Many people ruin their body and their lives by taking the poison of bitterness, resentment and un-forgiveness. The Truth is Forgiveness is not for the other person’s benefits, it is for your own good and for your own benefits.
Let’s see the material benefits first, because it is something we can see and touch:
Luk 6:35 But love your enemies, do good, and lend, hoping for nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High. For He is kind to the unthankful and evil.
The Bible also says that love covers a multitude of sins. Do you know what that means? It means that Love will even have you making excuses for your enemies. Someone might come up to us and say, “Well, I heard what so-and-so did to you.” And you may even smile and speak good of that person instead of evil. When we really decide to forgive someone and pray the prayer that blesses our enemies, making the decision that we will not talk bad about them, but instead, cover their fault and their mess, we’d demonstrate that we are the child of the most high. We become the amazing light and salt, and God will reward us.
Now, I believe choosing forgiveness is one of the most difficult things God asks us to do, especially if we believe that whoever hurt us is in the wrong and doesn’t deserve to be forgiven. But God instructs us to practice forgiveness because God knows what good for us and what not good for us, He created us, He knows us even before we were born. So, when He said something in the Bible, it must be good for us. And when we choose to follow the path of forgiveness, the immediate experience we will have is the peace and joy that come through following God’s Word. Then, God will handle in His own hand and His own way on the one whom we have released from our vengeance. (Rom 12:19 Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, “VENGEANCE IS MINE, I WILL REPAY,” says the Lord.).
I’m also helping the other person by releasing them so God can do what only He can do transformation of the heart of the person. If I’m in the way—trying to get revenge or take care of the situation myself instead of trusting and obeying God—He has no obligation to deal with that person. However, God will deal with those who hurt us if we’ll put them in His hands through forgiveness. (Roman 12:19): The act of forgiving is our seed of obedience to His Word. Once we’ve sown our seed, He is faithful to bring a harvest of blessing to us one way or another.
Matthew 18:23-35 tells us that if we do not forgive people, we get turned over to the torturers. If you have a problem in this area or have ever had one, I’m sure you bear witness with what I’m saying. It’s a torture to have hateful thoughts toward another person rolling around inside your head.
Many years ago, when I was a young Christian, someone I trusted betrayed my trust. I got so mad and just wanted to inflict terrible pains unto him and I swore that he would never again have my love and respect. I kept the hatred in my heart for many wasted years, for it made me an unhappy person, sometimes unable to sleep, at times hitting the walls, cursing and swearing at the wall. Then, one day, I met that person again, and he seemed to be so cheerful and happy to meet me, he had forgotten the past, and yet I was hanging on to it and making my own life miserable. Un-Forgiveness is like drinking a poison and hoping the other person will die. Funny right?, but it is what a person does when he hangs on to un-forgiveness.
Needless to say, I resisted at first. But eventually I relented and bought him a gift, and told him whatever the Holy Spirit wanted me to say that “I was foolish to have kept grudges for so long,….. I am sorry”. And, the next moment I witnessed was he just standing there stunned, shocked, and asked me for forgiveness for what he had done to me…he said he did not even remember it that long ago!. I think most of the time people don’t even realize what they are doing. The man who hurt my feeling badly, actually had no idea what stupid things he was doing and the position that he was putting himself in. Because, he was probably driven by his own personal hurt himself. Who are you helping most when you forgive the person who hurt you? Actually, you’re helping yourself more than the other person.
Another way that forgiveness helps: is that it releases God to do His work in me. I’m happier and feel better physically when I’m not filled with the poison of unforgiveness. Serious diseases can develop as a result of the stress and pressure that bitterness, resentment and unforgiveness put on a person.
FORGIVENESS is not being a doormat for someone,
It is not saying what happened was okay,
It is not saying what happened did not hurt you,
It is not saying what happened did not devastate you,
It is not saying what happened did not destroy your life;
But it is simply saying: You have given up the right to punish that person,
That you do not play the role of God, Let God be God, Let God takes care,
What matters most, is that God had already forgiven you from ALL your sins. What is there stopping you to forgive others? Eph 4:32 Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.
What I remember most about the situation is that as soon as I started taking action to do something good for them, it just got so funny to me. I felt the strange joy and peace suddenly in me, and I was laughing out loud in my house, all by myself. Listen: When we can look at people who’ve hurt us with compassion and pray what Jesus prayed “…Father, forgive them for they know not what they do,” there’s a party that goes on inside of us. Because The Holy Spirit is rejoicing, leaping with joy, God is pleased, and we become one more step higher to be like Jesus.
If you have been hurt today, and forgiveness seems so hard, then you can pray something like this:
“Lord, I still don’t get that, but I’m willing to do it in obedience and Lord, I don’t know that I really want them to be happy, but I’ll pray in faith anyway, because You’re telling me to bless them with Your presence.”