HOW TO FORGIVE
But I say unto you which hear , Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you, Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you. And unto him that smiteth thee on the one cheek offer also the other; and him that taketh away thy cloke forbid not to take thy coat also.
1. Decide to forgive and do it by faith – You will never forgive if you wait until you feel like it. Choose to obey God and steadfastly resist the devil in his attempts to poison you with bitter thoughts. Make a quality decision to forgive and God will heal your wounded emotions in due time. The same applies to receiving forgiveness for yourself: you receive it by faith. Remember, we walk by faith and not by feelings. Your feelings will eventually line up with your decision so, stick with your decision.
2. Depend on the Holy Spirit for help – You cannot forgive without the power of the Holy Spirit. Forgiveness is a supernatural act and it brings out the divine nature of God that is within us. It’s too hard to do on your own. If you are truly willing, God will enable you, but you must humble yourself and cry out to Him for help. In John 20:22-23, Jesus breathed on the disciples and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit!” His next instruction was about forgiving people. Ask God to breathe the Holy Spirit on you so you can forgive those who have hurt you.
3. Obedience to God’s word in relation to your enemies – The Word tells us several things we’re to do concerning forgiving our enemies:
a. Pray for your enemies and those who abuse and misuse you. Pray for their happiness and welfare (Luke 6:27-28). As you pray, God can give them revelation that will bring them out of deception. They may not even be aware they hurt you, or maybe they’re aware but are so self-centered that they don’t care. Either way, they need revelation.
b. …Bless and do not curse them (Romans 12:14). In Greek, to bless means “to speak well of” and to curse means, “to speak evil of.” You can’t walk in forgiveness and be a gossip. You must stop repeating the offense. You can’t get over it if you continue to talk about it. Proverbs 17:9 says that he who covers an offense seeks love.
4. Do not forget that you have forgiven – People tell me I can forgive but I cannot forget. I tell them forgive and don’t forget that you have forgiven. Forgiveness does not erase past event from your memory but you can re-categorise the event in your mind. Carry out a mental reclassification of these hurtful events. Place them in your mind as experience and tests that you have passed.
For further Study
Luke 6:27-28, Romans 12:14, John 20-22-23.
Personal declaration for the day
I will forgive myself, others, God , situation and things.
Questions for you to reflect on
- How do you forgive?
- When was the last time you received or gave forgiveness?