Has someone ever done a hurtful thing to you or to someone you love?
Ministry can be full of these painful experiences.
Maybe you’ve thought, “I know the ‘pastor thing’ to do is to forgive, so I will. I will forgive them as soon as they give me an apology.”
But that mindset has a problem: You’re still holding on to the hurt.
Truth is, that person may never ask you for forgiveness.
They may never say they’re sorry.
They may not care or even realize what they’ve done. So you end up stewing over something that the other person has long forgotten.
And it’s eating you up inside!
Never hold on to a hurt.
It only leads to resentment, and resentment tears you up.
Resentment is like drinking poison and then hoping it will harm someone else.
It doesn’t work.
But resentment does have an antidote: forgiveness.
Jesus served as a clear example of forgiveness—even in the most extreme circumstances.
As he hung on the cross, he said of his executioners: “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing” (Luke 23:34 NIV).
When you struggle to forgive someone, remember the great gift of God’s forgiveness—the forgiveness that Jesus offered on the cross and offers to you, too.
Colossians 3:13 sums it up well: “Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others” (NLT). (Pastor, you might want to write this verse down, carry it with you throughout the day, and memorize it. You’ll have plenty of chances to use it!)
The Greek word that is translated as “make allowance” carried the meaning of “to bear with, to endure, to be tolerant.”
In other words, cut people some slack.
Jesus said, “Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy” (Matthew 5:7 NIV).
You get God’s blessing on your life when you’re merciful.
When faced with a hurt, you have a choice: You can hold on to it and be destroyed by resentment, or you can live in the freedom of forgiveness. Choose to forgive today.