What are you saying, Rosie? That I should "forgive," right? What if it isn't that easy? I know it's not that easy. I've been betrayed and proverbially stabbed in the back by the very people I trusted dearly, sometimes over and over again. The other day I caught myself wanting to do the same thing they did to me (or something similar) and return the favor. But how does that help me heal? How does that help me move on and "forgive" like I'm supposed to?
Let me give you the answer: it doesn't.
Showing the ones who have hurt you anything but love and forgiveness only destroys you from the inside out. It plants a seed of bitterness in your heart, a weed. When going unchecked, weeds will choke the Word of God growing in our heart. (Matt. 13) You may think treating them to the cold shoulder or ignoring them is letting them know that they've hurt you. But the language of unforgiveness isn't so easily understood. Chances are, depending on the circumstances, that they don't even realize what they've done to you or to the extent that you've been hurt. Jesus tells us to "treat others the same way you want them to treat you." (Luke 6:31, AMP) He also instructs us to love and pray for those who hurt us.
“But I say to you, love [that is, unselfishly seek the best or higher good for] your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may [show yourselves to] be the children of your Father who is in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on those who are evil and on those who are good, and makes the rain fall on the righteous [those who are morally upright] and the unrighteous [the unrepentant, those who oppose Him]." (Matt. 5:43-45, AMP)
Friends, I'm preaching to myself here too. This is something I struggle with personally, just as I'm sure some of you do. What I really want you to get from this is that if we really love Jesus, we need to recklessly pursue Him and strive to be a Godly example of Him to all we meet. We need to love the socks off every single person we encounter. Because if we're truly loving like He loves us, it'll be easy. If we're truly sharing His love, it will be easy to forgive. It will become easy to treat those who have hurt us with love and forgiveness.
When we're hurt, we need to be better than them in our response. We need to take the higher road and remember that He sees everything. We need to extend love to those who didn't hesitate to drive a knife into our back. Jesus did, you know. Literally. The Bible says He was like a sheep to the slaughter. (Isa. 53:7) This won't be something that you'll want to do. This won't be something you'll like doing. But if you stick to God and keep your focus in the right place, you will reach a place where it won't bother you anymore. Be better than them.