What if I can't forgive?

Manu Ryösö
Maria Bavis

Forgiving someone can be very difficult, if not impossible. Nonetheless, the Bible tells us to both ask for forgiveness and to forgive others. In fact, it says in the Bible that if we don’t forgive others, we ourselves will not be forgiven. So what are we to do when unforgiveness and bitterness gnaws away at our heart?

First, it’s important that we confess this sin to God. We bring the matter before God – that we cannot forgive. Through Jesus we can believe this too to be forgiven. At the same time, we ask that God in His mercy would do a work in us and help us to forgive. It is only with His grace that the deep wounds in our heart can heal. It can also help to discuss the matter with your pastor, someone you trust or the person who has hurt us.

Forgiveness is a decision we make. On an emotional level, however, it can sometimes be a lengthy process. Sometimes it could take years before we can rid ourselves from feeling bitter. But it is important that we let go of revenge.

Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.
(Ephesians 4:32 ESV)

Our graceful God, you know me inside out. Keep my heart from growing hard and bitter.