Do you find it hard to forgive? If your answer is yes, then you are not alone…
At a very young age I have learned resentment. After I was molested at nine years old, not by one but two relatives, I stopped to be a normal child. I had a lot of hate inside me. I was bitter because no one was able to protect me. I hated my father for being an irresponsible and absent father. I hated how my mom was not able to stay home to take care of us. I kept the bitterness inside me for almost all my life and because of this, forgiving other people is something I always struggle with.
I grew up very sensitive of my feelings and very concerned of how other people see me. I remember how I would distance myself from friends or relatives who offended me, not talking to my mom or siblings for weeks, months, because of something they have said or done, and how I would skip church for a long time to avoid some people. I lost valuable time and relationships because it is hard for me to forgive.
“Learning to love yourself, is the greatest love of all” that’s the lyrics from a well-known song. If you will think about it, it’s not absolutely true. Loving yourself is the easiest thing to do. It’s easy to think of yourself, it’s easy to be selfish, it’s easy to take advantage of others for your benefit. It’s also the reason why it’s hard to forgive. When we are hurt, what we feel is the center of the universe, it’s always about us.
No, loving yourself is not the greatest love of all, but loving others is. It’s the hardest thing to do. It’s hard because it inconveniences yourself. It requires sacrifice. It requires you to deny yourself and your entitlement. It requires you to look past the offense. It requires you to forgive.
Forgiving others is hard and yet it’s one thing you have to do over and over again for the rest of your life. Because the truth is, people will offend you, hurt you, whether intentionally or unintentionally. It’s inevitable. I don’t think I could have ever forgiven those who have wronged me without relying on God. Forgiving others is a never-ending pursuit. It’s hard, so let God help you do it. You don’t have to go through it alone. Let him enable you to do it.