Steps to forgiveness (1)
“Forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone.” Col 3:13 NIV
The misery of living with unforgiveness in your heart always lasts longer than the pain of the offense. Always! When you hold on to resentment, you open the door to depression and physical illness. Forgiving brings healing to your wounds and restores your joy. Here are two steps to help you forgive: (1) Remember that you have been unconditionally forgiven. Recall God’s grace toward you, and the price paid for your forgiveness. By refusing to show mercy, you’re like the man Jesus said was forgiven an enormous debt, yet was unwilling to forgive another man’s paltry indebtedness to him (See Mt 18:23-34). The grace God has extended to you leaves you no grounds whatsoever to refuse the same grace to the one who hurt you. (2) Release the offender from the debt they owe you. You may be totally justified in saying, “They owe me for what they did!” Your friends may agree. The law may agree, and you may be thinking that the only way your offender will “learn to do what’s right” is if they’re made to pay for the wrong they did. But as long as you’re holding on to your “rights,” you’re chained to the past. It has you in its grip, and your future is being held hostage to the past’s control over you. Your offender’s sin against you was paid for by the same sacrificial love that canceled your sin debt, so they have the same need and right to forgiveness that you have. And there is more; forgiveness is not just for their benefit, but for yours: “Forgive, and you will be forgiven” (Lk 6:37 NIV).