Human existence is tainted with offenses and we think that people do things that are unforgiveable. However, the position of God is that nothing is unforgiveable. In Luke 6:37-38 Jesus commands us to forgive so that we may be forgiven. Watch the video and read the article below to discover how to arrive at forgiveness.
So what happens when we forgive?
- We do not say that what happened does not matter
- We do not say that we are no longer hurting
- We do not say that we are going to be best of friends with our offenders
- We release the person, the recrimination, the anger and the desire for vengeance
- We let go and allow God to deal with our hearts and bring healing
Human beings will do things that are objectively evil, but we have the resources in God to overcome every pain, every hurt, and every disappointment. Given the reason that we have those resources in God, God can ask us to forgive and let go, because forgivess is the first step towards enjoying those resources.
How do we forgive?
Pray and ask God to help you
Pray for a heart of love, that overflows with love even to people that have offended you. Pray for a heart that is touched by people; that does not see people’s wickedness all the time, but rather their weaknesses. It's a particular kind of weakness to do evil to other people. It takes a lot of strength to do good. Click To Tweet
Meditate on the Cross and on redemption
We have been forgiven much; much more than we need to forgive others. Sometimes it is not just a matter of saying it, but a matter of seeing it. It is important that we see our own sinfulness, and the mercy that we have received from God. This can only be derived from soaking ourselves in the Word and meditating on the Cross and on redemption. We need to meditate on what was cancelled in our lives, when we accepted Jesus as our Lord and our Saviour. We were rebels before God, and yet He forgave us. We need to look at everything that God did so that we could be forgiven, and be reconciled to Him. As we meditate on that, we thank God for the forgiveness and the Holy Spirit will help us by revealing the great kindness of God.
Recognise the fallenness of our offenders
We need to have a sound theology on the Fall and recognise that man is a fallen being. The Fall has distorted human nature. It has had a detrimental effect on the workings of human nature such that even the best of people will at times do terrible things. However we need to understand that man is a fallen creature. Human beings are fundamentally flawed and are capable of the utmost craziness. Indeed we are redeemed in Christ, but there is a process of transformation that we must undergo, and each of us in the body of Christ are at different stages of transformation.
Make a choice to release our offenders by faith
Whether we feel like it or not, we need to decide that we are going to obey the commandment given to us by Jesus to forgive. Releasing your offenders is key to your freedom. Unforgiveness is unscriptural. Unforgiveness is illegal because we have been forgiven much and we are not entitled to withhold forgiveness.
Think on and trust in the mercy of God
Matthew 6:12 (HSBC) says:
And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.
Matthew 18:35 (HSBC) says:
So My heavenly Father will also do to you if each of you does not forgive.
From these passages we see that it is God’s desire to forgive us. His desire is to do good to us. God who is holy, honoured and revered, actually has a plan for our lives. It is therefore important that you trust Him. God says vengeance is His and forgiveness is yours! We therefore need to choose to forgive and leave the vengenace to God and trust in His justice and truth. We need to trust in Him to deal with our offenders, if need be. We trust God that the wicked will not go unpunished and God will punish them as they ought to be punished.
Trust that God will restore what you have lost
We need to trust that God will restore what we have lost and think on His justice. Look for verses in the Bible that talk about the justice of God and meditate on these. God will punish who He needs to punish, and if He chooses not to punish, He is right. In the same way that He was right when He chose not to punish us and forgive us. If we believe that God is just, we will obey Him and forgive and allow Him to deal with the situation according to His justice.
Receive revelation of God’s promises for you
We need to allow the text of Scripture speak to us and fashion our thinking, choices and decisions such that our actions are in line with what you believe. We need to let the revelation of God’s promises speak to us. You need to receive a picture of your future because your future is not hindered by your past. It is only hindered by your belief that it is hindered. When you believe that it is too late for you in life, then you will not be open to what the Holy Spirit will say to you and go into the direction in which He wants to take you. So you have to go into the Word with a measure of aggressiveness to go and get something for yor life! When you meditate on the Word you will realise that even though yo have been betrayed, that is not your future because our future is in the Word of God!
Be strong in the Lord
We can not afford to be weak! One of the things that makes us easily offended is the fact that we are too weak inside. Offense is a tool of manipulation. Do not be a manipulatir of people, because you are so easily offended! When you are truly offended though, strength will enable you to get over that offense very quickly. When you are strong in the Lord, you will not be so easily offended as people who are weak. When you are strong you are empowered to resist and overcome temptation to be offended.
As you forgive you are positioned for healing and wholeness. When you forgive you will be forgiven. When you extend grace you will enjoy grace. When you forgive you will be able to rebuild the relationship, if need be. You do not necessarily need to trust people as soon as you have forgiven them. The Lord will show you when you can trust again.
We believe that as you follow this process you will truly be set free from the prison of unforgiveness. Share your testimony of forgiveness as a result of following these steps by writing to us: email@example.com and we will join you in giving God the glory!