In my last post, I encouraged you to forgive people who have spoken hurtful words to you and caused you to take offense. If you find it hard to forgive as I do, please carefully consider the following. Unforgiveness often does not hurt the person we refuse to forgive, but it always hurts us, which is why it blocks healing and enjoyment of life. Forgiveness is absolutely essential for healing because it releases us from the power of a wrongful action or offense. Forgiving someone does not excuse their wrong actions but sets us free to heal and move on. In Shattering Your Strongholds, Liberty Savard advised not to replay your inner tapes of anger and guilt over bad memories, failures, humiliations, and the sins of others against you. Forgive those involved, including yourself if necessary, and verbally set loose the power those memories have on you.
Each time you are tempted to take up an offense immediately forgive so that the offense does not get a hold of your mind and cause you to sin with your words. When I don’t forgive an offense and begin to think about it, then I get angry, become resentful, and then I sin and behave badly. So it is best to forgive right away. This does not replace setting up boundaries if someone is being destructive, or bringing the offense to the other person’s attention. Most times the person who is being offensive does not realize it, because they may have unseen battles in their minds that control their choices.
Perhaps the greatest demonstration of supernatural forgiveness in all of history is when Jesus prayed to His Father as He hung on the cross to pay the penalty for the sins of all of mankind, “Forgive them; for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34). Ponder the following Scriptures on forgiveness, and if you need to repent of being unforgiving, then this is a very good time to do so.
Matthew 6:14-15 states, “For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, 15) but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” Mark 11:25 states, “And whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father also who is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.“
Interesting, Jeremiah also wrote under the inspiration of God the following in Jeremiah 31:34b; “For I [God] will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.” Also, Hebrews 8:12 states, “For I [God] will be merciful toward their iniquities, and I will remember their sins no more.” Isaiah 43:25 and Hebrews 10:17 restate the same thing. If God can forget our sins when He forgives us, then we too can forget the sins of those who hurt us when we forgive. Furthermore, when we forgive the sins done against us, then those sins no longer can control our emotions and subsequently our behavior. If you struggle with forgiveness and you want to learn more truth about forgiving, then please visit my website.