You’re having a tough time forgiving the people around you. You need to use these 3 ways to stop unforgiveness from killing you right now by forgiving the one who hurt you. But it is probably the most difficult choice you can make in your journey with Christ. You want to forgive, but you just don’t know what to do about the pain you feel. It’s possible you believe five unbelievable forgiveness myths which keep you frozen from taking the first step.
In the world in which you live, people hurt you every day. When I realized it, I figured out how many days I had lived and was shocked to see I had racked up at least 18,992 injuries! Now, some harm is slight, like bad drivers cutting me off. However, some injuries are enormous like abuse, especially from the ones we love.In the world in which you live, people hurt you every day. I racked up 18,992 hurts! Click To Tweet
Old wounds mean forgiveness is long overdue but the pain buried so deep you can’t even see how unforgiveness is destroying you. It’s time to come out of denial. Check out the symptoms of unforgiveness to begin your journey to freedom.
Before breaking free from the power of unforgiveness, you must want to do it. Freedom from the symptoms of unforgiveness comes once you choose to forgive. If you believe you gave her forgiveness, but still see warning signs of unforgiveness, check out the steps below to rid yourself the symptoms. But most of all, ask God to give you the strength, power, and grace to follow through.
1. Pulling Out the Root of Unforgiveness
It’s time for you to do some weeding. Bitterness looks like a small weed from the top, but the roots grow long, fast, and secure. They often intertwine with the deep-seeded feeling of revenge.
Here’s what the Bible says about revenge:
“I will take revenge; I will pay them back. In due time their feet will slip. Their day of disaster will arrive, and their destiny will overtake them. (Deuteronomy 32:35)”
“Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against a fellow Israelite, but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the Lord. (Leviticus 19:18)”
“Dear friends, never take revenge. Leave that to the righteous anger of God. For the Scriptures say, ‘I will take revenge; I will pay them back,’ says the Lord. (Romans 12:19)”
Pulling out the root of bitterness starts with trusting. Believe what the Word says about God’s control of the revenge. Meditate on the scriptures to move your head-knowledge to heart-knowledge. If you struggle with trust, ask for more faith from the Holy Spirit. Even as a believer you need help! A father in Mark 9:24 said, “I do believe, but help me overcome my unbelief!”
2. Tear Down the Wall of Unforgiveness
My wall of resentment was a tower of bricks encasing my emotions. It went as high as the sun, and I couldn’t get out. Each block was a nasty word said to me, or physical assault, or sexual abuse perpetrated against me. There were too many bricks!
Many years ago, I began the process of destroying each brick. At first, it seemed impossible for me to overcome. However, through prayer, and knowledge of the miraculous power in the name of Jesus, I called on him over and over. I virtually smashed a brick here and thereby offering forgiveness to people who hurt me. Soon I scaled the wall through my ability in Christ. Second Samuel 22:30 says, “In your strength I can crush an army; with my God, I can scale any wall.” Once out of the prison of pain and unforgiveness, resentment fell away, and forgiveness became easier – not easy…just easier.
(Tweet) With your God, you can “scale any wall.” (2 Samuel 22:30)
Are you trapped by a virtual wall of hurts? Eventually, the barricade needs to be torn down by forgiving the ones who made the wounds. Bricks break by offering forgiveness through the power of God’s strength. Then you gain the spiritual muscle to scale the wall of resentment and be free through the ability Christ gave you. With your God, you can “scale any wall.”
3. Break Ground of Unforgiveness
“I said, ‘Plant the good seeds of righteousness, and you will harvest a crop of love. Plow up the hard ground of your hearts, for now is the time to seek the Lord, that he may come and shower righteousness upon you.’ (Hosea 10:12)”
Breaking the ground of a hardened heart is not as simple as going into your garage, getting a garden tool and cracking up the earth. Apparently, your heart toughened over hurts and pains through the years. However, softening your heart is a choice. (Hardening is too, but that’s another blog.) It is so much easier to choose to forgive than to go through the valley of humility where God leads when you don’t forgive.
Choosing forgiveness requires action. Remember, feelings follow actions. In a situation with your spouse, for instance, if you decide to be humble and treat her kindly — even if you don’t “feel” like she deserves it — your feelings toward her do change over time. It’s a natural progression. Before too long, forgiveness and restored feelings replace your hard heart.
Choose to be a farmer; plant the seed of action which reaps a harvest of soft feelings of forgiveness.Choose to be a farmer; plant the seed of action reaping a harvest of forgiveness. Click To Tweet
I’m not making light of any injury you incurred. However, I know, silently, your unforgiveness is killing you. Bitterness, resentment and a hardened heart are all reactions to your choice not to forgive (or not to forgive completely.)
Jesus’ people murdered him, but the last words he spoke before he died were so sweet, “Father, forgive them for they don’t know what they are doing” (Luke 23:34).
Reach out to Jesus, the Author and Finisher – the Beginning and End – of your faith. He’ll walk you through the forgiveness process.