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After we've been hurt, sometimes it is difficult to let go of past hurts and forgive the person or persons who hurt us. We can either choose to be an angry, bitter, resentful man or woman, or we can choose to give that hurt to God and live a happy, productive life. Now, you say, "No one understands how badly I was hurt, and I still hurt every day." God knows. With His help we can let go of anything. We have to ask God to help us to let go every day--sometimes many times a day--until it gets easier and easier to move forward. We cannot move forward while holding onto the past with all of those hurts.

The old saying "forgive and forget" gives us the impression that once we say we've forgiven someone, it's done and we've forgotten everything. That's easier said than done. Innocent conversations, incidents we might observe, or any number of daily happenings can trigger our memory and set us back. This is where God comes in so forcefully. Stop and talk to Him and ask Him to help you get past those thoughts sooner than later. This is not foolish. If you've truly forgiven the person, with God's help, and not just said empty words giving lip service to God, it's a done deal. When a memory comes back, it doesn't mean you haven't forgiven. We are all human beings. Yes, our memories do come back, but they don't have to rob us of our peace any more. Again, ask God to bring back your peace and accept it.

Forgiveness is a process we cannot do without God's help. Living our lives happy, peaceful, loving, kind, and forgiving is so much more rewarding than the bitter, angry, sad people we became when we dwelled on wrongs done to us. The pity party we develop cripples us. The life of freedom we trade all those memories in for is the result of the CHOICE we make when we forgive.

Forgiveness is far more rewarding for the FORGIVER than the forgiven. Going through life holding onto a grudge over something that took place years ago or maybe even yesterday will only destroy YOU, not that other person. Frankly, they seldom have a clue something happened that hurt you in the first place.

Make your CHOICE now. It will save your life as well as those you love who suffer with you. None of us are perfect. Everyone deserves the freedom to begin again and move forward as the warm, loving people God intended us to be. We are all capable of changing and living those happy productive lives we long for.

Another important thing to remember and seriously consider in making our CHOICE is "if we don't forgive others, God won't forgive us". That fact alone makes the CHOICE pretty easy.

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©2016 by Morgan Paige Agency and author content by Elaine Norman