How many times have someone hurt you in some way, or said something to you that made you feel so angry and upset that you resented them. Usually the person is someone close to you, your significant other, a close family member, a close friend, or even co-worker. If the relationship is a meaningful one, and it broke down for some reason, it is easy to feel resentment and even downright hate for that person, especially if you feel you were in the right. Holding those bad feelings for that person somehow makes you feel better. It’s like a coping mechanism, the more you hate that person, the better you feel. But that is not really the case. It does not make you feel better, it makes you bitter.
Hate Gives the other Person Power over You
I read somewhere that grudges are like luggage, the things inside are important, but when you carry it around all the time, you will begin to feel the weight. And this weight manifests itself in stress, anxiety, depression and other health issues. It can even prevent you from forming healthy relationships in the future. When you allow the hurt you feel from something someone did you to consume you to the point of bitter resentment, you are actually giving that person power over you. Power to control your emotions, power to make you miserable and feel bad about yourself. Don’t give them that power. You are actually hurting you, not them.
Forgiveness Frees You
Why not put yourself in the other person’s shoes. Think about it. If you offended someone, knowingly or not, wouldn’t you want to be forgiven? Suppose the offense was unintentional, and you never meant to hurt the person, don’t you think you deserve a chance to make things right? Then do the same! While I know forgiveness is not easy to do at first, it is the only way you can lighten the burden. The forgiveness is not so much for the other person, but for you. Because forgiveness allows you to live a better, freer, more confident life.
Forgiveness Restores or Releases
Depending on the type of relationship you have with that person, you can either talk with them and get it off of your chest, or if you would rather not talk to them directly, talk to someone else. But you need to let it go somehow. I know from experience that when you just forget and let go of the person who hurt you in some way, three things happen:
- the relationship is restored and you become closer
- the relationship is restored, not at the same level, but to the point where there is no more animosity, or
- the person disappears from your life completely, which may not be a bad thing, especially if that person did more than emotional harm but physical harm to you as well.
Forgiveness draws you closer to God
Forgiveness also draws you closer to God. The bible directs us to forgive anyone we hold a grudge against so our sins can be forgiven too. If at any time you feel far away from God, or if your prayers are not being answered, then check to see if you have a grudge against someone. This could be the reason why. You cannot have a meaningful relationship with God if you are carrying hate and resentment in your heart.
Forgiveness is powerful. When you let go of resentment and hate, you become lighter and freer. Your whole outlook on life changes. And you become more confident. You can now accomplish more things than you could before, because your focus now is on something positive.