People with low self-worth often struggle to get past the circumstance that was the breeding ground for their low self-esteem. Do you struggle to forgive those who hurt your self-worth?
Does God really expect the person whose self-worth was abused to forgive all who mercilessly used and abused him/her … who treated him/her worse than a rabid animal … who withheld from him/her all the longings of her heart? Such a thing would be humanly impossible. Why would (s)he even want to forgive the evil done to him/her? How could (s)he ever forgive it? And why should (s)he forgive it?
People with low self-worth and went through this abuse, know that in order to put the pieces of his/her broken life back together, it is necessary to forgive those who had grievously wronged him/her. The Bible says, “Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.” (Colossians 3:13)
Forgiveness is a stumbling block to many people. For this reason we should describe what forgiveness really is and is not:
Forgiveness is not:
- Circumventing God’s justice … God will execute His justice in His time and in His way.
- Letting the guilty off the hook … It is moving them from your hook onto God’s hook.
- Excusing sinful behaviour … God says the offense is without excuse.
- Stuffing your anger … It is resolving your anger by releasing it to God.
- Being a doormat … It is being like Christ—He is certainly not a doormat!
- Forgetting … It is essential to remember in order to forgive.
- Feeling … It is an act of the will.
“You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised.” (Hebrews 10:36)
- Dismissing a debt owed to you … It is releasing the offender from the obligation to repay you.
- Giving up the option of holding on to the offense … It is giving the offense to God.
- Possible without reconciliation … It is one-way and requires the action of only one person.
- Extended even if it is never requested or earned … It is in no way dependent on any action by the offender.
- Extending mercy … It is not giving the offender what is deserved.
- Set the offender free from you … It is to also set you free from the offender and free from bondage to bitterness.
- Changing your thinking about the offender … It is seeing the offender as someone in need of forgiveness, just as you are in need of forgiveness.
“The Lord our God is merciful and forgiving, even though we have rebelled against him.” (Daniel 9:9)
Make a list of all persons you need to forgive.
- Write down all offenses committed by each person.
- In prayer, one by one, release each offense to God.
- Take each offense off of your emotional hook and put them all onto God’s hook.
- Then take the offender off of your hook and put that person onto God’s hook.