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How to forgive those who hurt you

Unsplash/K. Mitch Hodge
Unsplash/K. Mitch Hodge

We are living in dangerous times. And because of that, too many of us are throwing kindness and goodness to the wind. It is becoming increasingly difficult for people to reciprocate kindness and express gratitude for the good deeds done to them.

Instead of showing appreciation, many usually resort to evil when their expectation of benevolence is not met. This is now a trend in our societies, and a lot of good Christians are becoming discouraged.

Doing good, for the Christian, is simply not an option. As Paul reminds us: “As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith” (Galatians 6:10). In Nigeria, our churches are filled with wolves in sheep’s clothing. You’d expect God’s Church to be a haven, but even in the Church we have far too many false brothers who do harm to the “household of faith” instead of good.

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The deepest pain is the one which you receive from those whom you have brought very close to you — those for whom you confided and sacrificed. David had the same experience and expressed his pain about it: “Even my best friend, the one I trusted completely, the one who shared my food, has turned against me” (Psalm 41:9).

This is what is happening to many good Christians today. But should this dissuade us from staying true to Christ’s calling and do good? The answer is obvious.

Sadly, the devil is at work and uses people who are ignorant of his schemes to hinder those who are heavenly-bound from showing love and care to people around them. Some people profess Christ but are not interested in actually following Him, and the devil uses such individuals to discourage others who are zealous for God’s Kingdom. Scripture reminds us to be obedient and vigilant, “so that no advantage would be taken of us by Satan, for we are not ignorant of his schemes” (2 Corinthians 2:11).

Let’s not forget that Christians are human, and sometimes internal struggles clash with the Spirit. Most often the struggle is so overwhelming that our flesh wins out. We respond with vitriol, hatred, and violence, forsaking the call of Christ.

It is becoming difficult not to react to wickedness from men and women. However, Christ and Stephen’s example reminds us to rather ask, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing” (Luke 23:34). Really, most of them do not know what they are doing.

This prayer point is an antidote to pains, emotional injuries, and scars that come from disappointments from the world and even from close Christian friends. Praying this prayer daily for those whom the enemy has used to hurt us in the past can bring forgiveness and understanding to an ailing heart.

Lest we forget, “Repay to no man evil for evil” (Romans 12:17) is not a suggestion but a biblical command. We should resolve to never seek revenge but rather bless others. Let our light of good deeds towards those who have hurt us bring them to repentance.

Oscar Amaechina is the president of Afri-Mission and Evangelism Network, Abuja, Nigeria. His calling is to take the gospel to where no one has neither preached nor heard about Jesus. He is the author of the book Mystery Of The Cross Revealed.  

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