If you’ve been hurt, then the idea of forgiveness may seem impossible. You may be wondering what exactly it means for you as a Christian and how to do it. How do you forgive that person - or persons - who betrayed you? How do you let go of the pain and hurt that you have experienced? Thankfully, forgiveness is easy - it just take three simple steps.
Step 1: To Forgive, Admit There is a Problem
Ephesians 4:31-32 says, “Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behaviour. Instead, be kind to each other, tender-hearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.” If you are holding a grudge against anyone for anything – no matter how seemingly unforgiveable – then acknowledge that there is a problem. Admit that you are hurt or angry. Don’t deny it. Admitting that forgiveness is necessary is the first step toward freedom.
Step 2: To Forgive, Pray and Release the Pain
Mark 11:25 says, “But when you are praying, first forgive anyone you are holding a grudge against, so that your Father in heaven will forgive your sins, too.” Take your decision to forgive to God. Pray and commit before the Lord to forgive, to let go of the offense.
Step 3: To Forgive, Remain Focused
Matthew 18:21-22 says, “‘Then Peter came to him and asked, “Lord, how often should I forgive someone who sins against me? Seven times?’ ‘No, not seven times,’ Jesus replied, ‘but seventy times seven!’” You may have more opportunities to forgive the person who has hurt you. When past offenses come to your mind, say, “No, in the name of Jesus, I forgive that person. And I thank you, Lord, that I have received forgiveness freely and I give forgiveness freely.”
Forgiveness is not a mystical, unattainable thing. You can do it! You can forgive the person who has hurt you and walk free from the pain and anger that comes with it. Live free from the trap of unforgiveness and enjoy the freedom that is yours through Jesus Christ!