How many times have we accepted someone’s apology knowing that we were still resentful for their actions? How many times have you apologized to someone knowing it wouldn’t make a difference whether they accepted your apology or not?
I used to work in a dining hall in a retirement home near my college campus. I met and interviewed a couple for a feature story for my college newspaper. They were an 80 year old couple who traveled twice a year to a new country. They shared with me a beautiful story of how they met and came to be married for so long.
I, of course, asked what everyone wants to know when it comes to long lasting marriage. The wife told me: practicing forgiveness.
It’s always hard to forgive someone when they’ve hurt you. One of my favorite Bob Marley quotes is, “Everyone’s going to hurt you, you just have to find the ones worth suffering for.”
Anyone that is close to you, personally or professionally, will eventually hurt you. It’s a sad but true fact. Your mother could yell at you for something your sibling did. You’re up for a promotion at work, and instead of receiving that promotion, your boss lays you off. You’ve been with your significant other for a few years and you’re ready to pop the question, but she tells you that she wants to go separate ways.
Your first instinct is to seek revenge. Another is to hope karma will come back to them. Another instinct is to wallow in the hurt and have self doubt.
But what we all struggle with is letting the hurt settle and moving on from it.
God does not want you to hurt. He knows your pains before you do. He knows your prayers before you even send them up to heaven. He sees your tears and wants to see you smile.
But in order to move on from past hurt, you must learn to forgive, not because the other person needs or wants it, but because you need it.
You have to learn how to be capable of handling situations more efficiently and combat your pride for the sake of your own sanity.
Letting go of anger and bitterness leads to a more wholesome life, and opens the doors for God’s healing powers. Ask God to heal you and release the pain to him. He wants to help you, but you have to ask for it. Pray, meditate, be still and let God work his magic.
Also, a man some odd 2,000 years ago plead to God to save you and forgive you of your sins. If a man can carry the weight of the world on his shoulders to save you and ask for God to forgive you, you should be kind enough to forgive someone, too.