How Do You Forgive Someone When They Hurt You So Bad?
Have you been hurt so deeply you didn’t know how to go on? You weren’t sure how you’d ever be “normal” again. And forgiving the offender was not even on your brain. I can tell you I have been there. Honestly, I feel like I failed at forgiving for a long time. But once God opened my eyes to the chains that held me back, I realized what I held on to and why I needed to let it go.
This is my honest answer: Jesus.
I know it seems incredibly simple, that one man could be the solution that makes everything better. But it’s more than that. Jesus is Who taught me to forgive. He gave so many examples of forgiving those who society deemed unforgivable. Most astonishingly, Jesus forgave those responsible for ending His life.
Only through prayer are we able to overcome our biggest obstacles. When we fail to ask God for help, we fail to rely on the one Who can truly help us. Often, talking to friends seems to be the solution. But we cannot rely on those who have not experienced the same pain, or the same failure. Hebrews 2:5-18 talks about Jesus being made man so He could experience life as a man. He faced temptation, and betrayal (Judas) just like we do.
So if prayer is the answer, how do I pray?
The worst thing you can do is pretend you aren’t hurt. When you hide those deep scars, whatever the reason, you only become more angry and bitter. Here’s the thing: God is a big God, and He can handle your questions. He can handle your doubt. In John 14, Jesus speaks of heaven and Thomas has no problem asking exactly what He meant. Jesus did not scold Thomas for asking (I’m sure you know the whole story of “Doubting Thomas”). God created you, He knows what you think. You have no reason to try and hide from Him.
Find a quiet place, and make sure you have plenty of time. And pray. Just talk to God. First and foremost, ask Him to forgive you for your sin. Thank Him for all He has done. Tell Him what you’re feeling, and ask Him to reveal any unforgiveness to you. Bring your Bible with you, and read scripture aloud. Some verses you might want to read (in no particular order):
- John 14:1
- Psalm 25:18
- Matthew 6:14&15
You have to want to forgive. Jesus forgives us when we forgive others. A big part of forgiving those who hurt you is understanding that you have to forgive to be forgiven. There’s nothing in this world, no hurt, no deception, no pain worth missing heaven.
What do I know?
What makes me qualified to talk about these things? How can I tell you to forgive, what do I know of your pain?
I do not know your specific situation, but I can tell you this: the person who hurt me the most in my life is the ONE person who should love me no matter what, unconditionally. I will also tell you the only way I was able to forgive her was asking God to help me. By pouring my heart out to Him, by trusting in Him to help when no one else could.
I know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that if you let God help you, He will.