Chance are you have been offended by someone. Someone has said or done something that has upset you. It may have been so painful or offensive that it causes you to become worked up just thinking about the person or the event that took place.
The Bible says, Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. (Colossians 3:12–13)
So how do you forgive someone who has offended you?
1. Speak to the person. Sometimes people are unaware that they have offended us. They may have unintentionally said something that just struck a nerve with you.
If your brother sins against you, go and show him his fault, just between the two of you. If he listens to you, you have won your brother over. (Matthew 18:15)
2. Don’t let your emotions get the best of you. When we are hurt, our tendency is to lash out. When that happens it only makes things worse. As the old saying goes, two wrongs don’t make a right.
Sensible people control their temper; they earn respect by overlooking wrongs. (Proverbs 19:11)
3. Pray for the person. Prayer changes everything. Prayer can turn our hearts from bitterness to humbleness. When we truly pray for those who do us wrong it changes our heart. It helps us to see things clearer. It allows us to examine our heart in regards to the matter.
Bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. (Luke 6:28)
4. Forgive the person. If you are ever to find peace with God, you must be willing to forgive the person. Your relationship with God depends on your willingness to forgive. Forgiveness means ceasing to feel resentment for wrongs and offenses.
For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins. (Matthew 6:14–15)
When you are able to forgive someone, you reflect the character of God. The Bible says to be imitators of God. (Ephesians 5:1) If God has forgiven you, shouldn’t you do the same to others?