Forgiveness is essential to you for your life. Many people think; “this person wronged me and I will never forgive them for it.” Although this feeling is understandable it is not beneficial or productive. To hold un-forgiveness in your heart does not affect the person who has hurt you, but it serves to affect you and keep you in bondage. When people keep un-forgiveness within them it takes root in their heart and slowly eats away at them throughout their lives. This not only affects their outlook on life, but their ability to move forward and truly love those around them.
In Matthew 18:21-22 it says; Then Peter came to Him and said, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Up to seven times?” Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.” What this means is that we are called to forgive as many times as we are wronged. This does not mean though that you have to become someone’s punching bag or doormat. Forgiveness is a condition of a person’s heart. It is an act of releasing an offense a person has caused you and saying, “I forgive you.” Then one is able to walk free, and rid themselves from the bitterness and anger within. Having emotions is not bad. In fact, the Lord gave us emotions for a reason. It is what you do with these emotions that matter.
The Bible teaches that we can be angry, but we are not to sin out of this anger. For instance if someone wrongs you, you will most likely feel the emotion of anger within you. This anger acts as a guide that something has been done wrong against you. It is then important to seek the Lord about why you are feeling the way you are, and ask Him to guide you in your response. When you feel the emotion of anger over a matter it is vital not to retaliate against the person who has hurt you, but to forgive them from your heart and handle the matter as the Lord leads you. In this you experience the emotion of anger, but you do not sin as a result of allowing the anger to consume you.
When you choose to forgive someone who has hurt you, you are honoring yourself and the Lord in your life. You are choosing to forgive and love yourself enough to live free. As Jesus forgives us for our sins, we are called to forgive those who have wronged us. Regardless of the circumstance, when you forgive you are also recognizing that you too are not without sin. In the Bible Jesus shared with the people that “he who is without sin, should cast the first stone.” What Jesus was saying is that no one is perfect. Each person should be mindful that they too have made mistakes in life and have wronged others. When you are willing to recognize this fact, it not only becomes easier to forgive, but to ask for forgiveness when you need to as well.
Mathew 5:23-24 says; “Therefore if you are presenting your offering at the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your offering there before the altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother, and then come and present your offering.” God desires us to be in right standing with our fellow man, before we come before Him. Each person should take an inventory of the relationships in their life. Is there someone you need to forgive who has wronged you? Is there someone you have mistreated that you need to seek forgiveness from?
If you answered yes to either one of these questions, then we encourage you to go before the Lord asking Him to forgive you first, and then seeking Him for the answers on how to handle each matter in your life. It is through repentance and forgiveness that you will be able to live a free life and enter into all of the blessings the Lord has in store for you. Remember it is as simple as saying; “I am sorry,” or “I forgive you.” You can start by praying this prayer aloud to Him;
Dear Lord Jesus,
I ask that You would forgive me of my sins and wash me clean with Your blood. I ask that You would speak to my heart and show me the people that I have wronged; and show me the people who have wronged me as well. I ask for forgiveness for those I have hurt, and I forgive those who have hurt me. I release the offense of every matter that has affected me inside, and I ask that You would show me how to handle every situation. Lead me by Your Holy Spirit and give me the ability to forgive from my heart, and to ask for forgiveness as well.
In Jesus Name I Pray,