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Forgive First

1:58 min read |

“You hurt me!” This is a common statement in relationships. If it’s not spoken, it’s most certainly felt.

Serious problems in relationships can almost always be traced to one common root—hurt. When our feelings get hurt, when we feel rejected, judged, disrespected, unloved, or are treated harshly or unkindly, our souls are wounded. Wounded souls, if not quickly healed, become angry, bitter souls. And angry, bitter souls retaliate—they seek revenge. A grudge relentlessly pursues payback—the payback of pain to the person who caused us pain.

Unfortunately, many relationships are caught in this downward cyclone of hurt, retaliation, more hurt, and more retaliation. Massive walls of resentment and bitterness are built over time. Trust is lost. People end up living isolated, angry, pain-filled lives. There must be a better way.

There is. The only cure for such an ugly existence is forgiveness. Forgiveness is the only thing that can clear and cure the soul of such hurt and resentment. It opens the heart to the grace of God that heals and restores. While it may not fix the other person, forgiveness fixes you. It takes you out of the hellish pull of hurt and hatred. It takes the poison out of your spirit.

Listen to the words of Paul, the apostle, in Ephesians 4:31, 32 (NLT) “Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.”

What is forgiveness? It’s not excusing the bad behavior of someone. It’s the choice to release justice to God. It’s letting go, by a decision of your will, of the hurt and resentment you feel. It is extending to someone who has caused you pain the same grace God has extended to you, although you have caused Him pain by your sins.

When hurt, forgive first! Forgiveness will heal you and will help you build healthier relationships.

Pastor Dale