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Forgiving someone is something you do for you, not for the person who hurt or abused you.  Forgiving others include forgiving yourself.  There are many reason to forgive.  The main reason is to seek forgiveness from God for your sins.  In the Bible. Matthew 18:23-35 instructs us to forgive and we will be forgiven. Of course we need to ask God to forgive us and stop sinning.  God's gift to mankind is free choice, we have a choice to forgive or be offended. The Bible is clear in telling us to forgive and let go of all offenses. An offense will keep you in bondage.

Unforgiveness is the glue that cements us to the bad event or relationship.   The greater power of bad events over good ones is found in everyday events, major life events (e.g., trauma), close relationship outcomes, social network patterns, interpersonal interactions, and learning processes. Bad emotions, bad parents, and bad feedback have more impact than good ones, and bad information is processed more thoroughly than good. The self is more motivated to avoid bad self-definitions than to pursue good ones. Bad impressions and bad stereotypes are quicker to form and more resistant to disconfirmation than good ones. (Roy F. Baumeister) Forgiveness is a decision to let go of resentment and thoughts of revenge. Forgiveness is releasing the person without receiving an apology, payment, or explanation. Forgiveness is viewing the person or event from a non threatening perspective. If you are unforgiving, the anger, resentment and bitterness from the past will hurt new relationships and new experiences. Your life might become so wrapped up in the wrong that you can't enjoy the present. You can’t enjoy the things that are right. You might become depressed or anxious which will cause your body to become sick and your immune system to be compromised. Forgiveness is a decision you make to benefit you, not the person that hurt you. The person that hurt you could care less if they were ever forgiven by you. Forgiveness is something you do for yourself. It is an act of obedience to the commandments of Jesus Christ. When you forgive a person, you need to forgive each act separately, instead of a blanket statement. I forgive my father for being mean to me is a blanket statement. It is best to forgive each incident that the Lord brings to mind. I forgive my father for beating me up at the age of six. I forgive him for lying to me about my mother. Each incident that you choose to forgive, will bring you into a place of healing for yourself. When you forgive a person, that doesn’t mean that you still need to be friends with that person or do business with them. Don’t let the devil set you up for repeat failure. It gets harder to forgive a repeat offender and it is harder to forgive ourselves for being hurt again. If the person who has hurt you is a business associate or a family member or a Love From Above house member and you have to continue to associate with them. You still need to forgive them but that doesn’t mean you have to be close to them or that you trust them to change. Trust is earned not granted. Truly, sometimes people don’t know that they have hurt you. It is best to keep things in the open, concealing them in the dark only leads to lies and deception. Openly, say, “I was hurt when you did this.” The person might or might not ask for forgiveness it doesn’t matter if they do, it is your responsibility to forgive. If you have spoken ill of someone and God is dealing with your conscience about the issue, then it would be good to repent and ask God for forgiveness. But, it is not necessary to go to the person who you talked ugly about because they are unaware of it. We are commanded not to stir up strife. In these cases, the saying is true…if they don’t know, it won’t hurt them. The main objective is to walk in love. Treat other people how you would want to be treated. The Bible is very clear, if we do not forgive others, God will not forgive us. Matthew 6:14-15 For it you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if you forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses. Un-forgiveness, give the other person power over you. They hurt you in this life; don’t let them destroy your eternal destiny. Hell is full of people who choose not to forgive others. Un-forgiveness can bring isolation into a person’s life. Some people have been hurt so badly that they are unable to forgive and relate to other people. The un-forgiveness has built up a wall around their hearts. They are unable to establish new relationships because of the pain from the old relationships. They have an “all I need is God attitude.” No man is an island to themselves, we were created for relationship. In Genesis 2:18, And the Lord God said, it is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a help meet for him. In Ecclesiastes 4:9-19 Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labor. For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when he falls; for he has not another to help him up. We are the body of Christ and we need each other, 1 Corinthians 12: 12-13 For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ. For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit. (also see Romans 12:4-5) We are created to live in a community or a family unit. We are in a fight for our lives… Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; put on the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil, fight the good fight of faith. Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: These and many more are fighting scriptures and the devils knows that if he can hurt you so deeply you can’t forgive your abuser, or if the devil can get you to sin against your own soul, so that you cannot forgive yourself, or if the devil can hurt you so badly and blame it on God so that you cannot forgive God,…….then the devil will have won, and you will spend eternity in hell for the crime of un-forgiveness. Forgiving someone is something we do for ourselves. We cannot expect the other person to change, the only person we can change is ourselves. This is very important while dating. Don’t marry someone thinking that you can change them, only God can change a person’s heart. The hardest person to forgive is you. We hold ourselves to a higher standard, we know verses like: Hebrews 12:4 Ye have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin. We know better than to fall into sin. But if we do, we need to repent, ask for forgiveness from God in Jesus’ name, and forgive ourselves. When we repent and ask God to forgive us, we need to confess our sin, not justify it. Example: Forgive me Lord for lying to my boss – proper way. Lord you know I need this job, so I lied to keep my job, forgive me. – you are justifying the sin. And it doesn’t help if you ask God to forgive you fifty times for the same sin. If you truly repented, he forgave you the first time. The longer you stay in a state of condemnation, the longer you assignment that God has given you is left undone. We are not higher than God, so when God forgive us, for His own name sake, we need to forgive ourselves too. Isaiah 43:25 I, even I, am he that blotteth out thy transgressions for mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins. If you are having a hard time forgiving yourself, say for Jesus’ sake I forgive me. If you can’t forgive then ask God for the grace to forgive yourself. Remember Jesus Christ wants you to succeed, more than you want to succeed. A person without an ego would have the attitude, Lord Jesus, You and Lord God are the only holy perfect ones, and I throw myself on your mercy, for your mercies are new every morning. Give me the grace to forgive myself. Dear Jesus It is best never to sin against your own conscience. Never think that you are so strong that you put yourself in a position to be tempted. Never judge another person’s sin as if you were better than they are. No one knows another person past or why people do what they do. Take everything to God in prayer and keep a clear conscience. Forgive and it will be forgiven you. And don’t take on another person offence. If your child was bullied at school, take on the appropriate actions, like contacting the school, but don’t take on the offense. Forgiving God can be hard because we are taught that God is all knowing, all powerful, He is everywhere at the same time. God is our healer and our provider. God is our King and our Lord. He rules over all. Yet, an eight year old girl is raped by her drunken 18 year old brother. A stray bullet takes the life of an innocent child. A child of God after believing for a year dies after suffering terribly with cancer. After giving into the kingdom of God for years, you are unable to pay your bills or the car breaks down. Where is God? Where is He when I’m hurting so bad that I can’t breathe? He is in the same place, where he was when he watched his innocent beloved only begotten Son be tortured and crucified for mankind. He is in the same place He was when so many martyrs have lost their lives for the gospel of Jesus Christ. They were tortured and put to death, some were beaten, beheaded, cut open with swords and knives, shot and killed, raped and murdered for the gospel. 1 Corinthians 2:9 But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. And John 15:13 Greater love hath no man than this that a man lay down his life for his friends. God will not violate free will. Roman 12:19 Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, Eze 18:23 Have I any pleasure at all that the wicked should die? saith the Lord GOD: and not that he should return from his ways, and live? God will give the abuser time to repent.

Steps to Forgiveness

1.) Make the choice to forgive – forgiveness is not a feeling. Forgiveness is a choice made through faith.

2.) Understand that forgiveness does not forget what happens nor does it excuse the person who hurt you. Forgiveness releases you from the person and incident. You don’t want to make excuses for the person who hurt you. Like, they were incapable of loving me because they were never loved. This may be true, but forgiveness is forgiving the person, not making excuses for the person.

3.) Once a person is forgiven, stop rehearsing the incident in your mind or telling others what terrible things happened to you? Stop reliving the event. If the event should enter your mind, pray “God I choose to forgive ____________________________, and I ask you to forgive them too. Lord God, please heal my emotions and remove any lies or pain that has been embedded in me.” As you walk in greater forgiveness you can ask the Lord to bless the person who hurt you.

4.) Release any thoughts of revenge, anger, bitterness, or resentment towards the person who has hurt you.

5.) Some pains and hurts are so deep that we are wounded at the conscience and subconscious levels, once forgiveness is given, God can and will start the healing process. Remember the devil does not want you to forgive and be set free. Beware of any inner voices telling you that if I forgive it will happen to you again.

6.) Forgive yourself and God.

After you have forgiven, if an event enters your mind again, there is a reason, (a) either you need to forgive again, (b) there is a lie that is attached to the event, (c) you might need to confess a sin to God concerning the incident, or (d) the devil is tormenting you or your past to shipwreck your future. People who live in the past are often depressed and full of regrets; people who live in the future are often anxious and worried. The people who take the present moment and live in the presence of God casting all of their cares upon him for he cares for us, and take the whole of the past with its victories, disappointments and regrets, and place the past on the altar of God, burning up the disappointments, placing the victories at the feet of Jesus, and applying the Blood of Jesus to the regrets, live a life full of joy and contentment. We can’t change the past, we are not God, we can only live in the present. We are made in the image of God and the Spirit of God dwells within us after we are born again. The words of our mouths and belief in our hearts have creative power to frame our worlds. Whatever you dwell upon will become part of you in time. Take time to get alone with God and ask him to show you every individual that you need to forgive.  

“I think that if God forgives us we must forgive ourselves. Otherwise, it is almost like setting up ourselves as a higher tribunal than Him.” ― C.S. Lewis

“People have to forgive. We don't have to like them, we don't have to be friends with them, we don't have to send them hearts in text messages, but we have to forgive them, to overlook, to forget. Because if we don't we are tying rocks to our feet, too much for our wings to carry!” ― C. JoyBell C.