What’s something that everybody needs, but doesn’t want to offer?
You got it: Forgiveness!!
Some of us cause ourselves years and years of pain because we’re either unwilling to forgive or we just don’t know how. A lot of people mistakenly think that forgiving someone means that you agree with what they did to you; that you are just letting them off the hook. But forgiveness has very little to do with the other person and everything to do with you; Forgiveness isn’t for them, it’s for you.
As the popular saying goes: “Unforgiveness is like drinking poison hoping the other person will die.” You’re only hurting yourself. For all you know that person can be going about their life, sleeping well at night and being prosperous, while you’re tossing, turning, and toiling over something they probably don’t even remember doing or care that they did.
It hurts…bad. And I’m sure that whatever happened, you didn’t deserve it. But you also don’t deserve for it to negatively affect your life a second longer either. You have an INCREDIBLE life to live, love to give, purpose to serve, and blessings to receive!! Don’t allow unforgiveness to interfere with that any longer.
Forgiving may seem impossible to you right now, but the good news is that it’s actually really REALLY easy!! If you allow it to be. Let’s look at the 3 steps to true forgiveness! (Psst…I’m excited for you!)
1. Make the Decision
Forgiveness is as easy as deciding to forgive. Seriously!! What do we do with any other task that we are determined to accomplish?? We make up our minds that “I am doing this, no matter what it takes!” So make up your mind that this is something that is going to happen. If this step is a challenge for you then weigh your options. You can either:
A) Learn from the experience, forgive, and allow the Lord to avenge you (Romans 12:19-21), which would open the doors for progress, purpose, healing, health, abundance, and other blessings to flow into your life.
B) Replay what was done over and over in your mind (it’s torture just having to keep reliving it), make them pay for what they’ve done (in some big or small way whether seen or unseen), and make sure that no one ever ever hurts you again (good luck with that one), which will cause you to remain stuck in your current stage of life, not being able to receive forgiveness from God and others when you need it, preventing you from using the gifts you’ve been blessed with and receiving the blessings that have YOUR name on them. Oh yeah, unforgivness has also been known to directly cause and increase the risk of certain health conditions and diseases. (This is TRUE! “Forgiveness therapy” is now used to treat diseases, such as cancer.)
There are your choices. Take your pick!!
2. Follow the Instructions
Another reason that forgiveness is so easy is that we are given actual instructions on it. Where are these instructions found? Well the Bible of course. A creator always leaves an instruction manual, it’s up to us whether we will actually read it or toss it to the side and make up our own instructions (which don’t usually turn out well).
Here’s what the Bible says about forgiveness:
If you have anything against anyone, forgive them (let it go, drop it, leave it, release it to God) and do it quickly because God will forgive you with the same regard that you forgive others.
Mark 11:25-26, Matthew 6:14, Luke 6:37, Colossians 3:13
Pray for them
I always say, you know you’ve truly forgiven someone when you can speak blessings over their life and really mean it. If you really want them to get what they deserve, then pray for them. When God sees how you are honoring Him by obeying His word, He will reveal things to them in such a way that they may show up beating down your door just to apologize and make it right.
Speak well of them.
A lot of times when we are scorned, it’s hard not to take advantage of an opportunity to “vent” or talk about the situation with others. After you have released the offense to God and begin to forgive, make a point not to continuously talk about it with others. Even if someone asks you about it, say only good things like the scripture above instructs. Refuse to say anything bad or negative about the situation and those involved. It will completely throw everyone off (Haha) but the more you talk about it, the more power you give it. Make that situation powerless by immediately letting it go, releasing it to God, and speaking blessings, even if you don’t mean it right away.
3. Use your Help
The Lord is fully aware that we were human and because of that, forgiveness tends to be a major struggle for us. But He never meant for us to even attempt to do it without Him, which is yet another reason why forgiveness is so easy! The Bible says to look to God for our source of never-ending help (Psalm 121:1-2) and that if we acknowledge Him (ask and depend on His help) then He will direct our path (Proverbs 3:6).
I read an article by Joyce Meyer once that brought up an amazing point: Jesus visited His disciples soon after being crucified and breathed the Holy Spirit onto them right before instructing them in forgiveness. This demonstrates that even the Lord knew that we would need the help of the Holy Spirit before being able to truly forgive. So have no shame in asking God for some extra help when the struggle gets too real and you need supernatural help to forgive. After all, the Word says that we can only do all things through Christ who gives us strength. It wasn’t meant for us to use our own limited strength in order to accomplish this.
So the truth is out! Forgiving is as easy as you make it! And it becomes even easier when you know how limiting, unhealthy, and unproductive being unforgiving is. So put the poison down and choose to let go and move on!