This past week, I listened to an amazing sermon by this lady named Alex Seeley. She talked about how we let people’s words become our identity, and how satan uses those words to change the way God really intended for us to be. She also talked about forgiveness, and how we have to forgive those people who put words over us. God laid on her heart that she needed to forgive her mom for the things her mom said to her. She thought how hard that was going to be, and that was when God took her right to the Bible and led her to where Jesus was on trial getting ready to go to the cross. All these people were mocking him, yelling at Him, and yelling they wanted Barabbas free instead of Him. Not one time did Jesus point fingers at people and say, “Wait a minute, I know what you did,” and get mad at the people. Instead, while on the cross, He asked God to forgive them for the things they did (Luke 23:34). Jesus forgave all those people. All the people who mocked Him, tortured Him, and hung Him on the cross. He forgave them without them saying sorry. He let God fight His battle. When the author said she read this, she knew she had to forgive her mom.
This really stuck with me the whole day. If Jesus can forgive all these people, then I need to be able to forgive. If we don’t forgive, it is hurting no one but ourselves (Matthew 6:14-15). I think in our brains sometimes we say if we don't forgive them, it will hurt them and make them go through pain. The truth is, sometimes the person we are mad at doesn't even know how much anger we have toward them, and it’s not even hurting them. I’m not saying you have to reconnect and have this amazing relationship with someone who hurt you. I am saying that you have to forgive them for what they did to you. Forgiveness is hard; I am not saying it is the easiest thing you will do. Sometimes you have to really give all you have to forgive someone. Truly say, “God I forgive _______ for what they did to me.” It is freeing. You look at that person the way God sees them.
I have had to forgive people in my life. When I did, I didn't feel like I had to please that person anymore. The only person I had to please was Jesus and He loves me more than anyone can! Praying for you through forgiveness. I know it is hard, but look at Jesus. He has the perfect example of forgiveness for us!
Get rid of all hard feelings, anger and rage. Stop all fighting and lying.
Don’t have anything to do with any kind of hatred. Be kind and tender to one another.
Forgive one another, just as God forgave you because of what Christ has done.
Ephesians 4:31-32 NIrV