"When he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly.” (1 Peter 2:23b LB)
If you’ve been hurt by someone else, whether it’s physical or emotional, you’ve got a decision to make. You can use your energy to get well or get even.
But you can’t do both.
Jesus, too, understood pain and abuse. When he was crucified, he was wounded in every way possible — by his feet, his hands, and his head. They crushed a crown of thorns onto his skull. They nailed him to a cross. Roman soldiers gave him 40 lashes with a cat of nine tails.
Of course, Jesus’ deepest wounds weren’t physical but emotional. He was betrayed, rejected, and humiliated.
Yet 1 Peter 2:23 says, "When he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly” (LB). Jesus could have sent a billon angels to annihilate everyone while he was on the cross, but he didn’t.
He leaves the issue to his Father in Heaven. He says, “Father, forgive them. They don’t know what they’re doing.” He refuses to let pain make him bitter.
To get through the pain and abuse of this life, you must release those who’ve abused you. You can’t get well as long as you have resentment in your heart. For your own sake, you need to let go of your right to get even.
Getting even won’t make you feel better. Even if you were able to get even, it wouldn't take your pain away.
Does the person who hurt you deserve your forgiveness? No. But neither do you deserve God’s forgiveness. You offer forgiveness for your sake, not the other person's.
You can also be assured that God saw everything. The Bible says in Romans 12:19, "Never take revenge, my friends, but instead let God's anger do it. For the Scripture says, 'I will take revenge, I will pay back, says the Lord.'"
God saw what happened when you were hurt. And he wept, just as he was doing when his Son was crucified. It’s God’s responsibility to get even — not yours.
The person who hurt you won’t get away with it.
But you will. You’ll stop paying for someone else’s mistakes.
The Bible says in Hebrews 12:15, “A bitter spirit is not only bad in itself but can also poison the lives of many others" (Phillips).
Resentment is a poison pill you don’t need to swallow. You are only as happy as you choose to be.
So what’s your choice?
Talk It Over
- How does resentment hurt you as much or more as the person you won’t forgive?
- Why is it difficult to forgive someone who has hurt you?
- Who do you need to forgive?