Why Do We Need to Forgive?
One of the most beautiful gifts that God has given us through His Son, Jesus, is the gift to ‘forgive’. In the years prior to the life of Jesus on earth, forgiveness was something only God could do according to man’s understanding. But when Jesus came, and forgave men their sins, telling them to go and sin no more, the people were amazed, in awe, and wondered how Jesus could possibly do something like this.
What does it mean ‘Not to forgive’?
If you do not forgive - You will have an attitude of unforgiveness. Your mind and your heart will not be in a state of forgiving. You will ‘not want to’ forgive. Your flesh will rule you in the way of unforgiveness and you will hold on to everything that brings out the worst in you.
What does it mean to forgive?
You will have an attitude of forgiving. You will have the Holy Spirit to guide you and your spirit will be willing to forgive. You will be changed ...Transformed … your mind will be renewed. Your mind and your heart will be in a state of forgiving. You will express one of the most difficult forms of love in your life.
2 Corinthians 5:17 says: Therefore if anyone is in Christ he is a new creation; old things have passed away behold, all things have become brand new.
As a Christian, and for one who has put on Christ, you are a new creation. Therefore it becomes inevitable that you must ‘Accept’ God's forgiveness and forgive yourself of some things you may be holding on to or feel guilty about. When you forgive yourself extend that forgiveness to others. You can’t forgive without God's help. Forgiveness starts with a desire. A decision is an act of our will. This surrender invites God to begin working in us and through us. We ask God to enlighten us with understanding that we need to fully forgive from our hearts. We simply need to make the choice to be open to forgiveness and reconciliation.
Forgiveness does not justify the deed of the person. If it has to, the least we can do is to look up to the cross and repeat what Jesus did, ‘Father forgive them for they know not what they do.”
While nothing can undo the past, you can do something about the condition of your own present and future. Forgiving others makes way for your own healing to begin. Do yourself a favor and forgive. Forgiveness is for you not the other person. When you don’t forgive, that person has control over you: Control over your thoughts, actions, and emotions. When you see them, that thing they did in the past comes to mind, that makes your blood boil and you get angry, wanting to do something to hurt them to make them feel bad like you did. That person has gone about his business totally unconcerned. You are the one who relives what happened and gets upset.
Let go and let God help you to move forward
After you forgive, those old ugly feeling no longer bother you or come up when you see that person or persons. They no longer have control over you. This means you have been delivered and you have truly, fully forgiven them from your heart. Once you forgive from your heart, nothing can come near you to cause you pain or cause your grief … for, there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.
I myself, Dauphne McMurry, had to forgive two people that I didn’t speak to for several years. After I accepted Jesus Christ I had the desire to forgive them. I don’t even think about what they did anymore when I see them. I have picked them up for church and have given them rides to different places and I talk to them. I pray for them and I even help them when they need it. I feel so good inside knowing that they no longer have control over me. I no longer get upset or relive what they did. Hallelujah Thank you God. I feel good also knowing that God has forgiven me. I Let go and Let God help me to forgive. I would never have been able to forgive them without God in my life. The devil does bring it to me every now and then. I tell Him to ‘get thee behind me Satan in the name of Jesus’. I have the victory. God has delivered me from that. Thank you God.
If you are not ready to forgive I encourage you to pray and ask God to give you the desire to forgive. If you are ready and willing to forgive, but are unsure how, consider this prayer.
“Father God, I need your help and your insights. Today I have gained a better understanding of forgiving others and with your help. I fully forgive from my heart. Just as you have freely forgiven me, I forgive them, Father, I ask you to forgive me for hurting others out of my own heart and to heal my relationships with others. I pray all of this in Jesus’ precious name and by whom all forgiveness and healing was made possible. Thank you for loving me in ways I'll never comprehend. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
If you forgive men their trespasses your heavenly Father will also forgive you.
But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
Image Credit: Calvary at Wikimedia Commons