Before I came to Christ, I was very selfish. I just wanted to be loved and because of this, I expected people to act exactly the way I wanted them to. As I looked to serve myself for many years, I hurt a lot of people. When I came to accept Christ as my Lord and Savior, I knew that I had sinned against many people. But I assumed that I had forgiven them and they also had forgiven me. I was stubborn and wanted to learn to forgive in my own ways, not the ways of God.
One morning, when I was studying the bible, I came across this verse:
“For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” (Matthew 6: 14-15 NKJV)
This verse really touched my heart. In that very moment the Holy Spirit showed me people from my past who I had not forgiven, and also revealed to me that they had not forgiven me either. In the past I thought that maybe I should ask them for forgiveness, but because I had not spoken to them for many years now I was scared. I was scared that maybe they would laugh at me or ridicule me for believing in Christ. However, after I read that verse in the scripture I started to pray about it.
God encouraged me that it does not matter how these people would react, pleasing him is what matters. He told me that I should stop being proud and ask them for forgiveness.
“it does not matter how these people would react, pleasing him is what matters.”
Holding onto this started to affect my relationship with God. I knew that humbling myself enough to apologize and admit all the mistakes I had made would give me peace and reconcile me back to God. So I humbled myself and started texting all these people – including my ex-boyfriend and my ex-best friend. I told them that I was sorry for what I had done to them, how I had changed since meeting Jesus and that they did not deserved to be treated in such a way.
In that very moment when I sent the message, I felt a big weight falling off my shoulders. I felt peace towards these people instead of bitterness and anger. I felt love for these people even though we were no longer close and even though I didn’t know how they would respond. All Glory to God because he opened up their hearts. They were very thankful for my words and they were able to forgive me. The Lord gave us the opportunity to end everything that happened in the past with love and peace. I also started to experience God’s presence and love more since I forgave them.
This experience showed me the importance of forgiveness and how it had been a huge struggle for me. We should always pray that the Lord will guide us so that we are able to see with whom we still live in strife and pain with. Jesus forgives us every day for our sins because he loves us and died for our sins. Let us take Him as an example every minute in our walk with him. Do not worry about what others could think or how they could react, seek after forgiveness and be free from separation from God.
If God speaks to you about someone that has offended you, listen to God’s voice and choose to forgive that person that hurt you so much, let go of all the pain this person caused to your beautiful heart and experience joy and peace.
Let go of all the pain this person caused and experience joy and peace.
Jesus has already forgiven you and you should do the same. When you forgive others, you reflect Jesus through your actions. People will ask themselves what the motivations behind your action is and this might even give you an opportunity to witness to Christ to that person!
One thing that I now hold onto is that true love for God is shown in humble obedience; especially in the moments when his will is not your own.
About the Writer:
Nadine Schüttler is a social-work student from the south of Germany. In her walk with Christ she strives to live a life that reflects a woman after Gods heart. She loves to embrace natural beauty and is interested in eating good, healthy food to treat the body as a temple as God intended.
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Please feel free to get in touch with Nadine if her testimony has impacted you!