Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. (Colossians 3:13 NIV)
Too many followers of Christ are confused about forgiveness. They live out of lies they hold to as truth. We’ll be looking at some of those lies today.
We don’t forgive because we believe the violator needs to pay. We feel the one who did us wrong needs to understand what we were put through. We want the one who sinned to acknowledge what they did and make amends.
But we must awaken to the fact that un-forgiveness leads to bitterness and separation from God. He has forgiven us and wants to enable us to make the choice to forgive those who have sinned against us.
Q. Does the offender pay if I don’t forgive?
A. No. But you pay. You only harm yourself when you refuse to forgive wrongs done to you.
For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you; but if you do not forgive others, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses. (Matthew 6:14-15 NRSV)
If you forgive others, you will be forgiven. (Luke 6:37 NLT)
Un-forgiveness is a sin God cannot look upon. It separates us from our loving Creator. If you want to see how serious it is, check out Jesus’ parable of the unrepentant servant in Matthew 18:21-35.
Q. Does forgiving someone let him or her “off the hook”?
A. No. It puts them into God’s hands.
Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord. (Romans 12:19 NIV)
Q. Shouldn’t I wait until they change before I forgive?
Forgive as Christ forgave you (Col 3:13).
How is that?
While we were still sinners, Christ died for us (Rom 5:8).
Before we deserved it… He showed us grace. You must choose to forgive whoever has wronged you. We forgive for the sake of our relationship with God, not for the sake of the other person.
Q. But Christ doesn’t forgive me until I ask for it, so shouldn’t I wait to forgive someone until they ask for it?
A. No. First, you aren’t God. You don’t have His capacity for grace. Second, understand that you forgive for your sake, not theirs. Christ said in Matthew 18 that if we don’t forgive another from our hearts, tormentors will be assigned to us. If you don’t forgive someone until they ask for forgiveness, you’re actually letting them keep you imprisoned.
Q. Shouldn’t I wait until I feel like forgiving?
A. Don’t wait until you feel like forgiving… you never will. Forgiveness is a choice, a decision of your will.
Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. Colossians 3:13 (New Living Translation)
Q. Do I need to trust someone I forgive?
A. No. Forgiveness and trust are two separate issues.
Forgiveness is given while trust is earned. Forgiving someone does not mean they don’t face the consequences of their actions. It does not mean you put yourself into harm’s way. You are not a doormat for those who would hurt you.
Now you may have other misconceptions about forgiveness, and we may cover some in the next couple of days. But many followers of Christ stumble on these points. So even if you’re not struggling with forgiving someone, you are probably close to someone who is. Help them to find the freedom of forgiveness.
In the name of Jesus, I purpose and choose to forgive (the person) from my heart for (what they did). I acknowledge the hurt and the hate it has led to in my life and I agree to live with the consequences of their sin.
In the name of Jesus I cancel all the debts and obligations to me. I release (the person) to You, as well as my right to avenge.
Dear Lord, I ask You to forgive me for my bitterness toward (the person) in this situation. In the name of Jesus and in the power of His blood, I cancel satan’s power over me in this memory because I have forgiven and have been forgiven by God.
In the name of Jesus, I command that all the tormentors that have been assigned to me because of my un-forgiveness leave me now.
Holy Spirit, I invite You into my heart and to heal me from this pain. Please speak Your words of truth to me about this situation.
This I pray in the name of Jesus Christ my Lord. Amen
Ask God to reveal to you anyone you may need to forgive. As you wait on Him, you may be surprised at who He brings to your mind. Choose to forgive them and release them into God’s hands.
I choose to forgive everyone who has wronged me. I choose to seek the forgiveness of those I have wronged. I choose to accept I have been forgiven of my confessed sin. I choose to walk in the freedom forgiveness brings.
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Thanks for helping others live life above the negativity!