A PROCESS TO FORGIVENESS; Steps 1-5
1: Write out the problem, the hurt, the hate, and the bitterness you feel
Write out all you know and feel about the situation on paper. Be truthful with yourself and to God. We should express our emotions and our true feelings no matter how bad they sound or how hurtful it may be. If we are blaming someone for the hurt we feel, tell the truth about it. Sometimes we may not be sure who is really at fault, but the emotions and feelings are there, and we should acknowledge them.
We may blame ourselves for what has happened, or we may feel or know that others are at fault. We may even blame God for allowing this to happen to us and feel He is responsible for not stopping the situations. No matter where the blame lies, we should be honest with ourselves about our feelings to help us address truth.
The enemy will try to cover up our hindrances so that we cannot clearly see the real problem. He even tries to keep us confused on what has really happened to prevent us from ascertaining the truth. This is why it is important to write down what we feel has happened so that the problem and situation can be clearly identified and then addressed. By writing the problems and the hurt which may be buried deep we can begin addressing them. This will help us get to the very root of what has happened and all that we feel and think concerning the situation.
John 8:32 And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.
Psalm 91: 4b … His truth shall be your shield and buckler.
John 17:17Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.
2: Confess to the Lord what you feel, your hurt and your hate.
Tell the Lord the truth about how we feel and what we have gone through. It may help to lay before the Lord in prayer and to lay before Him with the written account of all our hurt and pain. We should tell Him the anger, hurt and bitterness we feel; even if we feel God is to blame for allowing things to happen. Confess to God the truth of our emotions because He already knows and sees our heart, He just wants us to acknowledge where we are so that we may recognize our need. Confess all that we know and have done and say all that we know about the situation that caused the hurt.
I John 1:9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
3: We need to understand the Word of God so we can stand on His promises.
We are to pray for those that misuse and abuse us; casting all your cares upon Him. It is important to understand we are just doing what the Bible tells us to do. We can tell Jesus we are obeying His word, He told us to pray for those who misuse and abuse us. We are bringing to Him our concerns, pain and problems and casting them on Him. We pray that God will give us the forgiveness we need for this situation. Jesus commands us to forgive it is not a request. We are free to choose if we are going to forgive or not; free to choose if we will we obey God who tells us we must forgive.
Jesus was beaten, His flesh torn from His body, nails driven in His hands and feet. He was spat upon, mocked and laughed at. Jesus received in His body every sickness and disease of mankind. His bones were showing and body out of joint, and all this He took because of our sins and not His own. God did this to purchase forgiveness for all mankind. If He had not, we all would die and go to hell.
Jesus forgave us our sins against Him, for the pain, the hurt and the burdens He bore because we rebelled against God. Jesus experienced total separation from His Father and endured the death of the cross so we may call God Father.
Jesus prayed for us, “Father forgive them they do not know what they do.” He took our place, became sin, and gave us His place as sons, joint heirs in the kingdom of God. Jesus took our punishment, death, hell that we might have abundant life. God paid a great price to purchase forgiveness for mankind and it is an insult to God and a lack of respect for all Jesus went through for us to spit in God’s face and refuse to forgive.
Those who are of God have the love of God and compassion for the lost and they too will pray Father forgive them. Those who are not of God but are of their father the devil will in their wickedness refuse to forgive and will receive the consequences of their choice.
Isaiah 53:3-5 He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from Him; He was despised, and we esteemed Him not. Surely He hath borne our grief, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem Him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But He was wounded for our transgression; He was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon Him; and with His stripes we are healed.
Luke 23:34 Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.
4: Recognize what we did to Jesus and the suffering He endured because of us and yet He forgave us.
When we understand the suffering Jesus endured for us and realizes we were personally responsible for His death, if we have a heart for God, it will cause us to have compassion for others. Jesus was beaten because of me, His flesh torn from His body because of me, nails driven in His hands and feet because of me. He was spat upon, mocked and laughed at because of me. Jesus received in His body every sickness and disease for my healing. His bones were showing and body out of joint, and all this was done to Him because of our sins and not His own. Had He not, we all would die and go to hell.
Jesus forgave us for the pain, the hurt and the burdens He bore for our sins. Jesus experienced total separation from His Father and endured loneliness and despair so we can call God Father. Jesus prayed for us, “Father forgive them they don’t know what they do.” He took our place and became sin and gave us His place as sons and joint heirs in the kingdom of God. Jesus took our punishment, death and hell so that we might have abundant life.
Isaiah 53:3-5 He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from Him; He was despised, and we esteemed Him not. Surely He hath borne our grief, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem Him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But He was wounded for our transgression, He was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon Him; and with His stripes we are healed.
Luke 23:34 Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.
5: Understand you cannot forgive without the power of God by the Holy Spirit
We must acknowledge our weakness and our inability to forgive without the help of Christ. We do not have the power to forgive others for all they have done to us. God has made provision for us. He gave us the Holy Spirit to live in us to give us the power to forgive and become more like Christ. Jesus died for the world, not just for a few or a special group of people. He died for everyone even the ones who have hurt us.
When Peter asked Jesus how many times was he to forgive his brother, Jesus told him to forgive so many times that he could not keep up with the count. Jesus tells us to forgive men because our Heavenly Father forgave us our wrongs. When we do not forgive, we are holding inside the poison others have spewed on us and we are allowing our own feelings to rule us and come against God’s word. God knew the poison of not forgiving and that it would destroy us. He loves us so much He does not want to see our lives destroyed. That is why He commands us to forgive others so not to give the enemy a place in our lives.
Matthew 18: 21-22 Then came Peter to Him, and said, Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Till seven times? Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven.
Matthew 6:14-15 For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if you forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
Hebrew 12:15 Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled.