By   •   November 29, 2013   •   Topics:


I know Jesus said we're supposed to forgive people who've hurt us, but why bother? As far as I can tell, it doesn't really change them, nor does it make the hurts go away.


Admittedly, forgiving someone who’s hurt us doesn’t always change them. Instead, they may laugh at us, or cynically accuse us of being insincere and only trying to manipulate them. They also may keep blaming us for what happened, just as they’ve always done. But occasionally it will change them—sometimes in surprising ways.

But let me tell you what will happen if you truly forgive someone who has hurt you. No, it may not change them, but it will change you. You see, an unforgiving spirit produces all kinds of negative emotions in us—anger, bitterness, depression, jealousy, hate, and so forth. Any of those easily becomes a spiritual and emotional poison, eating away at our souls and turning us into unloving (and unlovable) people. This is why the Bible commands us to “Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger” (Ephesians 4:31).

How can you forgive someone who has hurt you? You may think it’s impossible—but with God’s help you can. The key is first to accept God’s forgiveness, by receiving the free gift of salvation He offers you in Jesus Christ. We don’t deserve God’s forgiveness, but on the cross all of our sins were placed in Christ, and He took the judgment we deserve. Have you turned to Him for the forgiveness you need?

Then forgive others the same way Christ has forgiven you—freely and fully. Not only will God release you from an unforgiving spirit, but He even may use you to change the life of the person you’ve forgiven.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published but you will receive our next BGEA ministry update. You can opt out of future emails at any time.


  1. Robin says:

    What if they continue to do the same thing that you’re forgiving them for? Do you keep setting yourself up?

  2. Marilyn says:

    My son is an alcoholic, he keeps hurting, lying, and breaking our hearts, his dad says no more forgiving. What as the mother and wife can I do?

  3. Filame says:

    How can you keep forgiving if you keep finding out that your husband is not 100% loyal to you? He knows what upsets you but when you turn your back, there he goes doing it again. I’m talking about relationship with other women. Pls advise. Thanks….

  4. Stacy says:

    I know TRUE forgiveness. I literally felt a peace come into my body and wash away any harsh feelings I had for my ex-husband. I felt a weight lifted off my heart and I have not had any harsh feelings towards him from that day forward, nor do I ever think about the pains our relationship caused me. God is GOOD!

    1. Emily says:

      How did you handle divorce? I’m going through the beginning stages, and I feel so much conflict!

  5. susan says:

    I was recently hurt badly by my managing director who decided to terminate me just because I speak mind and have refused to be his puppet. This happened on November 26th, 2015. I hold a position of Director of Corporate Affairs in the corporation that I work for, therefore it was not in his position to fire me but the Board of Directors. Fortunately, the board members know me very well and appreciate my work and my sincerity. When this happened the board stood by me and have restated me back to my position on February 9th, 2016. I believe it’s God’s grace that I got my job back. My heart is still heavy but I pray and ask God to help me forgive all who engineered my termination.

  6. Karen Olson says:

    Thank you for this. I wish I could forward it to our daughter who 3 months ago told us she no longer wanted us in their lives – we lost our daughter, son in law and granddaughter (17). This was over misunderstandings relayed by the son in law – our daughter has never spoken to us about this so we could talk to her and explain. We were condemned, judged and found guilty w/o any time for a defense. Our daughter and family are Christians which makes this even more difficult. My husband and I, married for 54 years, which we’ve never celebrated because we were always taking our granddaughter on trips or driving 8 hours to see our daughter et al. Pray and any advice to help w/reconciliation and forgiveness?? We have no problem forgiving!!

  7. Terri says:

    I need prayer for this very thing. I’m a broken Christian, and am struggling with forgiveness. I want justice, and I know its in God’s hands. Some days are good, but some days I want vendicated… Please pray for me.

  8. Janet Winberg says:

    Thank you for the guidance that the Billy Graham ministry provides. I went to the crusades as a young child and am so grateful to have had the opportunity to know and accept Jesus as my Lord and Savior. You are truly a blessing, Billy Graham!

  9. Mrs Pop says:

    My husband and I have the privilege of being mentors in a half-way house with teen guys, 14-18. Last night our study was on forgiveness. One of our mentees had recently been in a little argument with someone else (that is out of order in the facility), and after the great lesson presented on forgiveness, he really had gotten a very clear message from God about how to forgive. We praise God for forgiveness and for the teachable spirit of this young detainee.

  10. diliora rachel says:

    Christ be glorified