A friend confided in us that someone had irritated her that morning when that person showed off in front of her, and she got angry with her, and said that her happiness wouldn’t last.
At 2 a.m. in the morning I woke up and had a message from Jesus to tell that lady to reconcile with the person she had hurt before going to Holy Communion. I didn’t really want to do that, but I had to obey God’s will, and I thought that even if I lost a friend, what mattered was putting Jesus first.
A few minutes before I phoned her up, we prayed to the Holy Spirit to enlighten her that she had done wrong. Afterwards, I phoned her up and told her that I had a message from Jesus. I believe that when we are born again we become Jesus’ baby spiritually, and so I asked her if she was Jesus’ baby, and she said yes, and I told her that if she was a child of God she had to act as His child. I told her that she wasn’t nice to that lady that day, and she replied that the Holy Spirit convicted her a few minutes before my phone call to her. That happened at the same time that we had been praying for her. I told her that Jesus told me to tell her that she must be reconciled before going to Communion that day. She said that she didn’t know where that lady lived. I gave her a reading from the Bible Matthew 5:21-26 which tells us if we don’t reconcile before going to the Lord’s Supper we condemn ourselves. She said that she couldn’t see a priest that day for confession, and I said that she didn’t need a priest, but could confess directly to Jesus.
She phoned up 20 minutes later and said that she had found the lady’s phone number in the yellow pages and had phoned her up to apologize, and the lady was very nice and said that perhaps it was her own fault for showing off, and our friend was very happy that she had made amends. This testimony shows that when you let go and forgive those who have hurt you, with Jesus’ help you are set free.
If we know that God loves us and we refuse to forgive and keep retaliating and have bitterness and hatred in our heart, we are breaking Jesus’ heart again and again. If we have given our life to Jesus, then it is no longer our own to refuse to forgive, but instead we have to obey Jesus and become imitators of Christ.
We must realize that we have let Jesus down and sinned so many times and he has forgiven us every time, so how can we refuse to forgive someone else who has hurt us. If we don’t do that, it means that we are like the unmerciful debtor who was shown mercy and was set free, yet was unmerciful to the person who begged him for mercy. That person owed him less than what he had owed the King. See Matthew 18:21-35
If we don’t forgive then God won’t forgive us, as we show that we don’t truly belong to Jesus, and I believe that our name will therefore be wiped out of the Book of Life.
On our own it is impossible to forgive others, but we must ask Jesus to help us forgive with his love and Bless the people who have hurt us. Put the person’s name in the space. Say “Jesus I forgive ………with your love and set that person free and please bless him/her”. You can do the same thing for each person who has hurt you.
It is very hard to forgive, but if we don’t forgive we are the ones to stay captive with anger and persisting hurts and it destroys our life because we stay the victim, as we are focussing on our hurts and anger, rather than on loving the Lord and others. This bad attitude can even cause stress, a breakdown and illnesses and can make us hurt others in return. Therefore God can’t use us as his instrument in that frame of mind, as our lamps become covered up by bitterness and resentment and so we are not ready every day for the Lord, as Jesus told us to be.
Do you want to refuse to forgive and stay in your man made hell and give up eternal life, or do you want to forgive and be set free and prove that you belong to Jesus? The choice is yours. Remember that a condition of being saved is only if we forgive others for the hurts they have caused us. If we refuse to forgive we won’t have eternal life. Is it therefore worth holding onto unforgiveness?
Remember that it is the devil who tries to manipulate us to unforgiveness and sin, but Jesus is the one who frees us. Whose voice do we listen to? If we are Jesus’ sheep and belong to him, we have to listen to his voice as seen in John 10:27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:
We must therefore make a decision that we want to forgive with God’s help whether they have said sorry or not.
If the anger comes back, refuse it. Remember that it is the devil who manipulates people into sin, and stop the hatred entering your heart because you love Jesus and don’t want to hurt him, and repeat the prayer of forgiveness until you have completely forgiven that person. Even if it takes a while for your anger to disappear what matters is your willingness to forgive, as God sees hearts and God has infinite patience.
I suggest something that can help you, would be to write a letter to Jesus and pour out your hurt in it and ask for his help to forgive, and then destroy it. You can also make a heart, and write the person’s name who has upset you and write the words “I forgive you and Bless you.” A few days later, or when you are ready, write a letter of reconciliation to the person or people who have hurt you and so be right with God whether or not the person or people who have hurt you want to be reconciled too. You will only be accountable to God for your life, and not the life of another person. If you can’t contact the person who upset you, don’t feel guilty about it. Just have a willingness to forgive, and leave it in God’s hands and be reconciled through Jesus Christ.
Very often we fall out with people because they haven’t returned our love the way we expected them to do. Let us give love to others for love of Jesus, without expecting anything in return, and that way we won’t have expectations. Jesus gave us his life and said to serve and be his disciples.
When we have forgiven, we are free and able to let go of our hurts as these people who hurt us don’t have any more power over us, and can’t destroy our life, and so we can start afresh and be at peace and know that we belong to Jesus Christ.
Let us therefore give Jesus completely our lives not only through prayer and worship, but by the way we become imitators of Christ and forgive those who have offended us.
Written by Dominic and Marie-Helene Bradshaw