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You Can Forgive Others – Rick Warren

“Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”

Ephesians 4:32 (NIV)

God calls us to forgive others, but how do we do that? Here are four ways to help you let go of your pain, hurt, and bitterness.
Recognize that no one is perfect. When we’ve been hurt, we tend to lose our perspective about the person who offended us. But we need to remember that we are all imperfect people. Colossians 3:13 says, “Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others” (NLT).

Relinquish your right to get even. Trust God to confront the person who hurt you and trust him to work things out for you. Choose compassion over your desire to retaliate. The Bible says, “Don’t insist on getting even; that’s not for you to do. “I’ll do the judging,” says God. “I’ll take care of it”” (Romans 12:19 The Message).

Respond to evil with good. Romans 12:21 says, “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good” (NIV). Getting even only brings you down to the other person’s level. Take the high road instead. The Bible says to treat your enemies with kindness. It’s nearly impossible to do this on your own. That’s why you need the love of Jesus to fill you up.

Refocus on God’s plan for your life. When you are focused on the people who hurt you, you’re actually letting them control your life. When you forgive them, you find the freedom to refocus on God’s purpose for your life. Isaiah 26:3 says, “You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you” (NLT).

Don’t go another day with resentment, bitterness, and unforgiveness in your heart. Start practicing these four choices and move on to live the life God created you to live.

Talk It Over

Relinquishing your right to get even requires an act of faith. Why?
When someone hurts you, why is it important to remember that we are all imperfect people?
If you hurt someone, how would you want them to approach you? Why would you expect them to forgive you?
Why is focusing on God’s plan for your life more important than focusing on how you’ve been wronged?

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