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Forgiveness does not come naturally. In fact, it seems easier to resent than to love others when we've been wronged. Offenses can cut deep into our hearts and be difficult to forget.

The world would say to us, "curse your enemies and hate them." However, Jesus asks us to do the opposite. He says to love our enemies, bless them, and do good to them. He also tells us to pray for them even when they’ve wronged us.

Unforgiveness in the human heart is like a pressure cooker without a relief valve. It can only take so much before it blows. Over time, unforgiveness becomes unbearable and affects our spirit, families, relationships, and our health. One thing I’ve learned is... though we think holding onto offense punishes the offender, the opposite occurs. Unforgiveness causes greater harm to the one who holds it.

Grace, on the other hand, doesn’t seem fair either. Forgiving someone requires me to be humble and ignore what the world around me is saying. Even when my pain cries out for personal justice, forgiveness requires me to submit to God and forgive others just as He has forgiven me.

I encourage you to give up the frustration, resentment, and unforgiveness that make a home in the corners of the heart. Pray for those who have wronged you, and let God take care of the rest. Give Him authority to defend you and trust Him to judge rightly. Allow God to replace the hurt with His peace.

It may take some time, but as you give that offense to God – piece by piece, all that is broken in you will mend. As you show grace to others, you will notice it extended back to you. Freely, you have received forgiveness; freely give.

Matthew 5:44 Love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you.

Colossians 3:13 Forgive as the Lord forgave you.

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