I know we're supposed to forgive those who've hurt us, but sometimes it's really hard. Right now, I'm going through a very painful divorce, and I don't see how God expects me to have a forgiving spirit. Why bother anyway?
Have you ever asked yourself what it’s costing you to keep carrying this burden of an unforgiving spirit? Think of the bitterness, anger, jealousy and hatred that are eating away at your soul because of your inability to forgive.
In other words, one reason God wants us to forgive others is because of what an unforgiving spirit does to us (and to those around us). It hurts us emotionally and spiritually, and keeps us from becoming the people God wants us to be. It also cuts us off from God, and keeps us from experiencing His peace and joy in our lives. The Bible’s command is clear: “Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger… forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you” (Ephesians 4:31-32).
How is it possible to forgive someone who has hurt us (and may not even want our forgiveness)? The first step is to turn to God for the forgiveness we need for our sins. We have offended God far more than anyone has ever offended us – and yet He still loves us and sent His Son to die for us. Turn to Christ in repentance and faith, and ask Him to come into your life and forgive you today – and He will.
Then ask Him to take away your bitterness, and help you forgive others the same way He has forgiven you – freely and fully. It won’t necessarily be easy – but with God’s help it’s possible, as you begin to see them through the eyes of Christ.