By Rick Warren — Jul 13, 2017
“Do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you” (Luke 6:27b-28 NIV).
The Bible says in Luke 6:27-28, “Do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you” (NIV). Notice these three verbs: “do good,” “bless,” and “pray for.” A big part of forgiveness is responding to evil with good.
How do you know when you’ve genuinely forgiven somebody? You can pray for God to bless that person. You also start seeing that person’s hurt. When people are hurting inside, they take it out on others. Hurt people hurt people. When you learn to forgive, you not only see your own hurt but you see their hurt, too. Then you start to understand why they acted in such evil or selfish or hurtful or abusive ways. You can pray for them, and you can even pray for God to bless them.
You say, “But you don’t know how they’ve hurt me.” No, I don’t. And I’m sorry for every hurt you’ve experienced. But I do know this: You’re never going to get on with your life unless you forgive and let it go. That doesn’t mean you have to forget. It means you relinquish your right to get even and respond to evil with good.
How can you do that? There’s only one possible way: You have to be filled with the love of Jesus Christ.
When you keep a record of wrong, you’re being unloving. But when you let it go and bless those who hurt you, then you’re letting God’s love work through you. You say, “I can’t do that!” You’re right! That’s why you need Jesus Christ. You can only do it with his help.
Talk It Over
- How did Jesus model Luke 6:27-28 for us?
- Can you identify someone you need to forgive and ask God to bless?
- How can blessing someone who’s hurt you help you see that person’s hurt more clearly?