And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive them, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.” – Mark 11:25 NIV
I don’t suppose anyone is really immune to being hurt by other people. Part of being social creatures is that we interact with other people. And in the interaction is endless opportunity for hurt or misunderstanding. Sometimes the hurt is intentional, and other times it is not. But in the end, hurt is hurt.
While hurt is inevitable, what we do with that hurt is not. We can choose how we are going to respond, both to the hurt, and the one who caused it. There are two primary responses I can make when hurt. I can hold onto the hurt, feeding the pain, and watching it grow. Or I can let go of it, looking to resolve whatever causes the hurt, and not allowing it to rule over me.
Jesus tells me here to forgive the one who has hurt me, to not hold it against them. Because, not only is that resentment festering inside of me like a poison, it is also hindering my relationship with God. If your walk with God seems strained and distant, could it be because of unforgiveness on your part?
When you come before God in prayer, and a person comes to mind that you have an issue with, stop and pray for them, seeking to forgive them, and then continue with your quiet time (Matt. 5:23-24). Be free of the hurt. And be free to walk in harmony with God.