How to Truly Forgive

The Lord doesn’t want us enslaved by resentment, so He helps us forgive our wrongdoers.

Ephesians 4:25-32

25 So stop lying to each other. Tell the truth to your neighbor. We all belong to the same body. 26 If you are angry, do not let it become sin. Get over your anger before the day is finished. 27 Do not let the devil start working in your life. 28 Anyone who steals must stop it! He must work with his hands so he will have what he needs and can give to those who need help. 29 Watch your talk! No bad words should be coming from your mouth. Say what is good. Your words should help others grow as Christians. 30 Do not make God’s Holy Spirit have sorrow for the way you live. The Holy Spirit has put a mark on you for the day you will be set free. 31 Put out of your life all these things: bad feelings about other people, anger, temper, loud talk, bad talk which hurts other people, and bad feelings which hurt other people. 32 You must be kind to each other. Think of the other person. Forgive other people just as God forgave you because of Christ’s death on the cross.

Did you know it’s possible to extend forgiveness to another person and yet still cling to resentment? We might say everything is okay, but our unpardoning spirit remains—and it will linger until we emotionally release the other person from the wrong he or she did. Thankfully, there’s a way to truly move on:

First, assume responsibility for your unforgiving spirit, and choose a change of heart toward the other person. The healing process begins with repentance.

•  Then, release your hold over the debt you feel is owed. 

•  Recognize the other person’s violation has exposed an area of weakness in you—namely, your resentment and desire for vengeance. 

•  Finally, remember how often God forgives you. 

The Lord is grieved to see His children cling to an unforgiving spirit, because emotional debt imprisons us. We become paralyzed by our own distrust, resentment, and insecurity, which only build walls that shut out family and friends. In contrast, God’s goal for us is freedom from bitterness. He wants to see us reconcile with our offender and even show tenderhearted, loving acceptance. We have a calling from God to forgive. Though that can be difficult, it is possible because Christ lives in us (I have been put up on the cross to die with Christ. I no longer live. Christ lives in me. The life I now live in this body, I live by putting my trust in the Son of God. He was the One Who loved me and gave Himself for me. Gal. 2:20).

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: