How to ForgiveJan 09, 2023
There is no 1,2,3 fix me, and I am all good in the forgiveness area.
No - this subject takes time and practice.
Did you think the fairy would come and wave the magic wand over you and tah dah you’d forgive the person immediately?
Maybe in your dreams.
The reality of forgiveness is it’s not easy and it takes practice.
If you’re like me and have struggled with forgiveness and you keep asking how do I forgive?
We’re the same. It’s hard to forgive and I thought I did good last time but now here I am AGAIN looking for a new way to try to forgive.
Is this the practice part? A little sarcasm is coming through.
Here are a few questions I’ve asked myself that you can ask yourself about forgiveness.
Why do you want to try again?
Don’t you like the way you dealt with the situation the last time?
Do you hate the way it makes you feel?
Do you want to find a solution to how to forgive so the next time it comes up you have an example to go back to?
Well, I’m right there with you – why do you think I’m writing this?! LOL It’s okay to laugh because I’ve cried and laughed about why forgiveness is so hard.
Recently, I experienced a situation that made my heartbeat race and my thoughts spin out-of-control. I was dealing with the person I have had a hard time forgiving. The situation was bringing me right back to old behaviors and the way they try to control and manipulate. It was triggering a long standing resentment along with how I’ve had a hard time forgiving.
The person takes simple questions and turns them into accusations that have no truth. I don’t understand why the person is acting this way. My thoughts begin to bubble up which start me justifying why I’m right and they’re wrong. Then the swirling thoughts of revenge come as my old familiar advocate along with anger and rage. To cool my anger I plot ways to show this person that I’m not ignorant to what they are doing in the situation. I begin to research and gather information so they know the threats to my intelligence will not win. I try hard to find ways to express my viewpoint but my emotions begin to surface with hurts from the past. Then tears build in my eyes, my heart rate starts racing, and I feel light headed.
This must STOP. I must FORGIVE and move on.
But I must!
I cannot be the hateful, manipulating woman they say I am.
I can’t do it. I can’t forgive.
But I must forgive. Otherwise, I’ll keep coming back to this place again and again.
I can’t have this in my life. I must have peace. I do not want to hate. I do not want to plot revenge.
I know I must forgive. But, how?
How do I forgive?
- Ask for God’s help. This is the first step. Crying out for HELP and being willing to let God help.
- Admit my resistance to forgive.
- Here is where the rationalization comes in and it can take me right off the track to full bore anger. It happens when I dredge up the past with the person. STOP.
- Ask for God’s help again. This is a step that will repeat itself.
- I don’t want to feel my heart beat out of my chest. I don’t want the anger to drive my thoughts to how can I make this person hurt like they are hurting me. STOP.
- Begin to pray for forgiveness and for peace to outweigh all the negative feelings.
- I don’t want to pray for peace because I want justice. I want them to feel the pain and hurt like I do. Or do I? STOP.
- Ask for God’s help again. This time I’m willing to accept God’s way. I’m ready to soften my heart to let God’s love for me be the love I show to this person.
God is the best teacher in learning how to forgive.
God customizes our forgiveness journey. There is no easy formula with a step-by-step action plan.
Through the years my story has varied on how to forgive others. Recently, the way God is teaching me is by looking at how he forgives me as I read through Psalm 103. In the footnotes of my Study Bible is a super challenging test to start with how to forgive, it states, “When we forgive someone, we must treat them as though we have actually forgiven their sin. Otherwise, we have not truly forgiven them.” Well, that is an ouch and amen!
Here are insights to begin the journey of forgiveness. Remember God forgives all my sins. God removes our sins from us as far as the east is to the west. If we are representing God and how he is, let’s apply it to forgiveness.
Each statement is one that God does for us, that we need to do for others as we walk in forgiveness:
- Have compassion and mercy.
- Be slow to anger.
- Be filled with unfailing love.
- Do not accuse.
- Do not remain angry forever.
- Do not punish for sins committed.
- Do not deal harshly, as is deserved.
- Love with unfailing love to show God’s love in me.
Forgiveness is not easy. It takes practice and willingness to want to change to how God wants us to be.
I leave you with this challenge – how do you want to feel when forgiveness is needed? Do you want to be at peace and have contentment? Do you want to be bitter and show the person how angry you can be? The next steps are up to you and God – go to him and see what he has to say about how you are to forgive.
How do you want to feel when forgiveness is needed?
Scripture: The Lord is compassionate and merciful, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love. Psalm 103:8 NLT
Prayer: Father God help bring compassion and mercy to the skill of forgiving others. I am willing to let you guide me to forgive others and let peace and contentment reign in my life. Amen
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