Is there someone who hurt you that you can’t bring yourself to forgive from your heart? Do you know someone who can’t forgive?” Do you believe the person who wronged you does not deserve forgiveness? I have come to realize that not forgiving is hatred. My website is about changing unhealthy beliefs to experience a new reality. What we think and say comes from what we believe, and what we believe directs our behavior, and our choices determine our destiny. In this series of posts, I will expose the unhealthy beliefs that control our lives and how to transform them with the truth to experience a new reality.
Where Does the Unforgiving Belief Come From?
The root of unforgiveness is resentment. I was offended by the hurtful words and actions of my mother, father, sisters, friends, and so on, which wounded my soul. The wounds began to fester, and resentment grew. When resentment grows, it becomes bitterness and hate.
Have you known an older person who was bitter because of the wounds from their past? We tend to relive the hurts to justify why we can’t forgive, and we give them the power to control our thoughts. As I said earlier, unforgiveness is hatred toward the person who you feel wronged you. Sometimes we are wronged by someone who did not intentionally want to hurt us, but we take offense by something they said or did or something they did not say or do. Does this make sense? Then there are those we thought loved us yet betrayed us. Betrayal creates a deep wound, and the person who betrayed us is the hardest to forgive.
As I seek God to heal the wounds of my soul, He shows me my resentment toward that person or persons whom I have not forgiven. It may be an offense I have forgotten about, but it grew into resentment that controlled my thoughts. The resentment that kept me in bondage was perceived unfair treatment. I say perceived because I felt something was unfair that may not have been unfair. If I thought my sisters had something I didn’t or got to do something I couldn’t, I would become jealous and think it was unfair.
An example could be that your sibling got a gift you liked. Instead of being happy for them, you became envious and thought it was unfair, especially if they didn’t share their gift with you. Resentment begins to take root. Years later, you wonder why your sibling irritates you. Go to God in prayer and ask Him to show you. You don’t need to forgive your sibling or parents because it was their gift, and they didn’t have to share. But you were offended when they did not share, so you still need to forgive them for not sharing.
Another source of unforgiveness is pride. We often don’t want to forgive because we think that forgiving is excusing them, and we would rather punish them. Unfortunately, we are hurting ourselves more by not forgiving because we give the person who hurt us the power to continue to hurt us through our memories. Sometimes we arrogantly think they don’t deserve to be forgiven. The parable of the unforgiving servant in Matthew 18:21-35 is an example of how pride keeps you from forgiving and what the consequence is. Jesus tells the parable when Peter asks, “Lord, how often will my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?” Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you seven times, but seventy-seven times (Matthew 18:21-22). When we don’t show mercy and forgive as the servant didn’t, we will remain in bondage until we do forgive. Mathew 18:35 states, “So also my heavenly Father will do to every one of you, if you do not forgive your brother from your heart.”
What Is the Truth That Transforms this Unhealthy Belief?
When we forgive, the power of the offense that controls our thoughts and behavior is removed. You may never forget the painful event, but the memory of that event won’t have power over your thoughts and feelings. You will be free to love and not be in bondage and controlled by hate.
The most important truth is that God forgives us of our sins, so we must forgive others. Otherwise, He will not forgive us. Matthew 6:14-15 states, “For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” We are commanded to forgive, so if we don’t, it becomes a sin. If we are not forgiven of our sins, then we risk losing our place in heaven.
Know that Jesus suffered many wrongs and lies, yet He forgave even those who beat and whipped Him and then crucified Him (Luke 23:34). 1Peter 2:21-25 states, “For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps. 22 He committed no sin, neither was deceit found in his mouth. 23 When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly. 24 He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed.” God wants to heal the wounds of your soul from the hurt you suffered at the hands of sinners. Aso, ask God to show you how you have sinned against someone and hurt them because of the hurt in your heart.
How To Change Unhealthy Beliefs
2. Submit the wrong thinking to God and ask Him to show you the truth.
3. Ask God to show you if there is a painful memory controlling your thoughts and decisions.
4. Pray and put off the unhealthy belief controlling your thoughts and put on the truth God shows you from His Word.
I first loosed the false beliefs that God showed me and replaced it with scripture truths like the following:
- I believe in Jesus and receive His forgiveness, and I believe He will help me forgive others who have sinned against me. Acts 10:43
- I can forgive for my own sake, and I receive God’s love and put my trust in Jesus, who forgave me and gave me eternal life. John 3:16
- I can forgive others who sinned against me, and I accept forgiveness from God for my sins. Matt. 6:14-15
- Forgiving heals my heart so that I can be kind and tenderhearted. Eph. 4:31-32
- Forgiveness sets me free from painful memories and opens my heart to love. Col. 3:12-14
- I surrender my desire to punish, fill my heart with Your love so I can bless those who hurt me. Rom. 12:14
- I can control how I respond to every situation. I choose to have compassion for myself and others. Col. 3:12-14
Resentment grows into hate and bitterness, where unforgiveness is. I learned that forgiving those who mistreated me or did not meet my expectations helped me overcome my hatred and resentment. The key is to acknowledge you have the resentful feeling quickly, ask God to expose the wrong thinking, then put it off. Next, forgive if you need to and put on the truth. The freedom from the power of my painful memories has allowed me to love others from a pure heart. I can write a lot more, but you understand because everyone has experienced the feeling of resentment from an offense. I would love to hear how you overcame this unhealthy belief.
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