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Learning to Forgive I

By Latoya M. Williams
In order for me to live and fulfill the plans God had for my life, I had to let the hurts go. Forgiveness was not only an option, but it was also a necessity.

Want to live a life of happiness and fulfillment? Of course, you do, everyone does! Well, you must learn to forgive. Forgiving offenses can be hard because often we feel justified in our actions to hold anger towards another. To forgive means to let go of the anger we hold inside of us and allow God to deal with the person that transgressed against us, in His wisdom as He sees fit. Forgiveness doesn't mean we deny that a wrong has happened; nor does it mean we become "instant friends" with the offender.  It simply means we have made a conscious decision to release from our mental prison those who have hurt us.

Biblically, we are instructed to forgive. "If you forgive those who sin against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you. But if you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins." (Matthew 6:14-15) Jesus taught that in order for us to receive forgiveness from our sins, we must forgive those that have sinned against us. I had to come to terms that I wanted to see the life God pre-ordained for me to live. I wanted to reach my destiny and not die without having completed the work He had for me. I discovered we must forgive in three categories 1) others 2) yourself and 3) God.

Forgive Others

Many of us have had someone to hurt us in our lives, whether it was through betrayal, lying words or actions. Growing up, I felt like an outsider and was often teased by my peers. This teasing led to many years of distrust and an inability to develop close relationships. I realize that I had been holding on to offenses and it led to bitterness and misery. I thought holding others captive in my thoughts would harm them; but it was only detrimental to me. All of my offenders were living and enjoying their lives, while I was at somewhat of a stand still. I had to forgive; I didn't want to. I wanted to hold on to every painful statement or action someone had said or done to me, but I had to let it go. In order for me to live and fulfill the plans God had for my life, I had to let the hurts go.   Forgiveness was not only an option, it was a necessity.  I’m saying to you, “let go of the offenses others have caused you.”  I know it hurts and I understand; however, the plans God have far you are far greater than harboring pain in your heart from the past.