Q: I don’t believe it’s possible to forgive someone who has deeply hurt you. I trusted someone very much, and later she betrayed me. When I confronted her about it she just laughed. I know I should forgive her, but I just can’t. — D.H.
A: What this person did was wrong; not only did she hurt you, but she also harmed herself by compromising her character and dulling her conscience. The Bible reminds us that “A good name is better than fine perfume” (Ecclesiastes 7:1).
But it would be just as harmful for you to allow an unforgiving spirit to take root in your soul. You see, an unforgiving attitude never exists by itself; with it come bitterness, anger and injured pride. It also can lead to a yearning for revenge, which never solves anything. All of these (and others I could mention) are morally and spiritually harmful, and the Bible labels them as sin. The Bible wisely says, “Do not be quickly provoked in your spirit, for anger resides in the lap of fools” (Ecclesiastes 7:9).
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How can you forgive this person? The key is to ask God to help you forgive her the same way he has forgiven you, if you know Christ. Remember: we have hurt God far more than anyone has ever hurt us. We don’t deserve to be forgiven — and yet God loves us so much that he sent his son, Jesus Christ, into the world to give His life for us.
Accept God’s gift of forgiveness by committing your life to Jesus today. Then ask God to help you forgive this person freely and fully — just as he has forgiven you. The Bible says, “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you” (Ephesians 4:32).
Write “My Answer,” Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, 1 Billy Graham Parkway, Charlotte, N.C., 28201; or go to BillyGraham.org.