1. Forgiveness frees you to experience love and joy.
Do you have love and joy in your life? If not, you have a hurtful memory controlling your thoughts, feelings, beliefs, and actions. Forgiving is hard to do but with God’s help you can do it. When you don’t forgive, the negative feelings of the hurt keep you in bondage to the offense. So, what does it mean to forgive? Dictionary.com says, forgiving is to cease to feel resentment against, and to grant a pardon to the person who hurt you. Resentment is the feeling of displeasure or indignation at some act, remark, person, etc., regarded as causing injury or insult. You know you need to forgive when you feel resentment. Resentment keeps you from loving others and feeling joy.
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 and actions. When I don’t forgive an offense and begin to think about it, then I become angry, resentful, and then I sin by being unkind and impatient. 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 subconscious offenses controlling their minds and choices.
2. Forgiveness protects you from the devil’s devices.
Another reason we need to forgive is to not give the devil an advantage in our life. In 2Corinthians 2:10, Paul tells Christians to forgive, then in verse 11 he explains why. 2Corinthians 2:11 states in the King James, “that no advantage may be gained over us by Satan: for we are not ignorant of his devices.” What are some of the devil’s devices? The devices of the devil are many, some are to
- Keep you in bondage to your painful memories
- Make accusations that are lies to amplify your pain
- Cause you to hate instead of love
- Tempt you to escape your pain through drugs, alcohol, sexual immorality, shopping, gaming, etc.
- Isolate you away from the church and other Christian believers
In Shattering Your Strongholds, Liberty Savard advised “not to replay your inner tapes of anger and guilt over painful memories, failures, humiliations, and the sins of others against you.” In prayer, forgive those who have hurt you in what they said, did not say, did, or did not do that caused you become offended and resentful. I had to forgive myself and seek God’s forgiveness for my sinful reactions and the stupid decisions I made, that I now regret. So, you may need to forgive yourself and seek God’s forgiveness too. Next, verbally “put off” resentment and the power those painful memories have on your mind, feelings, beliefs, and actions. Then ask God to show you the false/unhealthy beliefs related to the painful memory, so you can put them off from your mind and heart. Be thankful for something, rejoice in the Lord, and give the rest to God in prayer (1Theselonians 5:16-18).
3. Forgiveness heals your mind, emotions, and body.
Forgiveness is essential for healing because it releases us from the power of a wrongful action or offense. You could not control what happened to you, but you can stop it from continuing to control your thoughts and reactions. Forgiving someone does not excuse their wrong actions but sets us free to heal and love others as Jesus does.
Painful memories of offenses causes you to feel stress. Stress causes the cells of your body to degenerate. I can testify that many of my physical issues were healed when I forgave those who hurt me, both present and in the past. My book on my website explains this well. Read, 4-Physical Healing
I was healed of many painful memories that controlled my reaction to stressful situations. Read my transformation testimony and begin reading my book to learn how to heal your painful memories. 1-Healing Begins by Transforming Painful Memories
4. The Biblical reason why you must forgive.
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.” In Matthew 18:21-35, Jesus explains what happens when we do not forgive. Verse 35 sums up his teaching, “So also my heavenly Father will do to every one of you, if you do not forgive your brother from your heart.”
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 be free from the controlling power of the hurt in your heart and painful memories, then please read my short book called “Hope for Complete Healing” on my website: https://hopeforcompletehealing.com/
Quote fromColin Elmhurst
Remember that if you forgive with the waiting expectation that the other person will change or make reparative action – then you aren’t forgiving at all and you’re just using forgiveness as pretense for control. When you really forgive, you have to be totally willing to let go of your right to keep record of wrong – and that’s not easy to do.
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P.S.: Experiencing a lasting change in your life depends on having a right relationship with God the Father through believing in His Son Jesus Christ and obeying His command to love (1 John 3).