“But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.“
– Matthew 4:44-45
A part of the human experience includes being hurt by people. It’s horrible, it sucks, but we all have gone through some pain or attack caused by someone else. In that moment it seems as though we would never get over it. How dare they? How could they? Don’t they know all I’ve sacrificed for them? Trust me, I understand and you are not alone.
So how do we heal from something so traumatic? Is it really possible to move on to a future where they don’t live in your head rent-free? Well, yes it is. However, it’s no easy task and requires a strong backbone of faith in God.
The Bible doesn’t only tell us to forgive, but it tells us to go the extra mile. God wants us to speak well of those who hurt us, pray for them, and do good to them. Say what?
Doesn’t God understand how ridiculous that sounds? Of course He does! So why would He ask us to do such a thing?
All scriptures are taken from the NKJV unless otherwise noted.
Made In His Image
“So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.”
– Genesis 1:27
It’s incredibly amazing that God decided to make humans in His image. However, that means that He knows what’s good for us and what isn’t. Holding onto forgiveness, bitterness, and resentment is not good for us. It eats us alive on the inside knowing that someone wronged us.
But when we decide to forgive, we let go of that pain. We give it over to God and make it His problem, not ours. Our goal should be to be like Jesus, who died on the cross to forgive those who put Him there. If He can do that, do you think we could do our part and forgive our neighbor?
When someone does something bad to us, it may seem like they’re sinning against us. Yet, in reality, they’re sinning against God. Therefore, there’s no real reason to hold onto unforgiveness. It just so happened that you got in the way of someone sinning against God.
If someone did wrong to you and you were innocent, then that’s a reflection of their character; not yours. So let it go. Forgive them and let God deal with it.
“He who is not with Me is against Me, and he who does not gather with Me scatters abroad.”
– Matthew 12:30
Use Your Words To Speak Good Things
“Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord.”
– Romans 12:19
When we understand that the people who hurt us are lost souls who need God’s help and correction, it becomes a little bit easier to have pity for them instead of pure rage.
We don’t want to let their bad behavior cause us to fall into sin. Although it may be tempting, don’t speak evil of the person. Instead, pray for God to help you to forgive.
It’s important to understand that we are not in a physical war, but a spiritual one. Therefore, when someone hurts you there’s a demon doing the work. That person is just their pawn. It’s not the person you should be mad at, but the demon.
If you don’t forgive and hold onto all that anger and rage, you’re continuing the devil’s work. He’s winning. However, when you choose to forgive, you’ve broken the chain and the enemy loses his ground. When you choose to pray for that person, the devil may soon lose his pawn.
The truth of God sets people free. Therefore, pray for that person to find out the truth about the Lord. Pray for their salvation and that they would come to know God.
My brother once told me a story that I would never forget. I don’t know the setting or who the person was. At this point, it could all be false, but my brother told me it as true and so I believe it’s a true story. If I come across the details, I’ll come back and fill them in. Nevertheless, this is how the story goes.
A Christian was about to be persecuted for his faith by a Muslim. They were beating him, demanding that he renounce his faith in Christ. He refused. Then, he began praying for the man. He started to plead with God for Him to bless the man that wanted to kill him. He asked God to bless his children and his grandchildren.
“God, please don’t let the sins of this man be passed onto the judgment of his children. Forgive them!”
Suddenly, the man stopped hitting him. The victim looked up. The man’s partner asked what he was doing. The man said, “I cannot harm a man who is praying for my grandkids.”
I don’t know how the incident ended, but it’s a perfect illustration of the importance of praying for our enemies. In America, we still have religious freedom and don’t face this kind of persecution. If that man can forgive and pray for someone who was about to kill him, shouldn’t we be able to forgive and pray for those who hurt us?
The Lord commands us to forgive those who hurt us and pray for our enemies. That’s not a suggestion. Therefore, He expects us to do it. Do we love God more than anger we have for those who hurt us?
I pray you found this article helpful. If so, please share this content. Also, feel free to leave a comment below. As always, thanks for reading.