Well yes! Welcome to the human condition.
Most of us have been wronged and we have definitely sinned against others.
The Torah gives us a most illuminating verse is Genesis 20:7, in regard to this subject.
“Therefore restore the man’s wife (God is speaking to King Ablimelech)—since he is a prophet (referring to Abraham), he will intercede for you—to save your life.” — Genesis 20:7
The Hebrew word translated “prophet” is navi and it means a “spokesperson.” The biblical “prophet” was a spokesperson—a mouthpiece—for God. This is the first mention of “prophet’ in the Bible, and it is the only mention in Genesis.
This prayer—asking a wronged party (Abraham) to pray that God forgive the person who wronged him (Abimelech)—is the first mention in the Bible of a prayer offered by one person on behalf of another. Abimelech will be forgiven if Abraham prays on his behalf.
This is staggering! Don’t you find it hard to pray for someone who has wronged you? My human nature tells me to…at the least, disregard the person who has sinned against me. Perhaps even wipe them out of my memory or worse, to curse them! I’ve been there. Without shame I’ve actually wanted another person to experience misery. How about you? I think if we’re honest we all have at one time or another. This reminds me of the very sobering words of James:
9 “With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness. 10 Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be” — James 3:9-10 NIV
I have discovered a most profound biblical and therapeutic practice in to help me forgive those who have offended me. In the Holy Spirit, and in obedience, I begin to pray out loud that the Lord will reward those who have wronged me! Now honestly, our emotions, thoughts, and justifications will make this a formable challenge to say the least. Yet, we know that Jesus Christ desires this and even commands us to speak a benefit for and pray a blessing upon those who have wronged us:
“bless those who curse you and pray for those who spitefully use you” — Luke 6:28 NKJV
The Apostle Paul affirms this powerful truth in Romans 12:
“Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse” —Romans 12:14 NIV
A number of years ago a fellow Christian and I had a huge disagreement and as a result a rift developed between us. At one point I was so angry, but the Holy Spirit convicted me of my part in the rift. I began to ask God to reward the person who wronged me, his wife and his child. I asked the Lord to give him success mentally, physically, and spiritually. Over the course of about a week as I prayed aloud for this person I felt the burden of sin drop off my back. Mentally, physically and spiritually I sensed God’s love and freedom! I then proceeded to speak out loud to myself and others favorable things about that person.
It is important to pray and speak out loud, for two reasons:
- You will hear yourself speak which reinforces your intentions, and
- The devil can hear you and knows that you are serious about walking in obedience to Jesus.
An additional benefit (blessing) for me personally is that I have been able to enjoy a restored relationship with that gentlemen today. In fact, I don’t even remember why we had a rift in the first place! Isn’t that gracious on God’s part? He also does not remember our sins (Isaiah 43:25). Not always, but often we eventually forget. Only God, however, can choose not to remember!
Let me define “blessing” as we so often use this word without understanding the meaning.
The word “bless” means to speak well of someone by asking God to reward them, favor them or prosper them with a positive benefit to their life.
Notice the two-step progression:
- Ask God’s blessing on someone.
- Pronounce a consecratory (sacred favor) blessing on that person.
It is one thing to ask God to reward someone who has wronged you, but it takes true righteousness for you to speak aloud a reward upon that person. This demonstrates how free the Holy Spirit is to work in and through you as you speak well of that person both to yourself, and to others.
Being wronged by someone is extremely painful but the hurt can be healed as you overcome evil with good in the Holy Spirit’s power (Romans 12:21). Begin the process of praying a blessing and speaking a benefit and reward on that person who has wronged you…even now as God leads!