Forgiveness takes time. Some people find it harder to let go & some people never can. It’s their trip. You can’t solve people’s problems for them. You can just be their friend & not let their mistakes become your own. If things get too negative with your friend, spend less time. Negativity can be toxic and we can only take on so much of it. Sometimes you have to withdraw so that you can be there at a later date. Make this about setting boundaries around your friendship and not getting them to forgive. You know what they say. You can only lead a horse to water. You cannot make them drink.
how can we love a person who hurt you before/.
This has to be one of the hardest things for people, Christians alike, to learn how to do. I’m sorry your friend is bitter, and that it’s affecting your friendship. I hope you’ve told her this.
Christ told us to forgive. When that was appalling to his followers, they asked, How many times? And Christ said 70 x 7. Not that THAT was the definitive number of times, but that it was to drive home that we are always to forgive.
Now the idea of forgiveness includes that someone has asked for it. If no one has given an apology and asked for forgiveness, you really don’t have to forgive. But as you have seen, NOT forgiving someone is more detrimental to “you” than to the person who did the deed of offense.
God tells us to forgive because it does hurt our relationship, not just with that person, and with others, but with Him as well. Harboring bitterness does NOTHING to the person of offense, it doesn’t affect them in the least usually. It can destroy a Christian. God also tells us to forgive because it is showing God’s love to that person.
When we refuse to really forgive, we are holding it over their head, so to speak, and proving ourselves to be powerful–and a judge. That’s God’s job, not ours.
Try to help your friend pray and give this over to God. Whenever it crops up again, both you and her can say “NO” to the talk, thoughts, that you gave it over to God. Don’t even entertain the thoughts, much more discuss it again. She needs to trust God to be the final judge, and that His justice is much better than hers.
Matthew 5:43-48 New Living Translation (NLT)
Teaching about Love for Enemies
43 “You have heard the law that says, ‘Love your neighbor’[a] and hate your enemy. 44 But I say, love your enemies![b] Pray for those who persecute you! 45 In that way, you will be acting as true children of your Father in heaven. For he gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and he sends rain on the just and the unjust alike. 46 If you love only those who love you, what reward is there for that? Even corrupt tax collectors do that much. 47 If you are kind only to your friends,[c] how are you different from anyone else? Even pagans do that. 48 But you are to be perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect.
15 “If another believer[d] sins against you,[e] go privately and point out the offense. If the other person listens and confesses it, you have won that person back. 16 But if you are unsuccessful, take one or two others with you and go back again, so that everything you say may be confirmed by two or three witnesses. 17 If the person still refuses to listen, take your case to the church. Then if he or she won’t accept the church’s decision, treat that person as a pagan or a corrupt tax collector.
18 “I tell you the truth, whatever you forbid[f] on earth will be forbidden in heaven, and whatever you permit[g] on earth will be permitted in heaven.
19 “I also tell you this: If two of you agree here on earth concerning anything you ask, my Father in heaven will do it for you. 20 For where two or three gather together as my followers,[h] I am there among them.”
By the love of Jesus, with understanding His forgiveness to us.
Pray for this person, when I pray for the one who hurt me and I hate, I could repent, love and forgive.
God loves me though I hurt Him many times. I think that’s the strength that I could forgive.
It is not easy. If truly we recognize the love of Jesus, we can forgive and love the person who hurt us though.