How To Forgive Others, And Also Yourself!
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Sometimes forgiving someone can be difficult. Sometimes asking for forgiveness can be difficult. The more difficult thing is when someone refuses to let go, their sins will not be forgiven by God.
Here Are Some Helpful Links:
- How and when should we overlook an offense?
- Is there someone I need to forgive who sine against me?
- Does the Bible instruct us to forgive and forget?
- What did Jesus mean when He said that we should forgive others seventy times seven?
- What does the Bible say about forgiving yourself?
What Does Forgiveness Look Like?
Sometimes, the one who has been sinned against is right to “let it go,” even if forgiveness has not been requested. In other cases, the one sinned against must wait until the offending party confesses and asks for forgiveness to restore the relationship. This is the principle behind church discipline, as outlined in Matthew 18:15–17. If the confrontation of the sinner brings about confession, then reconciliation and forgiveness are offered. If the confrontation is unsuccessful, ex-communication from the church is the final result. As a general rule regarding petty slights and offenses in the family and the church, a person should let them go—“turn the other cheek,” as Jesus put it (Matthew 5:39). However, if the offense is such that turning the cheek is impossible, the offended party is obligated to talk to the offender. Under no circumstance does one have the right to harbor resentment, nurture bitterness, or gossip about the offense.
How To Forgive The Most Brutal Abuse You Could Imagine! Corrie Ten Boom
Here Are Some Questions To Ponder About Forgiveness:
• Have I confessed my sin and received God’s forgiveness?
• Is there anyone I have sinned against and from whom I need to ask forgiveness?
• Is there anyone who has sinned against me and has asked me for forgiveness, but I have refused to forgive?
• Is there anyone I am holding a grudge against for past wrongs?
• If there is an unresolved issue, will I “let it go,” or will I talk to the offender? (Continuing to hold a grudge is not a biblical option!)
• Would I be willing to forgive if the offender asked me for forgiveness?
Forgiveness: Letting Go Of Grudges And Bitterness
When someone you care about hurts you, you can hold on to anger and resentment — or embrace forgiveness and move forward.
Who hasn’t been hurt by the actions or words of another? Perhaps a parent constantly criticized you growing up, a colleague sabotaged a project, or your partner had an affair. Or maybe you’ve had a traumatic experience, such as being physically or emotionally abused by someone close to you. These wounds can leave lasting feelings of resentment, bitterness, and anger — sometimes even hatred.
But if you hold on to that pain, you might be the one who pays most dearly. By embracing forgiveness, you also can embrace peace and hope. Consider how forgiveness can lead you down the path of physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being.
What is forgiveness?
Forgiveness means different things to different people. But in general, it involves intentionally letting go of resentment and anger.
The act that hurt or offended you might always be with you. But working on forgiveness can lessen that act’s grip on you. It can help free you from the control of the person who harmed you. Sometimes, forgiveness might even lead to feelings of understanding, empathy, and compassion for the one who hurt you.
Forgiveness doesn’t mean forgetting or excusing the harm done to you. It also doesn’t necessarily mean making up with the person who caused the harm. Forgiveness brings a kind of peace that allows you to focus on yourself and helps you go on with life.
What are the benefits of forgiving someone?
Letting go of grudges and bitterness can make way for improved health and peace of mind. Forgiveness can lead to:
- Healthier relationships.
- Improved mental health.
- Less anxiety, stress, and hostility.
- Fewer symptoms of depression.
- Lower blood pressure.
- A stronger immune system.
- Improved heart health.
- Improved self-esteem.
Why is it so easy to hold a grudge?
Being hurt by someone, particularly someone you love and trust, can cause anger, sadness, and confusion. If you dwell on hurtful events or situations, grudges filled with resentment and hostility can take root. If you allow negative feelings to crowd out positive feelings, you might find yourself swallowed up by bitterness or a sense of injustice.
Some people are naturally more forgiving than others. But even if you tend to hold a grudge, almost anyone can learn to be more forgiving.
What are the effects of holding a grudge?
If you struggle with finding forgiveness, you might:
- Bring anger and bitterness into new relationships and experiences.
- Become so wrapped up in the wrong that you can’t enjoy the present.
- Become depressed, irritable, or anxious.
- Feel at odds with your spiritual beliefs.
- Lose valuable and enriching connections with others.
How do I move toward a state of forgiveness?
Forgiveness is a commitment to change. It takes practice. To move toward forgiveness, you might:
- Recognize the value of forgiveness and how it can improve your life.
- Identify what needs healing and who you want to forgive.
- Join a support group or see a counselor.
- Acknowledge your emotions about the harm done to you, recognize how those emotions affect your behavior and work to release them.
- Choose to forgive the person who’s offended you.
- Release the control and power that the offending person and situation have had in your life.
What happens if I can’t forgive someone?
Forgiveness can be hard, especially if the person who hurt you doesn’t admit wrongdoing. If you find yourself stuck:
- Practice empathy. Try seeing the situation from the other person’s point of view.
- Ask yourself about the circumstances that may have led the other person to behave in such a way. Perhaps you would have reacted similarly if you faced the same situation.
- Reflect on times when others have forgiven you.
- Write in a journal, pray, or use guided meditation. Or talk with a person you’ve found to be wise and compassionate, such as a spiritual leader, a mental health provider, or an impartial loved one or friend.
- Be aware that forgiveness is a process. Even small hurts may need to be revisited and forgiven again and again.
Does forgiveness guarantee reconciliation?
If the hurtful event involved someone whose relationship you value, forgiveness might lead to reconciliation. But that isn’t always the case.
Reconciliation might be impossible if the offender has died or is unwilling to communicate with you. In other cases, reconciliation might not be appropriate. Still, forgiveness is possible — even if reconciliation isn’t.
What if the person I’m forgiving doesn’t change?
Getting another person to change isn’t the point of forgiveness. It’s about focusing on what you can control in the here and now. Think of forgiveness more about how it can change your life by bringing you peace, happiness, and emotional and spiritual healing. Forgiveness can take away the power the other person continues to have in your life.
What if I’m the one who needs forgiveness?
The first step is to honestly assess and acknowledge the wrongs you’ve done and how they have affected others. Avoid judging yourself too harshly.
If you’re truly sorry for something you’ve said or done and want forgiveness, consider reaching out to those you’ve harmed. Speak of your sincere sorrow or regret. Ask for forgiveness without making excuses.
You can’t force someone to forgive you. Others need to move to forgiveness in their own time. Remember, forgiveness is a process. Whatever happens, commit to treating others with compassion, empathy, and respect.
How To Forgive When It Is So Hard To Do?
Learn How To Forgive Others!
Find hope by seeking to find God’s will for your life. Find hope today by placing your thoughts on good and godly things. You cannot find hope when you focus on evil. Let Jesus help you find real hope. Find forgiveness for yourself. When you forgive others, you are doing yourself a favor. Our health and peace of mind must learn how to forgive others. Most of us must forgive one another, but did we learn the words or understand the importance of the specific instruction God commands us to do?
God does not tell us that it will be an easy thing to forgive others. No, He tells us that if we do not forgive others, He will not forgive us. There is not much room for misunderstanding in that command in Matthew 6:14-15. If you hold a grudge or have unforgiveness in your heart toward someone, that is like having a dead body attached to your back and trying to live each day, pretending it is not there. The Christian life is not a constant high. I have my moments of deep discouragement. I have to pray to God with tears in my eyes and say, ‘O God, forgive me,’ or ‘Help me.’ Billy Graham. We all have the freedom not to forgive someone, but we cannot control the consequences if we make that decision.
Romans 12:18 If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.
We must develop and maintain the capacity to forgive. He who is devoid of the power to forgive cannot love. There is some good in the worst of us and some evil in the best of us. When we discover this, we are less prone to hate our enemies. ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.
Swallow your pride and make the first step towards peace and forgiveness. You need to learn how to forgive others! Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. Luke 6:37. ~ Bill Greguska
Learn How To Forgive And Let Go Of The Past!
Have You Experienced The Forgiveness Of God?
- Do you say things like, I forgive the person, but I do not want to see them or talk to them again? How would you feel if God told you I forgive you, but I will avoid you and not speak to you? Would you feel forgiven? That is not forgiveness. God’s mercy always restores.
- Do you still have any anger or ill feelings toward the person? When you fully forgive the person, wrath will be replaced with pity for them.
- Do you still hold on to the memory of the wrong done to you, and do you think about it often? True forgiveness forgets; because of the healing of forgiveness, the pain disappears as if it did not happen. When God forgives, He forgets it forever as if it never occurred.
- Do you have trouble accepting God’s love for you and receiving forgiveness? If so, it could be because you are judging another person. After all, you don’t have mercy; it is hard for you to believe that God has kindness and compassion for you.
- Bottom line, are you forgiving or just pretending to? If you want to talk to someone more about forgiveness, talk to God, and if you still need more help, you can call. 1-800-633-3446
Some Specific Scriptures To Encourage You:
1 John 1:9 ESV
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
Luke 23:34 ESV
And Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” And they cast lots to divide his garments.
Colossians 3:13 ESV
Bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.
Ephesians 4:32 ESV
Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, and forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.
Luke 17:4 ESV
And if he sins against you seven times in the day and turns to you seven times, saying, ‘I repent,’ you must forgive him.”
Mark 11:25 ESV
And whenever you stand praying, forgive if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father also who is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.
Philippians 4:8 ESV
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.
1 John 1:7 ESV
But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, cleanses us from all sin.
Ephesians 1:7 ESV
In him, we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace,
Romans 8:1 ESV
There is, therefore, now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.
Luke 17:3 ESV
Pay attention to yourselves! If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him,
Matthew 18:21 ESV
Then Peter came up and said to him, “Lord, how often will my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?”
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