Posted by: celticanglican | March 13, 2011

Praying for Those Who Have Wronged You

I’m probably opening up a huge can of worms here, but wanted to touch on the issue of praying for those who have wronged you in some way. I’m speaking for myself here, but have found that this can be one of the more difficult things to do.

Last year, I had some issues with a few people that progressively got worse and worse until everyone was walking on eggshells. The “ringleader” (so to speak) goes through times of being nice and normal and then back to difficulty. Even though the Bible teaches us to forgive others, it’s easy to understand why forgiveness can be such a monumental struggle for many people.

Do you find it difficult to forgive when there’s no outward repentance?

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Responses

  1. Yep, find it hard AND have been known to use it as an excuse to not forgive.

    Just read Larry D. Ellis’ “Forgiveness” and he really takes away all the excuses. He really brings out Jesus’ high calling to forgive fully and unconditionally, even when reconciliation is not achieved.

    A key idea in the book is learing to “agree with God,” a principle we can apply to all kinds of issues in our lives. As far as forgiving the unrepentant, we must agree with Jesus that we should forgive, even when we are not feeling forgiving!

  2. “A key idea in the book is learing to “agree with God,” a principle we can apply to all kinds of issues in our lives.”

    Hi Timothy,
    Thanks for sharing about that book, it sounds like a good read. One thing that’s helped me with the issue of forgiving the “offending parties” is making it a point to pray for them every day. IMO, Jesus’ plea of “Father forgive them, for they know not what they do” serves as an excellent reminder of the need to forgive.

  3. Celtic,

    I have been struggling with this myself. I go through times of feeling like I have it in my heart to forgive anyone anything, no matter how horrible, to times where I just can’t let go of the bitterness and pain. I find comfort in your response/reminder of Jesus’ plea…but what if the person wronging you does know what they are doing? There is a person in my life (a family member) who I swear wants to hurt me. I can’t cut them out, because they go out of their way to appear kind and Godly, but when I start to trust them and show them my soft underbelly (so to speak), they hurt me again. How can a person who admittedly believes in God and goes through all the steps of being a really great person and Christian be so willfully cruel? And how is someone supposed to find it in their heart for repeatedly forgive them? I understand it’s my fault for continuing to believe that they have changed, but I keep hoping that God has worked his will on this person.
    I don’t really think you’ll have the answer for me…I guess I just needed to get that off my chest.
    Just know that you are not alone in finding unconditional forgiveness to be a difficult thing.

  4. “How can a person who admittedly believes in God and goes through all the steps of being a really great person and Christian be so willfully cruel? And how is someone supposed to find it in their heart for repeatedly forgive them?”

    Hi Random,

    It seems like sometimes the cruelest people in a person’s life can be those closest to them. Deliberate cruelty is especially brutal, IMO. I’ve seen a lot of people go through the motions of being a Christian, but their behavior towards others says otherwise.

    In my case, I’ve found that forgiving doesn’t mean that you have to be ok with what they’ve done or act as though nothing ever happened. I had to finally reach a place where I bore no ill will towards the person in question, and actively prayed for God to restore whatever was broken in their life that was behind the behavior. Just a few thoughts…I hope you’ll stop by regularly.

  5. That is such a simple solution, one that had never occurred to me. Thank you! I will most definitely be checking back regularly! God bless.

    • You’re most welcome. I’m glad I was able to help in some way.


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