Human existence is tainted with offences, and we think that people do things that are unforgivable. However, the position of God is that nothing is unforgivable. 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. Since we have those resources in God, God can ask us to forgive and let go, because forgiveness is the first step towards enjoying those resources.
How do we forgive?
Pray and ask God to help youPray 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 redemptionWe have been forgiven much; much more than we need to forgive others. Sometimes it is not just a matter of saying it, but we must see it. We must see our own sinfulness and the mercy that we have received from God. This happens as we soak ourselves in the Word and meditate 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.
That understanding empowers us to acquit others of wrongdoing and forgive as we have been forgiven.
Recognise the fallenness of your offendersWe 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 humans, such that even the best of people will at times do terrible things. This means that human beings are fundamentally flawed and are capable of the utmost craziness.
Although we are redeemed in Christ, there is a required process of transformation that we must undergo, and each one in the body of Christ is at a different stage of transformation. That understanding will empower you to forgive more easily.
Make a choice to release your offenders by faithMatthew 18:35 (HSBC) says: So My heavenly Father will also do to you if each of you does not forgive.
Matthew 6:12 (HSBC) says: And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.
Make up your mind to obey Jesus and forgive. Unforgiveness is unscriptural. Unforgiveness is illegal because we have been forgiven much, and we are not entitled to withhold forgiveness. So decide to forgive.
Think on and trust in the mercy of GodGod’s desire is to forgive us and do us good. God who is holy, honoured and revered, actually has a plan for our lives. So you must trust Him when He says vengeance is His and forgiveness is yours! So, leave the vengeance to God and trust in His justice and truth. We need to trust Him to handle our offenders as He sees fit. We trust God that the wicked will not go unpunished and God will do the right thing.
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.
Trust that God will restore what you have lostTrust that God will restore all that you have lost. Sometimes the thought of the losses and pain incurred in a situation haunts a person, and they feel forever short-changed. God is a restorer. Trust Him for restoration.
Receive revelation of God’s promises for youGod’s good promises for you supersede every evil and darkness. Whatever the circumstance, they are still valid. Let the Word of God speak to you and give you a picture of your future from the mind of God. Remember, your future is not hindered by your past. It is only hindered if you believe it is.
Such an attitude will keep you from being open to the Holy Spirit’s instructions and directions. So you have to go into the Word with a measure of aggressiveness to catch something for your life! It will become crystal clear that even though you have been betrayed, that is your past, not your future because our future is in the Word of God and your path will continue to shine brightly!
Be strong in the LordWe can not afford to be weak!
One of the things that make us easily offended is the fact that we are too weak inside. 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 the temptation to be offended.
Furthermore, even when you are truly offended, strength will enable you to get over the offence very quickly.
Remember, offence is a tool of manipulation. Do not be a manipulator of people, because you are so easily 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.