The Power of Forgiveness: Restoring Relationships

Have you ever given up on a relationship or seen a change in the way you connect with friends because of your inability to move past situations of disagreement and hurt? We have all heard the saying “forgive and forget” but to someone who is upset after a challenging period in a friendship or marriage, this sounds easier said than done. Many individuals use the phrase but rarely understand the significance to both the vitality of a relationship and an individual’s spiritual walk.

Imagine carrying around the fact that Jody from your tenth grade class embarrassed you in front of the entire school or what if you find yourself having an attitude with your in-laws because you haven’t gotten along in the past. The Bible declares, “Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against one of your people, but love your neighbor as yourself.” (Leviticus 19:18) Relationships experience challenging times, but don’t accept defeat by holding grudges and refusing to release individuals from situations where you may have been hurt or offended. Matthew 6:14, 15 declares, “For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.”Don’t stand in the way of your breakthrough because you find it difficult to forgive and let go. God wants you in position to receive His blessings and when you need it, His forgiveness.

Your attitude is what makes all the difference when repairing relationships that endure challenging periods. Your ability to forgive is necessary when attempting to build and strengthen in the aftermath. And even though you’ve been hurt, you have no right to return hurt. The Word encourages, “Finally, all of you, live in harmony with one another; be sympathetic, love as brothers, be compassionate and humble. Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult, but with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing.”  (1 Peter 3:8-9) No one is perfect. We have all fallen short and been reckless with our words or gotten out of hand because of our emotions. But the act of forgiveness in itself is a relationship strengthener and has the power to restore.

Don’t live your life with the weight of burdens from relationships where you are unable to forgive faults and shortcomings. Make forgiving and letting go, second nature. Yes, forgiving someone for hurtful words or actions can be difficult and it’s easy to buy into the cliché that says forgiving is easier said than done. But you can break the cycle of being hurt and begrudging by deciding today to resolve and release conflict as it occurs; never to revisit. This is a part of growing spiritually that you don’t have to do alone. The Word of God is available as your source for healing and restoration in your relationships.

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