The Process of Forgiveness

Below is a copy of the October 29th Daily Devotional called “Daily in Christ” authored by Dr. Neil Anderson whom I read and study daily.  All of us must be willing to forgive to grow.  Forgiveness is at the center of the heart of Jesus.  If you have any doubts about what I am saying, take a fresh view of the cross and what Christ did for you.  If “The Process of Forgiveness” becomes a problem, copy and laminate the below and keep it in a visible location.  Ask the Holy Spirit to empower and walk with you.  Then, purposefully and intentionally, work all the way through the process mindful of His grace.  It’s time to grow…

Luke 6:27-28

Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.

Here are 12 simple steps you can use to walk through the process of forgiving someone who hurt you in the past:

  • Ask the Lord to reveal the names of the individuals who offended you and the specific wrongs you suffered.
  • Face the hurt and the hate. If you are going to forgive from your heart, you must let God search the depths of your heart (Psalms 139:23&24)
  • Acknowledge the significance of the cross. It is the cross of Christ that makes forgiveness legally and morally right.
  • Decide that you will not retaliate by using the information about the offender’s sin against them (Luke 6:27-34).
  • Decide to forgive. Forgiveness is a conscious choice to let the other person off the hook and free yourself from the past. Take your list of names to God and pray the following: “I forgive ___(name)___ for ___(specifically identify every remembered pain)__ .”
  • Destroy the list. You are now free.
  • Do not tell the offenders what you have done. Your forgiveness is between you and God unless the offenders have asked you for forgiveness.
  • Do not expect that your decision to forgive will result in major changes in the other individuals. Instead, pray for them (Matthew 5:44).
  • Try to understand the people you have forgiven. They are victims also. Freedom is a result of forgiveness in you. In time you will be able to think about the people who offended you without feeling hurt or anger.
  • Thank God for the lessons you have learned and the maturity you have gained.
  • When appropriate, accept your part of the blame for the offenses you suffered.
  • Confess your failure to God and to others (1 John 1:9) and realize that if someone has something against you, you must humbly and sensitively go to that person (Matthew 5:23-26). This must be a heart thing not a do thing.

Prayer: Lord, teach me how to love unconditionally and forgive quickly those who hate me, curse me or mistreat me.

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