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You can't allow those who have hurt you in the past to continue hurting you. What I mean is, every time you dwell on past hurts and offenses, you allow that person or group of people to hurt you all over again.

Think about it. Do you feel better after thinking about how you were mistreated, or do you feel worse? Nine times out of ten you want to take revenge for what they did to you.

The more you replay the memory, the angrier you get. And if nothing is done to resolve the issue, that anger will fester into something called bitterness.

In Ephesians 4:31-32, God commands us to get rid of bitterness. Why? Because bitterness turns into rage, and rage is often the spirit behind murder. In Matthew 5:21-22 Jesus talks about the danger of judgment faced by murderers.

He goes on to say that the same judgment falls upon those who remain angry with another without cause. That alone should change your mind when it comes to holding ill feelings against others.

So what can you do to prevent that from happening? The first thing to do is repent. Repent for harboring those feelings for so long and remaining in a portion of offense. Then find out what God has to say about forgiveness, and make a quality decision to obey His Word in that area.

By setting your will to forgive, you allow God to move on your behalf. That's why it's absolutely critical that you disconnect from the past and say, "I refuse to hate so-and-so, because I'm not going to let hatred stop me from becoming the very best that God wants me to be."

It is easier to harbor unforgiveness in your heart. You may try to ignore it or cover it up with all kinds of good deeds, but the truth is, it will always resurface. In fact, unforgiveness may be the very reason why your prayers haven't been answered. It may be that you've been hurt by an ex-spouse, an absent parent or an overbearing co-worker.

And instead of resolving the issue immediately, you've allowed it to fester inside of your heart. Unfortunately, all that does is add fuel to the fire. Rather than giving those hurts to God in prayer and letting them go, you may say, "I'll forgive, but I won't forget!" However, by doing so, you forfeit the blessings and power God desires to give you.

Now we're back to the subject of partial disobedience - you obeyed the Word of God by taking your hurts to God in prayer, but you actually operated in disobedience because you wouldn't completely let go.

In clearer terms, by choosing to hold on to past offenses, you establish your own righteousness and forfeit the righteousness God has given to you through Jesus Christ.

You can probably list a million reasons as to why you have the right to hate this person or that person. But the truth is that, by doing so, you are only hurting yourself.

Source: Lord, Teach Me to Love by Creflo A. Dollar
Excerpt permission granted by Harrison House Publishers

Author Biography

Creflo A. Dollar
Web site: World Changers Church International
Creflo Dollar is a founder and senior pastor of World Changers Church International (WCCI). He's a world-renowned Bible teacher, sought-after conference speaker, and bestselling author with hundreds of books, CDs, and DVDs in distribution worldwide. Recognized for his cutting-edge revelation and humorous, pragmatic approach, he enables thousands to experience grace, restoration, healing, and financial breakthrough by applying simple, biblical principles to their lives. He is the author of such game-changing books as "The Radical Life of Grace" and "Why I Hate Religion", and his award-winning Changing Your World television broadcast reaches nearly 1 billion homes. His ministry includes an app available on mobile devices and smart TV's, a dedicated YouTube channel, and the Changing Your World Network, a 24-hour online channel. A thriving social media presence has allowed him to connect with World Changers worldwide.

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