Sowing Forgiveness After the Hurt!

“Ouch! That hurt me!” said the person who just got their foot stepped on by another person. “It was an accident! I’m sorry!” said the person who caused the pain. Having someone step on your foot accidentally is much different than someone saying hurtful words that injure your confidence, character, and self-esteem. The pain in your foot can go away in a few short minutes; however, the pain experienced when someone says hurtful things to you could remain for a lifetime. The reality is we will get hurt in life. Jesus said… “I have told you this, so that you might have peace in your hearts because of me. While you are in the world, you will have to suffer. But cheer up! I have defeated the world.” (John 16:33, CEV) But the goal is to forgive and move on after you have been hurt.

How can we cheer up during times of hurt and pain, as Jesus encourages us to do? What steps can we take to give us more peace and love after being hurt? How can we sow seeds of forgiveness after people have hurt us to the core? The answer I believe can be found in 1 Corinthians 13, which is affectionately known as the “Love Chapter”. Love, God’s love in us, is the only way we can possibly forgive, let go and move on from any hurt, pain, or disappointment.

One of the characteristics of love found in 1 Corinthians 13 is “… it keeps no record of being wronged.” (v. 5, NLT) Another translation says, “Love does not count up [keep a record of] wrongs that have been done.” (EXB) When we don’t forgive, it is like carrying around a large file cabinet, which contains all the records of wrongs people have done to us. Can you imagine carrying on your back a file cabinet full of the records from people who wronged us? We would be weighted down and not able to move freely. The weight of the “file cabinet” full of records would hold us down and keep us down.

Now is the time to get rid of all the records of pain, hurt, disappointment, guilt and the like. It is time to walk free from the records of wrongs we have been carrying for years and years. When people hurt us, we must remember how much God has forgiven us. What if God kept all the records from the wrongs we’ve done? The Bible asks the same question in Psalm 130:3, “LORD, if you kept a record of our sins, who, O Lord, could ever survive?” Let’s treat people the way God treats us. He forgives us, so we should forgive one another.

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