When I was hurt very deeply by a close friend, God taught me an important lesson about my pride. You see, we often think of pride as taking an obvious form like bragging or acting like we’re better than others. However, pride is sneaky. It often hides within our pain and clamps a choke chain on our heart. When someone wrongs us, our pride whispers to our heart that it’s ok to coddle our hurt feelings. Thus, we never truly forgive. We say we do–but we don’t–because when we see the person who hurt us or think about them, we can’t think about them the way God does. To put it bluntly–we are unable to love them the way God loves us.
The multitude of our daily thoughts, words and deeds which violate His love stack up much higher than anyone’s offense against us. Yet, He continues to give us a heartbeat. God wants good for us. We are not so generous towards those who hurt us. To have His heart–we must be close to Him. To be close to Him–we must forgive. Withholding forgiveness hurts us because we forfeit God’s forgiveness. Jesus said, “For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” (Matthew 6:14-15)
Yes–pain is real and it doesn’t just magically disappear. In fact, some offenses cause pain so deep that only God’s miraculous love can heal it. God is the key to our healing. We must be close to Him to be miraculously healed. As we ask God to forgive our offense against Him–including sinful thoughts against our offender–He fills us with Himself. We begin to love others like He loves us. The deeper we go into His love the more humbled we are by the vast degree which He loves us past our sin. His love strips us of the pride which chains our heart. When we’re close to Him, He transforms us and we learn to love those who have offended us–like He loves us. This is one of the greatest miracles I’ve seen God do in my life! Forgiveness is the first step to God’s freedom and healing from the pain of our pride.