“I don’t want to.”
“I just can’t do it.”
“They don’t deserve it.”
“They haven’t apologized.”
“You don’t know how bad they’ve hurt me.”
I heard all of these excuses, and I’ve used them all myself. Forgiving people is one of the hardest and most important things we can do. It honors God, it highlights the forgiveness we’ve been granted, and it is healing to our own soul. I heard someone say recently that refusing to forgive someone is like drinking rat poison and expecting the rat to die: It just doesn’t work.
So, if you are like me and have a hard time forgiving, here are a few suggestions for you.
Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. – Colossians 3:13
First: Believe. Immerse yourself of the reality of how much you’ve been forgiven. Ask God to bring to your mind the beautiful forgiveness He’s granted you. When we truly appreciate the forgiveness we’ve been granted, it is easier for us to forgive others.
Second: Confess. Share your struggle to forgive with a close friend. Tell them the whole story, and ask them to pray for you, encourage you, and hold you accountable.
Third: Pray. Pray for the person you need to forgive. Pray earnestly and honestly for them. Pray for blessing and healing in their life. Pray that they would know God more and more and more. This will be hard, but it will change your heart toward them, slowly but surely.