At some point in our lives, we have found ourselves in a situation where we are asked to forgive. Sometimes it’s easy, other times it’s hard. I talk about 7 steps to help you in the aspect of forgiveness in your life.
Acknowledge that the person did hurt you
Before anything else, you have to know why you’re forgiving someone. You have to see that the person has offended you – did the person take something away from you? Did that person ruin your image? Did that person shame you? Whatever that person did to you, you have to acknowledge that it happened and that it did affect you and you were hurt. Unless you do this, forgiveness won’t seem like an option because there was no offense in the first place.
Know what you’ve lost
Before you build your house, you have to count the cost. Same as when you’re re-building yourself, you have to count what it will take to recover what you’ve lost. What did you lose? How hard did it hit you? You have to know the extent of your loss. Unless you do this, you can never appreciate how much God will move through you when you have forgiven that person.
Focus on God
Forgiving simple, petty things might be easy and doable. But there will come a time in your life when you will face a colossal problem – chances are you will find it next to impossible to forgive a certain someone in your life. When you keep focusing on that person and his or her finitude, you will always be disappointed and you will always opt not to forgive – taking the easy way out.
When push comes to shove and your heart is hardened to forgive, don’t focus on the sins done against you. Focus on God and see how much He’s done for you. Then you will see that your forgiveness is but an easy race for the prize in this track called life.
Confess any sinful reaction towards the offense
Chances are you will take it to heart when you are offended. You might say cuss words, hold on to hate and bitterness, and/or do things that are not pleasing to God altogether. These reactions do you no good. It’s the coward’s way of handling an offense. You have to confess it to God and to a close friend or your accountability partner in order for you to be freed from the burden of your own sins against unforgiveness.
Ask God to save you and depend on Him
Sometimes you will find yourself far too deeply enrooted in bitterness, anger and hate towards the person who has offended or sinned against you. You can no longer find it in yourself to forgive and to love. This is the time when you ask God to save you – you have to depend on Him or else this sin of unforgiveness will enslave you for the rest of your life. And what a big, heavy burden it is.
I tell you the truth, once you break yourself down on God and ask for His help, He will help you. There’s no magic, but there’s God.
Give it up to God
After you’ve decided to forgive and have asked God to help you, you have to give it up to Him. You have to throw it away, cast it down at His feet, never to remember or take hold of it again. When you’ve really given it up to God, you can’t fish out for it anymore, you can’t dig it up anymore.
Set your heart free
Once you know you’ve given it up to God and He’s given you peace, set your heart free. Know that the guilt of hate and bitterness can be conquered by Him. Trust in Him and hold on to Him rather than to unforgiveness.
“Someone once told me, forgiveness is free. But I tell you, forgiveness is very costly – for the one giving it.” – paraphrased from Pastor Peter Tanchi