What is forgiveness?
The word “forgive” implies untying and releasing. Not holding anything against the other person.
Why should we forgive?
- God commands us to forgive: Mathew 6:14,15; Mark 11:25; Ephesians 4:32.
- “The greatest sign of maturity is having the ability to forgive.” Acts 7:60; Luke 23:24, Matthew 18:21.
- When we don’t forgive we carry others sins in our heart.
- There are many incidents and circumstances in life which are baffling and shake our faith in God. All of us go through situations during which we doubt the goodness of God, we have no answers to our questions and everything seems dark. God seems to be far away and silent. These are times when we have held things against God and we have turned away our faces and are unable to see or hear God. But, in fact, God has never left us.
- God is never the cause of our misery. Though in many situations we hold Him responsible for all that we went through.
- God never does evil to us and He does not require us to forgive Him. In this case, forgiving God means to renounce every evil thought and feelings we have held against Him and we ask Him to forgive us.
- Often these thoughts and feelings against God seem justified, but we do not realize the danger of harboring such things against Him. All this is enough for anti-God and anti-Christ spirits to take a hold of us and thus cause a lot of hindrance to praying or communicating with God.
People keep themselves in bondage by making statements like, “I will never forgive myself for…”. You cannot live in God’s forgiveness unless you forgive yourself.
- Many people still live in guilt and condemnation because they hold on to their past sins, instead of living in God’s forgiveness. The Bible says in Romans 8:1 “therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”
Satan rejoices when we continue to condemn ourselves because of failures in the past. Forgiving oneself for the mistakes of the past is a liberation experience, which undermines the roots of much demonic power. God has forgiven you, so live as a forgiven person.
- Many times, we are unable to forgive ourselves because we find it hard to accept ourselves. If we have rejected ourselves, we have to specifically take the truths of the Word into ourselves and as previously taught for the rejection section, accept and forgive ourselves.
- The easiest thing to do when you are struggling to forgive another person, is to ask God to show His mercy when we behaved similarly towards Him. Many a times, we have done the exact same things against God, for which currently we are getting upset with the person who has offended us. In our relationship with God, He has shown us mercy and so it becomes easy to show others the same mercy. God is merciful to those who show mercy. So, even if a person is not worthy of your mercy, it is godly to show mercy.
- We can ask God to grant us understanding, so we can understand the person who has offended us and be sympathetic. Ask for wisdom and God will surely grant it to us.
- We see a human illustration of this in the life of Joseph who had been so brutally wronged by his brothers. When his brothers later came before Joseph the ruler there was no debt collecting on his part. He wasn’t concerned about collecting the debt. Instead, because he knew they were going to have a hard time forgiving themselves, he said, “have no fear; for am I in God’s place? True enough you planned evil against me, but God planned it for good, to bring about what today is fact, the keeping alive of much people” (Genesis 50:19-20).
- Forgiveness is for your benefit.
- Ask God to heal the hurt and pain that the person has caused us, renounce every evil thought and feeling we hold against that person, and then release the love of God towards that person. Bless that person with the love of God.
This post is a part of a series of posts regarding Inner Healing. Click here to access the Introduction to Inner Healing and the entire list of topics in the Inner Healing series.