Self-Worth and a Forgiving Spirit

Most often, forgiveness is not a onetime event. You may need to go through many rounds of forgiving in your fight against bitterness. This is a normal part of the process of forgiveness. But if you confront your hurts and face your wounds, it will be worth the emotional bruises you will likely experience. As you consistently release each recurring thought of an offense or revenge for an offense, eventually the thoughts will diminish and disappear.

A person who was rejected by her parents and put into an orphanage was constantly asked one question: “Aren’t you bitter toward your parents?” And her consistent reply? “No. I am not. As a child in the orphanage, and the difficult years that followed, I experienced periods of bitterness, but I chose to forgive my parents even though I knew they would never respond to me.

Perhaps the most basic mistake made by those who are bitter is the belief that they cannot forgive because they don’t feel like it. Forgiveness is not an emotion. One can choose to forgive whether one feels like it or not. Many of us have had to reject our emotions, saying ‘No’ to our natural inclinations and firmly declare, ‘I forgive.’ ”

Jesus emphasizes the “again and again” nature of forgiveness when He says,“If he sins against you seven times in a day … forgive him.” (Luke 17:4)