Hatred and unforgiveness are tied together. Are we to forgive those who have trespassed against us unjustly? I realize that some people are just impossible to get along with, but how do we forgive those that call themselves Christians that lie, deceive, or manipulate others?
Christians are most offended and hurt when the person doing the hurting are close, such as family and friends. Did they ask for forgiveness? Most don’t. Most won’t even admit that they did anything wrong.
However, let’s take our focus off those that offend and put our focus on what unforgiveness does to us when we hold it in our hearts. A person who is unwilling to forgive will grow bitter and that bitterness will turn into hatred. When we hold a grudge against another, it usually spews out of our mouths like venom. We tell anyone who will listen, what that person did to us. Before long people avoid the person that is always blaming others for what they go through. Everything bad that happens, that person blames the one that did them wrong, even if it was years ago.
So how do we get to a place where we forgive them when the other person doesn’t even care that they hurt you?
Forgiveness proceeds grace! Forgiveness is giving grace to the one who doesn’t deserve it. You have to receive grace in order to give it. If you have a problem with receiving forgiveness and grace from the Great Grace Giver, then you certainly will not be able to give forgiveness to others.
Matthew 10:8 – …”Freely you have received, freely you give.” Anyone who feels like they have to earn forgiveness from God, will make others “earn” forgiveness from them! But once a person realizes that they didn’t deserve to be forgiven by God, then it becomes easier to forgive others without them having to earn your forgiveness.
Forgive in the Greek means “Release.” When God forgave us, He released us from the punishment of sin. When we truly forgive someone, we release them and don’t bring it up again to them. God doesn’t keep bringing up our old sins, so why should we to others?
This will be a battle in our minds, but here is the point, “You don’t forgive people who were right!” We forgive those who have done wrong! We don’t have to forgive those who are nice and kind to us, we forgive those who have been nasty and mean and who have hurt us.
Is this easy? No. Some will chose to close relationships because the offense was too great, but if you want peace, forgive and move on.