I imagine you’re here because someone has caused you pain and tired of feeling this way. It’s hard to forgive someone who hurt you.
Sometimes I think it’s easier to hold onto a grudge than to walk through forgiveness.
Even though we’re in pain, we somehow get comfy in it — making it incredibly hard to forgive the person who hurt us.
But as with everything in our life, if we want to stop the crippling pain we’re in, we have to walk through it.
And today, I’m going to help you do just that!
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Why should I forgive someone who hurt me?
Today I decided to forgive you. Not because you apologized, or because you acknowledged the pain that you caused me, but because my soul needs peace.Najwa Zebian
Ahhh, that’s the big question.
I mean they don’t deserve it, do they?
Shouldn’t they have to hurt as much as they hurt us? Shouldn’t God do something about them?
Well my friend, He is!
In it, we see a father standing in the woods with God; consumed with anger after losing a child at the hands of a murderer.
The pain is paralyzing, and he has know idea how to move on. (I mean, come on! Who would?)
As he sits in the wilderness with God, angry and as mad as any one person can be, he says to God, “He killed my daughter. I want him to hurt like he hurt me. I want you to hurt him.“
And the man portraying God says,
“But he, too, is my son and I want to redeem him!”
And when the father of this girl hears this, he says, “Redeem him? I want him to burn in hell!”
To which God replies,
“So we’re back to you as the judge? You’re not stuck because you can’t. You’re stuck because you won’t.”
Talk about a life-changing scene!
How many times have you thought, I want them to hurt the way they hurt me? How often have you wished they’d burn in hell?
Yeah, I know. I’ve been there too. And It. Is. Hard!
God wants to redeem the person who hurt you and when you stay focused on your ultimate calling — to make God known and bring Him glory — then it completely changes how you walk in forgiveness!
What forgiveness isn’t
When it comes to you and what God wants for your life, forgiveness is no longer about the other person.
It’s about changing your heart.
It’s about healing and allowing God’s light to shine through you.
Is it easy? Nope!
But when you lean into God for healing, the journey will be something far more freeing than you could ever imagine.
Another beautiful reminder that we can learn from The Shack is that God isn’t asking us to excuse their behavior. He’s asking us to let Him take care of them.
In other words, it’s not our job to change that person. It’s God’s.
This is where we have to refocus our thoughts to our own hearts and say, “Change me, Lord.”
How to forgive someone who hurt you
So, how do you go about this? How do you lean into God when all you want is to run around in circles, screaming and hollering, this isn’t fair?
You build a relationship with God through prayer.
Now don’t leave me just yet!
I’m not casually throwing another trite Christian response at you. I’m saying this because I’ve lived it time and time again. I’ve seen the power of healing when you bring God into a situation.
If you want to forgive and heal from this past hurt and pain, you have to lean into God through prayer.
“(6) Don’t be pulled in different directions or worried about a thing. Be saturated in prayer throughout each day, offering your faith-filled requests before God with overflowing gratitude. Tell him every detail of your life, (7) then God’s wonderful peace that transcends human understanding, will guard your heart and mind through Jesus Christ.” Philippians 4:6-7 TPT
Did you catch that?
Saturate yourself in prayer. Ask God to help you through. In other words, communicate with Him all day long.
Pray, pray, pray and pray. When you’re done, pray some more.
Letting Go of Past Hurt
The Shack teaches another valuable lesson when God says to this father, “You’re not stuck because you can’t. You’re stuck because you won’t. You don’t have to do this alone. I’m here with you.”
You see, even though God wants to redeem the person who hurt you, He’s also with you, ready to comfort, heal and restore.
All you have to do is ask!
“Lord, I’m hurting. I’m angry, and I don’t even want to forgive this person. But I want to heal and walk in a way that’s honoring to you. Help me to see this situation through your eyes. Help me see them through your eyes. I know you are a God who comforts and restores, so today, Lord, I’m choosing to forgive, even though my heart doesn’t feel it yet. I’m choosing to trust in your healing. Change me, Lord. In your Son’s name I pray.”
be honest through forgiveness
So today I challenge you to choose forgiveness. Choose to go to God and find freedom in His healing.
Don’t sugar coat your feelings. Let Him know how hard this is for you, and then keep choosing forgiveness until your heart catches up with your faith!
Hold on tight, because walking in forgiveness is truly one of the most freeing things you’ll ever go through!
I know it’s hard to pray when you’re stuck in the pain of past hurts, so I put together a free printable of Prayers to Help You Forgive. You can grab them from the FOI Community Library.
It’s time to start healing, my friend. It’s time to begin that journey to forgiveness, so you can start enjoying this life God created!
I’d love to stand beside you in prayer as you walk through forgiveness. Contact me and let me know how I can pray for you!
Until next time, my friend…
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Learning how to put our complete trust in God isn’t easy. We say we trust God, but what we really mean is that we trust Him for what we want, when we want it. At Footprints of Inspiration we uncover who you are and why you were created; how to walk in healing through forgiveness; and how to go before the Lord with confidence. Through this journey, you’ll discover that it truly is possible to experience peace, even in the hardest times in your life.
Tammy Rotzoll is the founder and owner of Footprints of Inspiration and podcast host at A Faithful God Podcast (which can be found on your favorite podcast player). She lives in Virginia with her husband and together they’re learning how to navigate their fun, new adventure as empty nesters.
Join Tammy and the FOI community and discover the freedom that comes from saying, “Heck yeah, God! I’m all in!”