Many of us have a hard time dealing with forgiveness. I feel forgiveness is one thing many of us struggle with. I know I do. It is hard to forgive when someone has hurt or harmed us. Especially, when someone has killed a loved one, lied or taken advantage of us. A lot of times we expect the best of people and are disappointed when we see the worst in people. I know I try to always treat people the same way I want to be treated. Unfortunately, a lot of people do not treat others this way.
I feel one reason we struggle with forgiveness is because we really do not understand what it is. What is forgiveness? The dictionary says forgiveness is to stop feeling angry or resentful towards (someone) for an offence, flaw, or mistake. Forgiveness requires us to stop being angry and upset. It sounds easy, but it is not. It is not easy because it does not feel good when someone hurts us. However, God’s word says in Ephesians 4:26, “Be Angry, and yet do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger.” We should not go to bed angry, without making peace with ourselves and with God. We should not let our anger consume us and cause us to sin because we cannot forgive. Forgiveness requires us to let go of our anger and resentfulness.
We make peace with ourselves by asking God to get rid of the hurt and pain. By asking God to forgive us for the part we played in what happened. I feel we must make peace with ourselves first, because many times we have the hardest time forgiving ourselves. I do not know about you, but I have a hard time forgiving myself anytime I have been hurt by other people. It is not a good feeling. I tend to beat up on myself. Then I ask myself how could I have been so stupid? How did I let this happen? Why did I not see this was going to happen?
Most of the time we can forgive others quicker than we can forgive ourselves. I struggle with this all the time. I can forgive other people faster than I can forgive myself. I had an eye-opening experience this past week. I read a devotional that said when you have a hard time forgiving yourself and feel that you must be perfect you are operating in pride. I never knew expecting to always to the right thing in every situation I encounter was being prideful. You see I felt that I should never make a mistake and would stress myself out because I had. Sometimes we tend to put ourselves on a pedestal of perfection that we cannot maintain. We are not always going to do or say the right thing. We do not have a crystal ball that will tell us that a person is going to hurt us. God told us in his word that sometimes we will experience some pain. If we give him our hurt and pain, he will help us get through it.
God sent his only begotten son Jesus Christ to die on the cross because he knew we were going to make some mistakes. He knew we would not always get it right. After finding out my prideful ways all I could do is fall on my knees, cry out to the Lord and ask him to forgive me.
Forgiving ourselves requires us to accept who we are and our flaws. We all are works in progress. If you have made a mistake and believed someone who hurt you, forgive yourself. Learn from the situation, give your hurt and pain to God. Keep moving and striving to be all God wants you to be. Let go of the anger, hurt, pain and pride. Allow God to come in and cleanse your mind and spirit. Let go and let God.