Being hurt is awful. It leaves our heart shattered to pieces.
I remember one time sitting stunned after an acquaintance rejected me. She had asked for help. It was as if I showed up on her doorstep, ready to help with a smile, only to have the door closed in my face. Her actions said I wasn’t good enough.
She trampled on my heart in a dance of mockery. We weren’t even close, but I struggled to forgive her.
Why do we hurt each other? Why do we inflict the pain?
Yet I find myself doing it to others. I judge them then reject them. It’s as if I tell God His creation is only mediocre and slip out the back door quietly.
I pray for you daily for emotional healing. Because I know—oh, how I know—the heart-wrenching pain of hurt. The tears come and you wish it would wash away the pain. It helps but crying alone doesn’t heal a heart.
Pain gives us the opportunity to learn; it is a constant reminder that our heart needs healing. The process of learning how to forgive provides the chance to grow. It’s not easy but forgiving others puts Jesus’ love on display.
Symptoms of Moving from Hurt to Offended
The Bible instructs us to forgive one another. If we don’t forgive, we hold unforgiveness in our heart and that is sin. Then the progression moves from a hurt (not a sin) to an offense (sin).
Bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. Colossians 3:13 ESV
The enemy sees us get hurt and will try to take advantage of it. If we don’t deal with the hurt biblically, we leave an open door for the enemy to vex us.
An offense is “an annoyance or resentment brought about by a perceived insult or disregard for oneself or one’s standards or principles.”
So a play on words here, go from offense [uh-fens] to offense [aw-fens] and attack the sin (not the person).
See this progression:
- Feeling sad/down/depressed
- Not wanting to be around anyone while simultaneously lonely
- Judgmental (look for venom in your voice when talking or even thinking about that person)
When someone hurts us, we naturally feel sad, but if we don’t quickly take care of it according to the Word, it goes downhill fast.
Rejection sets in, and we reject others. We are overly sensitive in response to them.
Then we begin to point the finger and look at “what they did to us,” which makes us angry.
After that, we rehearse it in our head and start to resent them for it.
When bitterness sets in, we may as well say we hate that person because that’s how we are treating them in our heart and probably in our actions as well.
Ouch? Yeah, I know. From experience on both sides of the coin.
Why It’s Important to Forgive
When I was a teenager, I used to shun interaction with my family because I felt incredibly hurt and perceived I was rejected by them. Rejection rejects. How could I feel so betrayed in a pastor’s family?
Someone gave me a tape by a pastor who had unforgiveness toward his congregation (I don’t remember who it was). After listening to it, God led me to write down each family member’s name and each way I felt they had done me wrong. The bitter tears burned down my cheeks.
It took a long while, but after finishing I looked at that paper. The scribbles looked like a mountain. Then the Holy Spirit convicted me: I had an enormous mountain of unforgiveness toward my family!
I ostracized them because I thought they were rejecting me! But as difficult as it is, we need to forgive.
Forgiveness is usually more difficult for the one doing the forgiving than the one being forgiven. We might forgive someone but not completely. The devil might try to convince us that the person owes us an apology in order for the relationship to be reconciled. But what if the person doesn’t say he is sorry? How we consciously respond to that question is critical.
Forgiving others is so important that Jesus said that the Father won’t forgive us if we don’t forgive others (Matthew 6:15). Not only that but it’s the medicine that heals a wounded heart.
When dealing with my mountain of offenses, I utilized the keys to unlocking the bondage of unforgiveness that I learned as a teenager.
5 Steps to Biblical Forgiveness
Pray the following:
- I forgive [insert person’s name] for [insert specific offense]. Name what that person did. Get specific. Make it a complete forgiveness where no door is left open. Matthew 18:21-22.
- [Insert person’s name] owes me nothing, not even an apology, for [insert specific offense]. When someone takes something from us, we expect it back, right? We subconsciously believe they owe us an apology at the very least. Matthew 6:12.
- I forget that [insert person’s name] did [insert specific offense]. We must choose to forget the offenses or we will invite a spirit of resentment to vex us. 1 Corinthians 13:5.
- I renounce any negative feeling I have toward [insert person’s name]. I choose to love [insert person’s name]. Praying this is doing the Word instead of being ruled by our emotions. Proverbs 10:12.
- Father, help me see [insert person’s name] the way You do. God sees His creation with matchless love. John 3:16. He sees His people as righteous because of Jesus. Romans 3:22.
When Hurt Shatters Our Heart, God Resurrects It
If we are struggling to forgive then we need to ask ourselves how long do we want to stay hurt?
I’ve had to repeat the powerful process above innumerable times in my relationships, and each time I have experienced amazing healing. My heart would be shattered to fragments, but every time I say, “I forgive,” the pain decreases. It’s as if each time I say it, God takes a piece and reattaches it to the whole until it’s risen from the dead.
Why? There is power in doing the Word.
Peter asked Jesus how many times we are supposed to forgive someone. “Jesus said to him, ‘I do not I say to you seven times, but seventy-seven times’” (Matthew 18:22 ESV). The principle of forgiving from the heart stands above the place of tracking an exact number of offenses. Those who practice putting a limit on forgiveness will be overtaken by a root of bitterness.
So when we are hurt, we forgive. We choose to love one more time. We put a brave heart out there again and go into the world to shine the light of God’s love.
How has forgiving changed your relationship with someone?
Get the 5 Steps to Biblical Forgiveness printable in Insider Resources.Being hurt is awful. It leaves our heart shattered to pieces. Here’s how God heals the pain.