DEALING WITH THOSE WHO HURT OR OFFEND US
Updated: Apr 27
Why is it difficult to forgive those who hurt or offend us? We tend to hate and resent those that hurt and offend us. However, Jesus gave us instructions on dealing with those who hurt and offend us. Jesus said, "But when you are praying, first forgive anyone you are holding a grudge against, so that your Father in heaven will forgive your sins, too" (Mark 11:25). In this verse, the word "forgive" means "to let go of the offenses and give up any rights to claim for vengeance." It is about replacing resentment and hate with sacrificial love. Jesus said, "But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, and pray for those who mistreat you" (Luke 6:27-28).
Corrie Ten Boom, along with her sister Betsie, was a prisoner in one of the Nazi concentration camps for hiding Jews in her home during the Holocaust. It was there that she and her sister were abused and tortured. Betsie died in the concentration camp days before Corrie was released. She then became a missionary preaching God's forgiveness and the need for reconciliation. But the most difficult thing that she did was to forgive the prison guard who abused and tortured her and her sister while in prison. The prison guard became a believer and went up to Corrie to ask for forgiveness. At that moment, she froze and couldn't respond right away because in her mind, with everything that this man had done to her and her sister, all the abuse they had endured under him would simply be forgiven by asking. She had many reasons not to forgive this man, but she remembered what God told her, she must forgive. As she received forgiveness for all the sins she had done, she must also forgive those who hurt or offended her. The moment she responded with forgiveness to the prison guard, Corrie Ten Boom was filled with the love of Christ, and she said, "I had never known God's love so instensely as I did then."
If we want to experience God's love, we must forgive. Corrie Ten Boom quoted, "I had to do it—I knew that. The message that God forgives has a prior condition: that we forgive those who have injured us." Let us ask God to help us forgive if we have difficulty forgiving, but we must be willing to forgive.
Ask yourself these questions: Am I willing to forgive those who hurt and offended me? What does it mean to forgive? What must I do if I am struggling to forgive?
Write down all the worries you face today and lift them up to God.
Father in Heaven, thank you for forgiving all my sins. As you have forgiven me, please help me forgive and love those who hurt and offended me. Please help me let go of the wrong things they have done to me and surrender them to you so that I may experience the power of your forgiveness and love. In your name Jesus, I pray. Amen.