Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you. (Ephesians 4:30-32 NASB)
All of us have been hurt at one time or another, and the offender may well have been someone we love. We often attempt to get past the pain of such situations with comments like, "That's okay" or "Don't worry about it," and yet we just can't seem to shake that penetrating sting. Why aren't we able to let it go?
One reason that we struggle with unforgiveness is a simple matter of pride. Why don't we forgive? "Because that person hurt ME!" we cry. As a result of our offended pride, the injustice grows much greater than we should allow. It becomes an issue of personal insult rather than an honest mistake or flash of insensitivity.
Another factor in our unforgiveness is bitterness. We become resentful when we refuse to deal honestly with hurt feelings and then allow the matter to fester in our heart. A growing sense of irritation spreads through our spirit like an infection. It has been rightly said that bitterness is like a poison that you prepare for someone else and then drink yourself. While it silently destroys our life, the person who hurt us may remain completely unaware of our dark feelings.
Finally, we struggle with unforgiveness because we often have a poor idea of what it is all about. Or, we might be sitting around waiting for an apology that may never come.
If you have been hurt recently, pray for the strength and honesty to approach the offender and say, "You did this and it hurt me. But I love you and refuse to allow this to destroy our relationship."
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