DEALING WITH UNFORGIVENESS
Unforgiveness is when we are not willing to forgive those who hurt, offended, betrayed, or caused us emotional pain. We are not willing to let go of the offenses that have done to us; as a result, we are consumed with anger and resentment. One of Jesus' disciples asked him, "how many times should I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?" Jesus answered, "I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times." (Matthew 18:21-22). Imagine if we have a boss who takes advantage of us and uses us to promote himself in the company, or we have someone that constantly abuses us emotionally, physically, or mentally. What should we do? Our natural response would be to resent and hate that person. But how do we apply what Jesus is teaching us about forgiving more than seven times when one or two offenses are too much for us to forgive?
The first thing that we need to do is get out of a harmful situation. It is not wise to stay in a place where we are constantly being abused. Secondly, we need to forgive because our unwillingness to forgive causes us to hurt ourselves further. Unforgiveness takes away our peace, and it leads to stress and depression. God knows that it is not easy to forgive, but the only way to walk in peace and freedom and experience the joy of our Lord Jesus is to forgive. 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).
God sees the emotional pain that others have caused us. He sees our suffering, and He also sees our anger, resentment, and unforgiveness. The only way for us to handle all of these is to surrender everything to Jesus. We have to rely on His strength constantly. Paul said, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." (Philippians 4:13). If God commands us to forgive, we can forgive, for God will not ask us to do something that we cannot do through His power. We just need to be willing to forgive.
Ask yourself these questions: What is unforgiveness? Is there anyone that I am having difficulty forgiving? Am I willing to pray for the person that mistreats me?
Write down all the worries you are facing today and lift them up to God.
Father in Heaven, thank you for your forgiveness. Please help me to forgive. I pray for (name the person(s) you want to forgive or constantly hurting or offending you) that their hearts would be changed and realize their wrongdoings. Bless their families, and may all of them come to know you if they do not know you personally. Please save them from their sins. I surrender to you all my hurts and all the offenses that have done to me. May you surround me now with your presence and peace. In the name of Jesus, I pray. Amen.