For women who are hurting, one of the most difficult issues is forgiveness.
How can I ever forgive this person who has hurt me so deeply?
How can I forgive when he isn’t even sorry?
If I can’t forget, then how can I truly forgive?
No easy answers here, and we offer no simple platitudes. Forgiveness is truly one of the most difficult issues for any of us, and we may spend our lifetimes going through the process over and over.
But we know that forgiveness – at least at some level – is healthy for us; mentally and physically. Because if we refuse to walk toward forgiveness, we can easily slip into bitterness and retroactive anger – both of which can kill us.
So if there aren’t any easy answers, then how do we forgive?
One way to begin the process is to pray for the person who has hurt us.
Are you kidding?
No. In fact, praying for those who have abused us or hurt us in any way, is one of the commands Jesus gave us in the Sermon on the Mount. He said, “I’m telling you to love your enemies. Let them bring out the best in you, not the worst. When someone gives you a hard time, respond with the energies of prayer, for then you are working out of your true selves, your God-created selves” (Matthew 5:44 The Message Bible).
We don’t ever have to trust our abusers or allow them back into our lives. We can’t forget what they have done to us, because we’re not God and we don’t have that kind of power.
But we can begin to pray for them, that God will do a work in their hearts, that they will understand what they have done and be sorry for it, that they will change and start over with a new attitude.
What about you? How have you chosen to forgive?
2013 GateWay of Hope Ministries – The Helping Place for Hurting Women