Are you struggling to forgive someone? Does it seem impossible? You can do it. God will help you. Remember this: Unforgiveness will destroy you, not them. Even science know that.
There is an enormous physical burden to being hurt and disappointed … Forgiveness, however, calms stress levels, leading to improved health.”
Karen Swartz, M.D., director of the Mood Disorders Adult Consultation Clinic at The Johns Hopkins Hospital
We can forgive others when we understand the depth of God’s forgiveness of our own sins. Crucifixion is the most brutal kind of execution. Yet Jesus pleaded with the Father to forgive them. He suffered heart-breaking rejection at the cross, yet He loved and forgave those responsible.
They crucified him and Jesus said, “Father forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” Luke 23: 34
Nothing we have to forgive can compare to His example of forgiveness. He suffered and died so that we would be forgiven for all the sins we have ever committed and even the ones we will commit in the future; He asks us to forgive others in return.
“And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive them, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.” Mark 11:25 NIV
Paul knew that the sin of unforgiveness would give the devil a foothold.
The Apostle Paul warned the Corinthians, “I have forgiven in the sight of Christ for your sake, in order that Satan might not outwit us. For we are not unaware of his schemes.” (2 Corinthians 2:10-11)
Our obedience to Christ protects us from the devil’s schemes. You may not find the power to forgive within yourself, but through Christ, you can. Forgive as an act of your will. Your feelings will eventually change. The first step is to tell God that you forgive this person.
Meditate on God’s promises, instead of meditating on the injustice. The more time you spend in His presence, in His Word, in prayer and meditation, the less that injustice will have power to hurt you.
Those who won’t forgive show they have not accepted the fact of their own sinfulness and need for God’s forgiveness.
Thank Jesus for what He has done for you. It will destroy the power of the wrong to upset you. Peace and joy is already given to the child of God; God’s Word reveals how to live in it. We must trust and obey. When we choose to forgive, we begin to heal.
I will admit, I have had to forgive some pretty big things, but God has forgiven me of some pretty big things as well. I have experienced things that were hard to forgive, but whenever those things cross my mind I refuse to think about it. I consciously begin to think about something else. Sometimes that can be difficult. Ask God to help you.
There is only one way to forgive the unforgivable, and that is with God’s help. These Scriptures will strengthen and empower you to do it.
The Parable of the Unmerciful Servant
21 Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?”
22 Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.[a]
23 “Therefore, the kingdom of heaven is like a king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants. 24 As he began the settlement, a man who owed him ten thousand bags of gold[b] was brought to him. 25 Since he was not able to pay, the master ordered that he and his wife and his children and all that he had be sold to repay the debt.
26 “At this the servant fell on his knees before him. ‘Be patient with me,’ he begged, ‘and I will pay back everything.’ 27 The servant’s master took pity on him, canceled the debt and let him go.
28 “But when that servant went out, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred silver coins.[c] He grabbed him and began to choke him. ‘Pay back what you owe me!’ he demanded.
29 “His fellow servant fell to his knees and begged him, ‘Be patient with me, and I will pay it back.’
30 “But he refused. Instead, he went off and had the man thrown into prison until he could pay the debt. 31 When the other servants saw what had happened, they were outraged and went and told their master everything that had happened.
32 “Then the master called the servant in. ‘You wicked servant,’ he said, ‘I canceled all that debt of yours because you begged me to. 33 Shouldn’t you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you?’ 34 In anger his master handed him over to the jailers to be tortured, until he should pay back all he owed.
35 “This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother or sister from your heart.” Matthew 18:21-35 NIV
May God’s Word strengthen you today.
With Love, Cindy
Do you want to know more about Jesus? Read my page Who Is Jesus?