by Jim Kilgore
There he is. “He makes me sick,” he thought to himself. I never want to see or speak to that man again!
Is there someone in your life that “gets under your skin?” Does the mere mention of their name produce a stabbing pain in your stomach? Has this person hurt you beyond what you believe is your ability to forgive? If so, this discussion is for. I write to “Add Value” to my readers and I want to reassure you, that you can be released from the resentment which currently exists in your heart.
Biblical Forgiveness Is The Only Successful Method For Handling Unrighteous Anger
Unless we are willing to release the people who have wronged us, bitterness and resentment will take up residence in our lives. Through the act of forgiveness, we can learn to let go of anger and find the freedom God desires for each of His children to possess.
Understandably, it is not easy to forgive the one whose arrow has pierced your heart. Yet when Christians refuses to deal Biblically with the hurt, the hurt becomes a weapon against us. It dramatically affects us in ways we may not yet understand.
It affects your relationship with the one who has hurt you; it will most definitely affect your personal relationship with Jesus Christ; and it will have a definite impact on yourself. There is no winner when Christians choose not to handle the hurt Biblically.
How Are We To Treat People That Have Hurt Us?
1. We are to practice Biblical forbearance. Ephesians 4:2: “With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love.”
What does forbearance really mean? Forbearance is “lovingly putting up with the faults of another.” It is a gentle spirit. It means that I do not feel the need to challenge another’s actions or even motives as it relates to me. It is allowing, “love to cover a multitude of sins” as commanded in I Peter 4:8.
We must learn to allow our Family and Friends to have an occasional bad day without confronting every situation. We often, without realizing it, “Place our loved ones on Trial every day.” We sub-consciously force them to achieve a 100% in order to get an A on the test. This is an unrealistic standard. Only Jesus Christ is perfect.
Colossians 3:13 “Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.”
2. We are to live out the four commands Jesus taught in His “Sermon on the Mount“. Jesus was speaking about the actions a Christian must take when dealing with those who have been hurt. Matthew 5:44: ” But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you.”
We are to demonstrate Biblical love to those that have hurt us. You must decide the specific ways in which you can demonstrate the sacrificial love which our Lord continually demonstrated to those who hurt Him.
We are to bless those hurters of our souls. The word bless carries the idea of “speaking well of another.” Yes, this is what Jesus is telling us to do. What? Are you serious? Are you kidding me”, you may be wondering. I said God’s way WILL work; I did not say that God’s way would be easy. They may be critical of you; perhaps they shared gossip about you; they may be attempting to ruin you. Yet Jesus said that we are to exchange hatred for love; criticism for compliments. Isaiah was 100% correct when he said: “God’s thoughts are not our thoughts and His ways are not our ways, (Isaiah 55:8).
After speaking well of our critic, we are now to do well unto them. We are told to do something tangible to help the very one that is trying to destroy you! Yes, this is what Jesus taught and expects from us. Romans 5:8 reminds me how Jesus practiced this principle to me. “But God commendeth (proved, demonstrated) His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” He did the same for you as well. We who are the recipients of God’s love, grace, and mercy, how can we do anything but follow the example and extend it to others?
We are now required to pray for our offender. I know what you are thinking right now. I will pray for God to dealing harshly with them. I have thought those thoughts myself. How did Jesus pray for His persecutors? Luke reveals this to us as Jesus is hanging on the cross: “Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do…” (Luke 23:34).
A Christian cannot expect our Father to forgive us while holding an unforgiving spirit. Matthew 6:14: “For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your Heavenly Father will also forgive you.”
A FORGIVEN PEOPLE IS TO BE A FORGIVING PEOPLE
To whom will you practice this lesson with starting today?
by Jim Kilgore