37 "Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven; 38 give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you." - Luke 6:37-38
It is not by mistake that God speaks about judgment in the same breath that He speaks about forgiveness. Of all the people we judge while walking this earth, there is one specific kind of person that is most difficult not to judge - people who have hurt us.
Once we have been hurt by someone, big or small, we have a tendency to keep them locked in a box of who they were when they offended us. But we are told to forgive - unconditionally. Jesus tells us to forgive everyone, for everything. Whether people have been rude to you, or deeply offended you, whether people have done something cruel, or even broken the law, whether people have violated your trust or your privacy, or even your body, whether you have been falsely accused or lied to, we are called to forgive. Finding forgiveness for the little hurts can be challenging, but finding the forgiveness for the big hurts can be downright impossible in our own power.
I have suffered through both small hurts and deep hurts that have left emotional scars, and I have come to find it is only through Him that I can even begin to let it go. I have to bring the hurt to Him over and over in prayer and lay it down at His feet, repeatedly asking Him to take it from me, lest I will pick it right back up again. Sometimes I will even think I've finally let it go, then something happens and I'm nursing my wounds all over again.
I have found a few things help me when I have a hard time letting something go - confessing the sin of unforgiveness. As much as that person hurt me, it is a sin for me to hold on to the anger or the hurt, and it a sin for me not to forgive. I must let it go, and when I don't, I must get down on my knees and as for forgiveness for MY sin, not the other person.
I also try to remember that God is always working on people and growing them in one way or another. I know how much He can change a person because He's done a miraculous work on my heart. When I think back to the person I used to be, it's like watching a movie clip of another life. If God can do that for me, He can do that for anyone. If God has used the horrible things I have done in the past to change me, then He can use the horrible things that person has done to me to change them. Don't keep people locked in a box. You never know when God will break them free.
Finally, I try to remember what a broken sinner I am, and just how forgiven I am. I have committed some terrible sins, yet God has given me freedom and does not hold me accountable for those sins. He doesn't remind me of those sins every time He sits with me, instead He reminds me how much He loves me. How dare I hold someone else accountable for their sins over and over again. We are a forgiven people ~ and forgiven people forgive.
Press on ~ you are loved 💗
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