Years ago, I experienced an extremely hurtful situation. Someone close to me, whom I had grown to trust, went from “singing my praises” to sharing how they really felt about me which was totally negative. They had developed a wrong misperception of who I was and inwardly began to resent me. On the outside, they sang my praises but when the right opportunity presented itself, they began to pour out all the frustration, bitterness and envy they felt. I was shocked because I had NO idea this person felt that way about me. Basically, they had me believing a lie.
That day when everything hit the fan, I was faced with a hard decision. I could choose to retaliate and say hurtful things back to them, I could involve others in the situation and magnify it or I could chose to move on. I chose to move on. I resisted the urge to get into my feelings or act according to my fleshly desires. I chose to find the good in the situation. It allowed me to be removed from an environment I no longer needed to be in and allowed me to walk into new doors and opportunities.
Sometimes when we pray for God to change things in our lives or to give us opportunities to pursue our dreams or whatever prayers we pray, we expect Him to do it a certain way. It rarely happens the way we think, but it always works out for our good.
Why did I forgive? One reason is my parents instilled in me early on to forgive others. It was the way I was raised. We don’t hold grudges. We move on. Another reason, is I remember the Bible encourages us to forgive seventy times seven (which really means we forgive as many times as necessary…there is no limit). Another reason, is I know there are times I have wronged someone and they forgave me. So everyone deserves to be forgiven and it is our duty.
When we hold grudges and are unwilling to forgive, we hurt ourselves. We hold ourselves captive and continue to give that situation or that person control over us. The sooner we can forgive, the sooner we experience peace.
That person never told me they were sorry or that they were wrong. I never expected them to. But I had to get to a point that it didn’t matter if they did or did not. I was OKAY! However, I have seen the relationship come full circle and God has restored some things.
Choosing to forgive is necessary for your peace and places you in right standing with God. Outside of that, you’ll be forever chasing something that is outside of your reach. If someone has hurt you, make sure you forgive them. Don’t waste time holding onto grudges and past hurts that only keep you bound. You have it within your power to release yourself today through forgiveness.
~Coletta Jones Patterson