Yesterday 2 of my 3 kids came home from school with sad, dejected attitudes because they had been “left out” by their friends. Both were discouraged and not happy individuals.
As a mother, these are the type of situations I dread. I have no control over what happens at school. I can’t fix the situation and it breaks my heart seeing them sad. So I did what I could- we talked about how sometimes we misinterpret people’s actions. Sometimes our feelings are hurt without anyone meaning for it to happen. We talked about “good” friend behavior and “not so good” friend behavior. We prayed and we talked about going back to school today and having a forgiving heart. (Thankfully, both had a better day today!)
Everyone has been hurt at some point in their life. We live in a sinful world and being hurt is inevitable. Whether it is in our marriages, family relationships, people we see at church, friendships, or comments made by strangers, sin happens and people are hurt. Sometimes intentionally and sometimes unintentionally.
In order to live a healthy life, we must learn how to forgive others for “wronging” us. We are also commanded in Matthew 6:14-15 to forgive. “For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.”
Forgiveness is a process that begins with the conscious, intentional decision to actually forgive the person who hurt you. Even if your heart is still heavy and hurting, it is important to decide to forgive. By carrying around the weight of anger, sadness, and all of the hurt feelings, you are damaging your own well-being and health. In the end the person you are hurting is yourself.
After the decision to forgive has been made, the next step happens when you are reminded of the situation and don’t experience the “yucky feelings” that previously been associated with that situation. If you see the person that hurt you, you do not feel the anger burst inside you, or you don’t want to cry, or you don’t experience severe anxiety. Every person is different and their previous feelings will be different. It can take a long time to get to this point depending how badly you were hurt. This is not an easy process but it is also important to living a healthy life.
The final step is when you feel free from the bondage of the hurtful experience or event. When you see the person who caused your pain, or are reminded by a date on the calendar, or whatever it is that you associate with the painful event, you are no longer held hostage by your previous feelings. You are able to keep your emotions in check.
Don’t get me wrong, it doesn’t mean that you see the person and want to be best friends, or that you want to get back together with an ex, or have to engage in conversation. It does mean that you are released from your emotions. You can wish the person well and you are at peace.
Have you been hurt lately? Have you forgiven the person who hurt you?
Have you enjoyed what you read here today? Do you have friends or other women you know that could benefit from this resource? If so, please do me a favor! I have included the links below to share with other intentional women! They’ll be glad you did!