There are times when we are hurt by someone and we need to forgive them. But forgiving someone isn't always easy. It can be an internal battle that requires diligent effort. Here are a few suggestions that can help us forgive the offense.
When we don't forgive we are the ones that suffer
First, we must understand some of the negative ways our anger is effecting us. When we churn with anger and bitterness it steals our happiness. We are focused only on negative things and our mindset is sour. It can cause us to be irritable in general. And that irritability may spill out on others. Also it can interfere with our ability to concentrate and put our thoughts together. And if you are driving, the inability to concentrate can be disastrous. Also, sustained anger can lead to depression . Understanding how an unforgiving attitude effects us is important because it strengthens our resolve to forgive.
Forgiving through dependence and diligence
Some offenses are harder to let go of than others. Go to God in weakness and ask Him to help you forgive. Then in addition to prayer add diligent effort. Forgiving can be like a wrestling match. Our opponent must have his shoulders pinned down by force. We must choose to forgive. And we must make diligent effort.
Praying for the person you need to forgive
In addition to making a choice to forgive you can also start praying for that person. Pray and ask God to bless that person today. If you know about a specific need then ask God to bless in that area. As we pray good things for that person it will start to soften our hearts. And it will make it easier for us to forgive them.
Showing kindness aids in the forgiving process
And here is something else that will help us remove the unforgiving attitude. If it is appropriate, do something good for them. Here is just one example. Let's say the person is a coworker who likes donuts. Why not bring in donuts for everyone and go out of your way to offer that person one. Also ask God to give you an opportunity to do them good. Then look for that opportunity to come and be ready to act on it. Doing good for them is a powerful tool for releasing an offense.
Also if we are God's children, then we should forgive because of how much we have been forgiven. I'll end by quoting this verse found in Matthew 6:14-15
14 "For if you forgive others for their transgressions, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.
15 "But if you do not forgive others, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions.
Scripture quotations taken from the "NASB" (www.lockman.org)
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