The title here kinda says it all.... Have you ever been hurt/offended at something that happened to you in life? Someone say something to you that just rubbed you the wrong way? Or someone told you something and maybe they didn't hold true to their promise? Maybe your a teenager or child and your parents or someone you trusted did something just really wrong to you. Maybe there's a divorce that you were victim to? How do you handle it?
One thing you could do is hold onto that hurt and let it rot in your heart, never forgiving them who have hurt you.
Or you could say "God, I know what this person did to me way wrong. Whether or not they know it (and perhaps you need to just say something to this person/group of people and let them know). But regardless God, I release the hurt and pain that's been caused by this. I choose to not let this build into hatred. I love them and pray the biggest blessing onto them."
Believe it or not, but I'm one who has encountered a lot of hurt in my life. I had things said about me behind my back and all sorts of false accusations leveled at me and misunderstandings. But through all of it, the Lord has always given me the grace to get through and just be like "God, i love and release them."
That doesn't come right away. But over time and through prayer, forgiveness was granted. You're probably thinking "Well Shawn, that's easy for you to say. But have you ever gone through a divorce or been physically/sexually/mentally abused? What about those?"
Your right, there's a lot in life I haven't experienced. And I don't know the pains that that causes people. There are people who have gone through horrendous ordeals in life, and I wouldn't even want to try and imagine the pains they've suffered. But I know of Someone who has. Someone who came to set people free from their bondages that separate them from God. (Yes, His name is Jesus...)
You may have gone through divorces, or been raped or some sort of other abuse. Your not alone. But I do want to tell you that through the grace of God, you can forgive those who have hurt you.
I'll tell you where this is coming from. I don't know about you, but I have days where I just don't want to be around folks. Sometimes, different times for different reasons. But sometimes, offenses just like to get in their. And sometimes, the very people who your trying to get don't understand that and they don't take your help or they misread you and your like "believe it or not, but I'm trying to help." And in that, grudges and bitterness start forming. Then you have to pull back on the reigns and just be like "ok, no matter what they might have thought, I still love them and want the best for them."
It's usually not that easy to forgive all. I know whole books have been written about this very idea. One time, i heard this story from a friend of mine who he was loosing his wife to breast cancer. And he was starting to get mad at God. After all, he was a good and faithful missionary in Asia. And here he's having to deal with this disease! I mean, its like "Hey God, i'm trying to work for you here, could you help me out?!!?" And the one question he got from God was "If you loose her, will you be offended at me?" (Lesson learned in life: When God asks you a question like this, the wrong thing to do is to try and answer it, because its a set up!). In the end, my friend lost his wife to cancer, got remarried and is to this day still serving the Lord.
I just lost my grandpa just a couple months ago. He was faithfully serving God and he just died. He was in his late 70's and he went to his church to help with the viewing of a 17 yr old who had just committed suicide. He went up to his pastor and asked if there was anything he could do to help out. Before his pastor answered him, he fell forward and died. Granted, my grandpa is in Heaven with Jesus, so he had a good turn out. But its in situations like that that you have to wonder at times.
In any case, there were lately some situations in my life that happened and I was hurting. In the end, the Lord was telling me to forgive. It's not easy and not fair. There were probably misunderstandings and preconceived ideas that weren't true. But still, He said forgive. Thank God for His grace. Because I know I can turn to Jesus who dealt with a lot of the same things and probably soo much more, and He still forgave. Even after being nailed to the Cross, He still said "Forgive them Father, because they don't know what they're doing."
Of course, I'm sure that for all 4 of you who are reading this have absolutely NO unresolved issues. If that's not the case, may the Lord extend grace to forgive. It's nothing you can do on your own, you need to fall on His grace and love.