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How to Forgive - How to Forgive Those Who Have Hurt You

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http://christianity.about.com - Learning how to forgive others is one of the most unnatural duties in the Christian life.



It goes against our human nature. Forgiving is a supernatural act that Jesus Christ was capable of, but when we are hurt by someone, we want to hold a grudge. We want justice. Sadly, we don't trust God with that.



There is a secret to successfully living the Christian life, however, and that same secret applies when we're struggling with how to forgive.



How to Forgive: Understanding Our Worth



We are all wounded. We are all inadequate. On our best days, our self-esteem hovers somewhere between feeble and fragile. All it takes is disapproval—or perceived disapproval—to send us staggering. These attacks bother us because we forget who we really are.



As believers, you and I are forgiven children of God. We have been lovingly adopted into his royal family as his sons and daughters. Our true worth comes from our relationship to him, not from our appearance, our performance or our net worth. When we remember that truth, criticism bounces off us like BBs ricocheting off a rhino. The trouble is that we forget.



We seek others' approval. When they reject us instead, it hurts. By taking our eyes off God and his acceptance and putting them on the conditional acceptance of our boss, spouse, or friend, we set ourselves up to be hurt. We forget that other people are incapable of unconditional love.



How to Forgive: Understanding Others



Even when other people's criticism is valid, it's still hard to take. It reminds us that we have failed in some way. We didn't measure up to their expectations, and often when they remind us of that, tact is low on their priority list.



Sometimes our critics have ulterior motives. An old proverb from India goes, "Some men try to be tall by cutting off the heads of others." They try to make themselves feel better by making others feel bad. You have probably had the experience of being put down by a nasty remark. When that happens, it is easy to forget that others are broken just like us.

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