Getting Past Your Past: Forgiving Those Who Hurt You

Isn’t it easy for someone to tell you to forgive someone that has hurt you? Or, boldly suggest you get past your past? Then, they ask you why are you so upset? And, if you don’t give them the answer they’re expecting to hear, their hands fly in the air, and they say, “It’s not that serious.” Getting past your past and forgiving those who hurt you is not an easy task. Nonetheless, get prepare for your journey you’ll never regret.

After all that arguing with your friend, you take a step back, glare at them and say, “You don’t have a clue about the pain I’ve suffered, nor the pain I’m going through because you haven’t walked one day in my shoes.”

Unforgiveness is a death sentence you place on yourself.

I was hurt as a young Christian in church. It was so refreshing being born again. I wanted to participate in everything at church. I desired to help the choir sing, clean the church, attend church meetings, teach bible study to the youth, participate in community events, and deliver chicken and fish dinners on the weekend. 

One Saturday morning, my church was having one of the events I mentioned. I was simply excited about working along with my fellow brethren. Upon arriving, I went to one of the Christian sisters and ask “how can I help?” She slightly turned around and said, “you can’t; we don’t need your help. It was so many other youth working. I just knew she could find me something do to. Whew! I was crushed to put it lightly. 

The next day as I walked into the church. I noticed the area where I usually sit was full. So the usher took me to another area to sit for morning worship. As I approached the area where I was supposed to sit. The lady that told me my help wasn’t needed was standing next to an empty seat.

Man Oh! Man, I felt faint, angry, and down-right mad at the lady I was going to be sitting next to. After getting to my seat, she slightly turned around and spoke. I waved and smiled trying to hide my anger. All I could do was watch the clock, I was so ready to go.

A couple of more minutes past and the preacher asked, “everyone to turn to their neighbor to give them a hug and tell’em you love’em.”

Right! 

I thought.🤯 There is no way I’m going to tell her I love you and I’m certainly not going to hug her.” (And, going to the bathroom at that moment would have been too obvious.)

Well! I knew, being a new born again believer. That wasn’t what God wanted me to do. 

I didn’t want to. I didn’t feel like it. But, I was obedient to God, even when I didn’t want to be or felt like it. Equally important, I didn’t want to look like a fool not hugging her when she had no idea I was mad at her.)

In the end, after getting home and thinking about obeying God. I was so glad that I did. That’s what happens when you’re a new born again believer. Fact! I knew I was growing spiritually. Also, I was so glad I didn’t run-off to tell someone else what happened to me or rehearse the pain I encountered. 

Over the coming months, I hated to be in her presence. Her voice just angered me. The anger was getting to me or should I say the Holy Spirit was dealing with regarding my actions toward her.

One Sunday, I made up in my mind, I needed to talk to her because it appeared she wasn’t going anywhere. To my surprise, the situation wasn’t the way that I perceived it to be. She missed placed her car keys and needed to go pick up the food for the event, nor did she remember talking to me.

She pulled me close and apologized for her actions.

Oh wow! I felt, yep–stupid!

Hindsight is, my friend was right. Being upset wasn’t that serious. I wanted to heal from that situation, so I could move on and walk in love with the next person and the next person. 

I’ve learned through my situation. If we want to be healed, we have to deal with some unresolved bitterness. Our minds can fool us into believing anything over time.

I can remember vividly being so mad at my friend for telling me to let go of my past and just forgive the person who hurt me. 

Thank God, she was so patient with me through the process of healing. I was willing to work through the pain and frustration of my past. 

God humbly favored me–I got through the bumps and chaotic days of feeling so empty, mad, and bitter. I also wanted to heal because of the overall benefit for me was moving past the hurt.

One day, I finally decided that I no longer wanted to get up angry allowing someone else to control my day. Blatantly knowing, they were enjoying their days and they were not giving me that kind of control over their life. 

Today, I refused to be angry, bitter, and having resentment against anyone. It’s just not worth the time and energy. It’s too exhausting and it bleeds into so many other areas of your life. It doesn’t mean that I don’t get hurt and feel pain or become angry when people do me wrong. 

Of course, I do.

My healing journey was too long–I’d rather pray for them and bless them. 

In my blog, “Choosing Forgiveness Over Bitterness and Resentment” Nelson Mandela believed resentment is like drinking poison and then hoping it will kill your enemies.

I was convinced. The longer I held onto unforgiveness I was poisoning myself. 

So, I wanted to begin again. You can also begin again. Secondly, you, me, or anyone else for that matter have to forgive, and let it go, to get past our past. 

Now, it’s your turn. 

I have watched so many people over the years hold onto their past. Some of them really had a desire to move past their past, but just didn’t know how to do it. I can remember a close friend whose husband was unfaithful to her. They divorced.

Recently, he remarried and started another family. He’s having a good time in his life and could care less about her being mad and suffering in her life. 

It’s pointless for her to continue to be mad at him. He’s clueless about her getting up every day, angry and mad with him. And, she hasn’t come to the realization that he is still controlling how she feels about him. By the same token, she’s killing herself or drinking the poison hoping he dies one day.

In short, that won’t happen. 

First of all, getting past your past and choosing forgiveness over resentment is easier said than done. You’re going to need some help and a lot of prayers. Be willing to do it the way that God tells you to do it. So, go to the scriptures to see what God says about how we should approach getting through bitterness and dealing with anger. 

Luke 6:27-31, demonstrates our actions toward our enemies.“But to you who are listening, I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. If someone slaps you on one cheek, turn to them the other also. If someone takes your coat, do not withhold your shirt from them. Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. Do to others as you would have them do to you.

To demonstrate our obedience to God, we have to pray for our enemies. Of course, you don’t want to pray for them. However, when you’re sincere and you ask God to “bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreated you.” Something great is bound to come out of this. 

The first thing–God is going to show your enemies is how they have hurt you. God is faithful. He’s not going to leave you in that state of bitterness. The problem is preparing yourself to share how they hurt you and releasing them from the pain they caused. 

Spinoza said, “No matter how you cut it, there will always be two sides.” 

In my opinion, the person that hurt you can’t go on forever and not acknowledge what’ve they done to you. Especially, if they desire to have a relationship with God. God always shows us where we’ve gone wrong and gives us an opportunity to get it right before him. Both parties, in a personal offense, have an obligation to go to the other, and not sit back and say, “it’s their problem, let them come to me first.”

So if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar and go. First, be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.” (Matthew 5:23, 24)

Every person who desires to have a right relationship with God must deal with the truth. We can’t get where we need to be without facing the truth about where we are in our pain. What is truth?–“Thy word is truth.” 

Secondly, forgiveness is not something that we can just walk-through. We get through it by realizing we’ve done some things wrong in our life. God is not asking us to feel differently. He’s asking us to obey and to do it His way and that’s through prayer. 

We also can’t curse them. In my view, we have to stop talking about them in a negative light. We have to change our vocabulary. You’ve heard that say, “If you don’t have anything good to say, don’t say anything at all?!” 

On the other hand, God helped me get through bitterness and resentment as I share my testimony in a positive light (not using words to demean or defame that person’s character) not bashing or being condescending about other people. My testimony has helped other people work through their resentment as well.

We have to be careful because we don’t want to rehash our pain over-and-over with someone we’re trying to help. 

In summary, as we pray, we should always ask God to bless, save, and open their eyes to God’s divine will. You”ll need a pure heart to get this done. You may feel totally against praying to God and asking Him to bless your enemy. That’s not for you to decide.

Trust God and stop talking about them.

Even if you feel you are still angry, you can’t say “I still don’t forgive them for the pain they’ve caused.” You’ll remain in your rut.

Your confidence is now in the prayer you’ve prayed. You’ve done your part, so wait on God to change your heart, as you continue to pray for them and through your bitterness. 

How Do You Forgive Someone That Has Hurt You?

Forgiveness is letting go of the anger and the thoughts of revenge and bitterness that is hurting you. 

Trust God to Deal With Them:

Forgiveness is an act of your faith. Romans 12:17-19 says “Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all.  If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. 

Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” When we hold on to thoughts of revenge, pain, anger, and bitterness, we are telling God we don’t trust Him enough to deal with that person. Furthermore, we take matters into our own hands to make sure the person that hurt us gets what they deserve. 

Clearly Communicate Your Pain:

Take the time to communicate about the pain and the hurt when the opportunity comes up. This mutually benefits any relationship. Therefore, when you communicate with your offender, it allows you to release the burden you’ve been carrying. Also, when you’re both clear about what hurts, it creates a win-win situation. 

Pray for Them:

Matthew 5:44 says “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.” When you can pray for your enemy, you are a mature Christian in Christ. As a born again believer, you have to sincerely want what’s best for them. Our flesh desires that our offender hurt and suffer like we’re suffering. But, upon surrendering to God and obeying His commandments, we are heaping coals upon their head. And, through your prayers, you can rejoice when God does something for them.

Stop talking negatively

This is a clear indicator you haven’t forgiven the one who’s hurt you. When we are hurt, our first instinct is to tell everybody we know, and every one our offender knows. We want the world to know we’ve been hurt and we are suffering behind it. Oftentimes, we end up defaming the person’s character, without them knowing or giving them a chance to define themselves. James 4:11 says, “Don’t speak evil against each other, dear brothers and sisters…

Remember, forgiveness is not for the other person, it’s for you. And, once you have been restored, go and convert your brother. 

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