Pray for those who hurt (mistreat) you |Luke 6:28| is exactly what you do not want to do for those that have hurt (mistreated) you.
Maybe you are holier than I am, and if so massive congratulations.
But for me, I instinctively consider doing the complete opposite, i.e. rain curses, and with extra sauce, salt and pepper on the side.
It’s hard stuff, real hard stuff to rationalize praying for anyone that has caused me even the slightest pain. Its an investment of love and time I do not feel they deserve. I stand firm in my belief that I do not owe them even the scraps of my forgiveness (…and yes, I’m pouting in deviance).
Lord, how often will my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times? Jesus says, I do not say to you seven times, but seventy-seven times |Matthew 18:21-22|, and that’s just one person!
I think okay stop with the cheese, and let’s be logical. Do I at least get to hear a sorry before I offer my forgiveness, and then rush to encamp at your feet with their bag of issues?
He looks right at me.
Are you without sin? If so go right ahead and throw the first stone |John 8:7|. Clench your fist tight, and withhold from him or her the same gift I have lavishly given you.
Ahhh! I see what you are doing there Lord, but can I be real with you though? This stone feels reaaaaal heavy in my hand, and I want to throw it, not drop it. Permission to launch? please? pretty please?
No answer. Instead my Saviour looks away from me, the one He made in His own image (but acting like a deviant), and gives all his attention to drawing circles in the sand.
Gwash Lord, why you gotta do me like that? No answer. ‘Erm Lord…sigh…okay I am sorry, please forgive me.
Evidently, forgiveness and pride can’t break bread…
and this forgiveness thing sure ain’t for the faint of heart.
It is actually easier done than said. Yea I know, I just removed all the sense out of the perfectly sensible saying: it is easier said than done. But ride with me for a second.
A lot of things to do with God is an assault to the human senses. Its bye bye to your bosom buddy logic. Remember that saying, practice makes perfect? Well, with God it is exactly that. Not perfect as in you’ll one day figure Him all out like the back of your hand, but perfect as in the more you trust and obey (do), the easier it gets and the more natural it becomes. It’s like working out in the gym. If you want it bad enough, you’ll push through the discomfort just for the joy and satisfaction of seeing muscle development and body tone (I am still working on this one by the way. Issa struggle y’all).
The good thing is that we don’t have to rely on our human strength to do any of the crazy out there things that God asks us to. We have an ever present standby (help) in the Holy Spirit, and if we are willing, we are able.
Unforgiveness only hurts you. It brews and builds until it becomes a whole other beast that breeds more beasts until it becomes a whole jungle. It gives the devil soil to plant seeds of destruction |1 Peter 5:8| and taints (affects) everything, including your walk with God. It is easier to forgive than to deal with the web of dysfunction that one act of deviance can cause.
And Jesus said, Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do |Luke 23:34|.
…and I said/say to everyone that hurt(s) me in anyway, shape or form,
Dear Lord, I thank you for__________________ even though I am not in a good space with them right now. I am hurting because of what__________________ did, but I do not want to dislike or hate this person Lord because I know it does not bring glory or honour to your name. I still want the best for this person, and I ask that you be with them as they walk through life, whether I remain in their life (lives) or not. Please give me the strength to love them still, be there for them still (but only if that is where you’ll have me be), let go of the hurt, and forgive, truly forgive. Please give me the grace to move on, clarity, wisdom and compassion in my interactions, and the peace that comes only from (holding onto) you. In Jesus name. Amen.
You know, I always hear it often repeated that we should forgive others because God forgave us… it’s even part of The Lord’s Prayer – “forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us..”…
… but I often wonder, didn’t we have to actually ASK God before we were forgiven?… Didn’t we have to had to SEEK him and demonstrate a willingness and a repentance before receiving forgiveness? If so, then why are we compelled to give it to others so freely? Why do we have to forgive those who offend us and never even seek out our forgiveness or even recognize the ways they have wronged us?… when with God, we have to come back to him because we are forgiven?
… is it because God’s expectation that we forgive does more for us internally than the other person? That He is more focused on a change in our hearts than an apology from the offender? …
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oooh! Thank you for bringing new light to this, I never thought about it in such a clear way.
Yes yes yes…!
I have heard it said that forgiveness is never about ‘them’ and always about ‘us’. It’s about trusting God with our hearts, and leaving the ‘fight’ to Him. Maybe forgiveness is God’s way of preserving our hearts? Maybe He knows that we end up loosing more if we choose not to forgive?
It definitely does more for us internally. xo
I was thinking about this lately. Yeah I say I’ve forgiven and let things go but have I really? When I think of the person and what they did, does bitter bile still come up my throat? I was SHOCKED to find out I hadn’t actually forgiven. Oh God!
I like the prayer at the end. I find verbally affirming that you forgive and release the person of every bitterness and anger and hurt and pain actually helps. Thank God for being the perfect example.
Thanks for this timely message, Michelle. Keep writing.
Yea, its pretty crazy how much unforgiveness we log around. Always good to take a step back and re-evaluate where we are at. A heart check of sorts! Thanks so much for your encouragement love! So very appreciated! xo