Definition: Forgiveness is to pardon and remit the sins and hurts committed by another person. It is to release blame and to free the other from any sense of obligation and resentment and involves giving up one's right to retain the hurt and sin.
Scriptures: Matthew 5:14-15; 18:21-35; Mark 11:25-26; John 20:23; 2 Corinthians 2:10-11; Ephesians 4:32; Colossians 3:13.
Focus: Because God has been so merciufl to us (Col 2:13-14; Hebrews 4:16), we need to forgive from the heart (Matt 18:35). If we do not forgive we block our relationship with God (Matt 6:14-15; Mark 11:25-26), we are in danger of a root of bitterness being harbored in our heart (Heb 12:14-15).
Steps to Forgiveness:
- Ask the Holy Spirit to remind you of areas of unforgiveness in your life (John 14:26; 16:13);
- Tell God openly how you feel about the person who hurt you (Ps. 62:8);
- Verbally speak out forgiveness for that specific hurt (John 20:23);
- Ask God to forgive the person who hurt you (Luke 23-24);
- Ask God to forgive you for holding unforgiveness (John 1:9);
- Release God from blame for allowing that person to hurt you (Proverbs 19:3);
- Ask the Holy Spirit to come to put His love, joy and peace where the unforgiveness once was (Luke 11:24-26);
- Ask God to bless the person who hurt you (Matt 5:44).
Types of Forgiveness:
- Forgiving those who sinned against you (Matt 6:14-15);
- Asking forgiveness of those you sinned against (Matt 5:23-24);
- Forgiving yourself for past mistakes, as God forgives you (Romans 8:1) and you can only love others as you love yourself (Matt 22:39).
Ten Commandments of Forgiveness:
- Love and forgive one another.
- Forgive in order to be forgiven.
- Pray for those who hurt you.
- Unforgiveness is a type of hate.
- Make a decision to forgive.
- Seek healing of the emotions and memories.
- Close the door to evil.
- Remember to forgive yourself.
- Forgiveness is a process.
- Love your neighbour by being a channel of healing.