One day at bible study my pastor was teaching on how we’re called to forgive folk since Christ forgave us. And since I’ve never fully understood that, ya’ll know me…I raised my hand like “church folk are always talking that forgiveness stuff like it’s SO easy to do. It’s much easier said then done.” And my pastor shot back that forgiveness isn’t hard to do, it’s getting past the hurt that someone did to us…THAT’S the hard thing to do. And after hearing that, I was floored like that’s an ill point and it got me thinking, exactly how do you get past that hurt? So, since I’m part of the crew who has to learn how to forgive and get past the hurt along with the rest of ya’ll, I’ve come up with three steps that have helped me in my journey with getting past the hurt that I wanted to share them with folk.
The first step in getting past the hurt is to let the person who hurt you…know that they hurt you. Too many people are beefing with their spouse, friends, and family And these folk have NO idea that you’re even mad at them or that they did something to hurt or offend you. I don’t know if we don’t wanna admit to someone that they have that much power to hurt us, or what. But from coaching couples with Dr. Roz, I’m always shocked at how many spouses are totally lost to the fact that their significant other is pissed off with them or they’re still hurt by something they did years ago.
We have to let folk know that we’re hurt! A lot of times we assume that if someone hurt us that they did it on purpose. And sometimes that’s the furthest thing from the truth. Sometimes we get hurt and that was the last thing that person was trying to do. There are too many times when stuff like this comes out and the other person says: “yooooo…I had NO idea I hurt you. I’m so sorry.” And in some instances an apology was all you were looking for in the first place. But how can somebody apologize to you if they had no idea you were pissed off in the first place? Trust me, if you really wanna get past the hurt, you gotta start by talking to the person who hurt you.
The second step is understanding that getting past the hurt may not be something that happens overnight. When I was growing up, whenever I did something wrong and I asked for forgiveness, the person forgave me. So guess what that did to me? It made me think that anytime I say “I’m sorry” that I’m gonna be forgiven, RIGHT THERE on the spot.
So you could imagine my surprise when I did something that hurt my wife’s feelings and I told her I was sorry and asked her to forgive me….and she told me “I don’t know.” I was like…”what happened?”
I never heard someone say that to me and I’m sure most of ya’ll haven’t heard that either…or at least haven’t heard that prior to being married. This is one of the reasons why when someone cheats in a marriage a lot of times the person who cheated doesn’t get why the incident keeps being brought up. Usually someone cheats and asks for forgiveness and the other person forgives them. So the person who cheated thinks, “cool, this is over cause he/she forgave me.” Wrong. Trust me, it’s FAR from being over.
Now of course, I’m speaking from the side of the person who did the hurting. But for the person who’s been hurt, they may feel the same way that I was explaining earlier, but just the flip –That when someone says “I’m sorry” that your first reaction should be “I forgive you.” And a lot of times if you’re dealing with an issue that really hurt you, forgiveness AND getting past the hurt is going to take time. And you need to understand that as well as the person who hurt you.
The third step is to completely grasp the concept that God forgives us….and we’re called to do the same. I know Rick Ross comes from the mind set of God forgives, I don’t and trust me, I’ve gone (and still go on a regular basis) to that place numerous times throughout my life. But at the end of the day, it’s what we’re called to do…no matter how much we don’t want to.
- “Be kinds to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.” – Ephesians 4:32
- “For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” – Matthew 6:14-15
- “Then Peter came up and said to him, “Lord how often will my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?” Jesus said to him “I do not say to you seven times, but seventy times seven.” Matthew18:21-22
Now don’t get it twisted, forgiving someone doesn’t mean you have to welcome the person who hurt you back into your life. It just means you’re giving up the right to punish that person for what they did to you. Cause guess what? If you don’t forgive them and get past the hurt, all you’re going to do is take that hurt and pain into your next relationship and we’ve got TOO many folk out here messing up their current relationships cause they never took the time to work through their past issues.
The problem is a lot of us don’t want to give up that power that we now have to punish this person cause we wanna get them back for hurting us. But guess what? It’s not our fight…it’s God’s. So my challenge for ya’ll this week is to get started on the process of getting past the hurt and pain and forgive somebody…and trust me, I KNOW personally that it’s easier said then done.