Forgiving isn’t easy … especially when you don’t feel like it. When someone causes you pain that penetrates your heart, resentment can easily take root. Yet God commands us to forgive. The Bible says … “Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you” (Colossians 3:13).
Therefore, be clearly aware of what forgiveness is and isn’t.
What Forgiveness is …
- Forgiveness is dismissing a debt and your demand that others owe you something.
- Forgiveness is releasing your resentment, your right to hear “I’m sorry,” and your right to get even.
- Forgiveness releases the weight of resentment, freeing you to live a life of joy and peace.
- Forgiveness is more for your benefit than for your offender because forgiveness sets you free from the bondage that forms as a result of unresolved anger and bitterness.
- Forgiveness reflects the character of Christ, who extends mercy to you and sets you free.
What Forgiveness is not …
- Forgiveness is not excusing sin and saying what was wrong is now right.
- Forgiveness is not the same as reconciliation. It takes two to reconcile, only one to forgive.
- Forgiveness is not being weak. It is being strong enough to be Christlike.
- Forgiveness is not a feeling, but an act of the will—a choice.
- Forgiveness is not letting the guilty off the hook. It’s moving the guilty from your hook to God’s hook. He says …
“It is mine to avenge; I will repay” (Deuteronomy 32:35).
You are called by God to forgive. When you do, genuine forgiveness draws you to the heart of God, and your life takes on the character of Christ. … “Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against anyone among your people, but love your neighbor as yourself” (Leviticus 19:18).
Realize, God would never tell you to do something without giving you the power to do it. If there is someone you need to forgive, pray this prayer. …
Prayer to Forgive Your Offender
“Lord Jesus, thank You for caring about how much my heart has been hurt.
You know the pain I have felt because of ( list every offense ).
Right now I release all that pain into Your hands.
Thank You, Jesus, for dying on the cross for me and extending Your forgiveness to me.
As an act of my will, I choose to forgive ( name ).
Right now, I move ( name ) off of my emotional hook to Your hook.
I refuse all thoughts of revenge. I trust that in Your time and in Your way,
You will deal with my offender as You see fit.
And Lord, thank You for giving me Your power to forgive so that I can be set free.
In Your holy name I pray. Amen.”
Yours in the Lord’s hope,
P.S. My friend, this Scripture from Deuteronomy 31:8 is my personal favorite. I encourage you to personalize His Word. For the next three months, tuck His truth into your heart. … “The Lord himself goes before me and will be with me; he will never leave me nor forsake me. I will not be afraid; I will not be discouraged.”
This truth is for you … for the rest of your life.
If you’re on Facebook, I invite you to connect with me at Facebook.com/June.Hunt.Hope. And if you’re not, take it from me: You’re never too old to start! See you there!