. S. Lewis
God bless you.
Part 2 – Forgiveness series.