Forgiving is hard to do but with God’s help you can do it. When we don’t forgive, the negative energy of the hurt keeps us in bondage to the offense. When we are offended our thoughts are focused on that hurtful issue and we cannot love others as Christ does. I encourage you to forgive people who have spoken hurtful words to you or done a hurtful action that caused you to become offended. 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, love, and the joy of life.
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 move on. 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.” So, forgive those who have hurt you, including yourself if necessary, and verbally “put off” the power those memories have on your mind.
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. 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 offenses 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.” 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).