What to do when you don’t want to forgive

When we do not forgive others we hold in past pain. Photo: AP

WAKE FOREST, N.C., September 1, 2013 — We have all had things done to us that were not right. In some cases, they were done intentionally. You are hurting in many ways because of what others have done, and you may hate the fact that you should forgive anyway.

So now what?

You have a choice. Forgiveness is not a spiritual act. It is an act of obedience; it is an act of the will. When you forgive, you are not expected to open the door for more hurt and abuse from those who hurt you. But when you forgive, you let it go. You do not harbor bitterness and malice in your heart towards them.

You think, “Yeah, that’s easy for you to say. You don’t know what they did, and you have no idea of how it hurts my heart to even think about it!” That may be true, but you still have to live your life. Also, God never intended that we continue to internalize past hurts. When we do not forgive others, we hold in past pain. By doing so, we suffer physical consequences that can be harmful to our health.

Margaret Stunt said, “Unforgiveness is like drinking poison and hoping the other person dies.” 

God’s Word commands us to forgive. ”But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” (Matthew 6:15)

And if he trespass against thee seven times in a day, and seven times in a day turn again to thee, saying, I repent; thou shalt forgive him.” (Luke 17:4)

How do we do this? We first acknowledge that the other person has wronged us. Then, after recognizing that they owe us this debt, we say: “You owe me for this. But I now release you of this debt.” When we do that, we free ourselves from the negative effects of unforgiveness.

Let us all make a conscious decision to allow God to comfort our hearts, and move forward. We will do well to let God to enable us to release past hurts, and start down the road of healing.

And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.” (Ephesians 4:32)


Bill Randall is a Community Chaplain, and lives in Wake Forest, N.CHe is the author of: Examining God’s purposes for fasting and prayer (Author House, 2005).

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Bill Randall

Bill was born in New Orleans, Louisiana, in the neighborhood known as the Lower Ninth Ward.  His U.S. Navy career spanned from August 1974 through December 2001, during which he had a decorated and distinguished span of honorable service.  His profession and specialty was Earth Science (Meteorology, Oceanography and Geodesy).  After retiring from active duty on January 1, 2002, he entered the private sector as an Independent Insurance Agent (AFLAC) and garnered recognition as a top performer as a new member. Shortly thereafter he earned his B.S. degree in Business Management, and later earned his MBA degree.  He has also earned Information Technology (IT) Certification from Wake Technical Community College (May 2013).  Bill worked for the Department of Veterans Affairs at the Milwaukee VA Pension Center (2002 –2005), processing hundreds of benefits claims for veterans and their family members.  Bill subsequently relocated and served on the staff of a local church in Pensacola, FL (May – Dec 2005), and then accepted a business opportunity as a Generalist with a major Management Consulting Firm (2006 – 2008).  Bill now owns a private Management Consulting company based in Wake Forest, NC.  He and his family relocated to North Carolina after his wife, Wendy, accepted a job offer in there.  He once ran for Chairman of the North Carolina Republican Party (June 2009).  He has also twice run for U.S Congress (NC-13th Congressional district), winning the GOP nomination in the 2010 Primary, and losing in the GOP Primary in 2012.  He is an author and a Community Chaplain.  Bill and his wife have resided in Wake Forest, NC since October 2008.  Bill has a son and four daughters.

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