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OUCH! That Hurt: 5 Reasons to Forgive Those Who Hurt You Even If They Aren’t Sorry

ImageFor the past few weeks in Sunday School the lessons have been derived from the story of Joseph and the extreme betrayal that he experienced at the hands of his brothers. The main focus of the lesson has been forgiveness but what really stood out about this passed Sunday’s lesson was the fact that even after Joseph became the Grand Vizier of Egypt and escaped slavery, revealed himself to his brothers and showered them with tons of mercy and forgiveness and basically took care of them in their time of need; they never actually showed remorse for their actions, only fear. As the class went on to discuss how much nerve Joseph’s brothers had it became evident that many of their spirits were troubled by this story because it reminded many of them of their own lives and hurts that they may have experienced. We then went on to discuss Joseph’s character and how he was able to forgive his brothers even though they were never truly sorry for their actions. One young lady finally blurted out “Okay, this is the Bible I need to know how to get past this stuff in real life.” While listening to her speak it was evident that she was heavily burdened with past hurts and it took me back to not so long ago when I was in that same position. For so many years I carried the burdens of every wrong thing that had ever been done to me until one day I realized that my life depended on me truly forgiving and letting go of these hurts for good. I would always forgive people openly but still internalized the hurt that they caused and then I learned that what I was doing was only illustrating a mirage of forgiveness. After lots and lots of soul searching, prayer, fasting and tears I was able to fully let go. Many people wonder why they should even bother going through all of this just to forgive so here are my reasons why.

5 Reasons to Forgive Those Who Hurt You Even If They Aren’t Sorry

1. You will be forgiven – Okay well this is the most obvious. Whether people hurt us intentionally or unintentionally we are obligated to forgive them because God forgives us on a daily basis. Matthew 6:14 states For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.

2. Forgive or be put on ‘mute’ by God – Um, yeah this reason would stir up the neck-roller in me. You mean to tell me that not only this person hurt me but now they’re keep God from hearing me and answering my prayers? Absolutely not! Better get to forgiving and quickly because Mark 11:25 says And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins, which seems to imply that if I don’t forgive God may not hear me? I don’t think I’d wanna risk that for a person that has already hurt me. Are they worth it?

3. Mental Freedom! – To me next to being forgiven by God this is the biggest reason why you should forgive those who may have hurt you. When you choose not to forgive a person you are making the decision to hold onto whatever they did to hurt you. This could mean absolute emotional turmoil for you in the long run. When you forgive you are made free from the bondage of those hurtful acts. The enemy will use that hurt to manipulate you for as long as you allow him to.

4. Escape bitterness – In my opinion bitterness is nothing but stale unforgiveness. Bitterness is like poisonous venom and once it makes its way into your system it is extremely difficult to get it out. Bitterness prohibits you from leading an emotionally healthy life. Many biblical scholars equate bitterness with drinking poison. LOL ummm pass! Once unforgiveness becomes bitterness a whole new issue arises.

 5. Joy! – This is merely from personal experience but I don’t feel that the true joy of the Lord can coexist with unforgiveness. To attain that unspeakable joy you have to let go and forgive.

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