You know, I think I speak for everyone when I say that most of the time we want to hang on to those things that hurt us in the past just so we can feel sorry for ourselves. I know that some things legitimately will mess with our minds and our hearts for an extended period of time, however there comes a point where we have to consciously decide to move forward and not be “broken” or “hurt” anymore. So really, if throwing a pity party is not the reason, why hang on to the emotions of anger or resentment? They aren’t fixing anything or helping. They’re only causing turmoil.
When things happen and you get your feelings hurt, it’s wisest to forgive. Honestly, whether the other person cares or not, forgive them. It will help you tremendously. This can go for circumstances too. Let’s face it: certain situations out of our control can hurt us because it’s not going the way we’d like… like losing our job, or worse, losing a loved one or a friend. It’s easy to want to place blame and to hold on to the hurt, but I encourage you to let go of the grief and move forward, using your faith and relationship with God to pull you through.
It’s when someone does something to make you feel inferior that’s the real test. It’s easy to want to seek revenge; to want to make them hurt too. Things we go through daily: perhaps a boss ridicules you, a coworker is catty, or maybe one of your closest friends has betrayed you. Maybe it was even a family member. It’s easy to wallow in these past events and worry about the future. But God advises us against these things. What benefit does that even serve? Furthermore, you are to love others as you would love yourself. I don’t think you’d wish hurt or pain on yourself, would you?
Think of things this way: since we choose to believe people are inherently good, perhaps your boss is going through some tough things at home. Maybe his wife wants to leave him. What if he’s about to lose his Mom? We can try to separate work from our personal lives, but at times it’s hard to keep those emotions at home from coming to work. And your coworker, what if they’re suffering internally because they never feel like they’re good enough? They have never been praised or told how great they really are, so they are quick to point out your mistakes? And lastly, your friends and family. You have to believe that these people are probably struggling within themselves, trying to get through the guilt of hurting or disappointing you in the first place, because they love you. There’s no need to hold a grudge or make them feel even worse then they surely already do. Forgiving those you love and care for is the most gracious act of love you could give them.
We need to forgive others because we have things of our own that need to be forgiven. The number one thing God wants us to do? Love the Lord with all of our heart, all of our mind and all of our soul, and love others as we would love ourselves. That is the most important of all. And it’s going to take some mercy and some grace, but you’ll be a better person for it. Love others, regardless of the circumstance, the place, the time. Because God loves us that way and we as human beings seem to make plenty of mistakes and create a lot of hurt. I think it would be hilarious to be in God’s shoes, watching all of his children down here on Earth. We wouldn’t dare forgive at times (some things petty, some heartbreaking), but He forgave those who nailed His only son to a cross.
Remember the Amish community that was torn a part that day when a shooter intruded into a schoolhouse and shot 10 young girls? Let me take that back — their community was not torn a part. They were brought together. They leaned on each other for love and on their faith for strength, and even in this terrible, awful scenario, they had the grace to forgive the shooter’s family. They let them know that there was no hard feelings and that their community was praying for their family. These people lost children, yet they made the effort to put their own needs aside to make sure the shooter’s family was shown love and respect. That is literally awe-some.
And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins. Mark 11:25
Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. Colossians 3:12-14