Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. -Ephesians 4:31-32 (NIV)
Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. -Colossians 3:13 (NIV)
We all face difficult people in our lives. Sometimes, they’re the ones closest to us, and that makes it even harder, because we’re so open and vulnerable to them in trust.
We are flesh. And there are days we’re down, and sometimes just beaten down. People and circumstances will wear and wear on us. We feel so, so wronged. Sometimes, that will even affect how we view ourselves…and this is where the enemy gets to have his fun, and tell you lies about your worth and value. But the truth is, you are fearfully and wonderfully made in His image, and are redeemed! This truth means that you can be victorious in all circumstances, because your identity in Christ never changes!
Though it’s perfectly normal to lick our wounds after dealing with difficult people, it’s important to then pray for them. They know not what they’re doing. For their sake, and for all those who also must come into contact with them, pray for Him to soften their hearts, and open their eyes with perspective and wisdom.
Then, don’t forget to pray for Him to take any resentment or pains or burdens from you as well. Walking victoriously means running the race light, because you have cast your cares on Him…and by doing so, you can focus always on Him. And by doing that, you will experience His peace, even in the face of difficult people.
God forgave us for all our sins: past, present, and future. He’s seen them all, and Jesus’ blood covers them all. So, we are called to forgive others as He has forgiven us.
This excellent John Piper Ministries devotional explains it far better than I can:
So we hold on to anger, and play the story over and over again with the feelings: It shouldn’t have happened; it shouldn’t have happened; it was wrong; it was wrong. How can he be so happy now when I am so miserable? It is so wrong. It is so wrong!
It means, when you lay down the burden of vengeance, God will pick it up.
This is not a subtle way of getting revenge. This is a way of giving vengeance to the one to whom it belongs.
“Losing” by Tenth Avenue North is like our cries to God put in song, when we feel like no one else cares or sees the injustice, and when we need His grace to flow through us so we can forgive.