Forgiving Those Who Hurt You

Pastors and/or counselors often use this phrase, "Hurting people hurt people" and it's very true. Beneath the hurt and deep below the pain is the root issue which hinders us from forgiving others. It's call FEAR.
When we take risks to climb out on limbs and then someone cuts the limb off behind us, we become less inclined to crawl back out there. Why? Because of fear. When someone hurts us we harbor unforgiveness out of fear it will happen again. We have been trained by society to build our relationships on the foundation of trust. Well duh, Pastor Paul, what other foundation is there? We need to look at the choices of a character in the Bible named Jesus to learn the answer to this question. And the answer is..... LOVE.

"There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love."  1 John 4:18

Jesus, knowing that the disciples would all eventually prove themselves untrustworthy, gave Himself fully to them. He loved them with agape (unconditional) love. Peter denied Jesus three times = untrustworthy. Thomas doubted who Jesus really was = untrustworthy. Judas betrayed Jesus for thirty pieces of silver = untrustworthy. Mark 14:50 recounts what happened in the garden immediately following the arrest of Jesus; "Then EVERYONE deserted Him and fled" = untrustworthy. By the way, Jesus knew they were untrustworthy before He called them to follow Him.

Obviously, Jesus did not build His relationships on trust. He built them on love. And we are to do the same. Love forgives. And that drives our spiritual enemies nuts! The enemy comes to steal, kill and destroy but forgiveness wipes out all of the enemy's objectives. 

Steps To Forgiveness

  • Ask the LORD to help you to forgive others the way He forgave you of EVERY sin.
  • Identify specific people in your life you need to choose to forgive for hurting you.
  • Identify the specific offense (what happened and how did it make you feel).
  • Choose love over fear and anger. Choose forgiveness.
  • Unlock the prison door and walk into freedom leaving the offense and unforgiveness behind.
Easier said than done right? Well, the LORD knows your struggle with unforgiveness. Ask the LORD to walk with you through this process. Rinse and repeat the steps as often as necessary. When you feel the anger or hurt returning, follow the steps to forgiveness. How many times? Seventy-seven times which is an infinite amount according to Jesus in Matthew 18:21-22.

This week's prayer point:

Jesus, You know how I feel. You know the frustration and anger I'm going through every time I think about my hurt and pain caused by (name the person who hurt you). Please LORD, help me to forgive (name the person who hurt you). Because quite frankly, I can't do it without You. In Jesus name I pray, Amen.


Michael (Miki) Etherton - October 23rd, 2023 at 5:38pm

Thank you pastor Paul.

Rhonda - October 24th, 2023 at 9:24am

Thank you for reminding us of this! I need it every day.

Faith Northrop - December 4th, 2023 at 7:23pm