Learning to forgive

By Elbonie Idowu

I’ve experienced a lot of hurt from others, and God still wants me to forgive them… From the pain, I found that forgiveness can be a daunting word to think about or even sometimes say when I know there are people I need to forgive for peace to live in the same house as me.

It’s not easy to forgive someone that has hurt you because the hurt they caused attacked the deepest part of your heart and that’s why forgiveness is the last thing on your list of things to do. However, as you begin the process of forgiveness, you will connect to the peace that is waiting for you, which brings your soul back to a place of comfort.

Forgiveness starts with being honest with God.

When you come to a place of pouring out your heart to God, God has the opportunity to meet you where you are, which begins the process of healing. It’s from this place of humility that God will give you specific steps to forgive yourself and those that hurt you. From my experience, I’ve found when people hurt you, they’re hurting themselves, which in turn strikes a bad action upon you. Let’s look at what Paul wrote, “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).

When we ‘bear’ with each other, we handle the situation from a place of love. The place of love could mean separating or taking a time out from the person or circumstance, God leading you to have a conversation with the person that hurt you, or God working with you inwardly so that your heart has an opportunity to heal. No one way is correct because God leads each of us differently, which speaks to the love, grace, and mercy God supplies to us each day.

Dealing with the unwanted feelings

Because God created us to have feelings, the heaviness we might feel on random days is a sign that our spirits are nudging us to commit our emotions and feelings to God. By committing those feelings that we don’t want to feel, we are giving God control over what we do not have the power to change ourselves… And by releasing control leaves a lot of room for God to move on our behalf.

I love how Pual said,” 6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4: 6-7).

When we commit those unwanted feelings, we align ourselves with Paul’s instructions given in the Bible. Paul’s teachings for us to not be anxious is not the ‘easiest’ thing to do when finding ourselves in a place of working to forgive the hurt. However, when we pray and commit, the peace of God replaces the anxiety we feel from the hurt and brings us back to a place of peace.

Forgiveness is a process

Forgiveness is a process because of the different emotions you go through to arrive at the place of forgiving the hurt caused by someone else. When you are honest with yourself, God has an opportunity to nudge you in the direction of understanding how to forgive that person. From the nudging, you are led on a journey with God so that you get your peace back.

To begin the journey of forgiveness, identify that the goal is to not rush the process of forgiveness because as hard as it might be to recognize, in your journey of forgiving someone, God is healing you. As a result, as you begin the forgiveness process, know that you are not alone while you’re on the forgiveness journey because God loves you and is still leading you… Are you ready to start the process?


Elbonie is a professor, writer, and speaker that inspires women to embrace a life of love while facing the obstacles they encounter in life. Her call to raw, authentic love that reaches inside of the real you comes from her journey that she walks each day.