According to Matthew 6:14-15, a person who doesn't forgive others will not be forgiven by God. That’s a dangerous place to be that will ultimately lead to death — spiritually and physically if not dealt with! Peter, Jesus’ disciple, asked about forgiveness. Look what Jesus said:
(21) 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?” (22) Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you seven times, but seventy-seven times. (23) “Therefore the kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who wished to settle accounts with his servants.
(24) When he began to settle, one was brought to him who owed him ten thousand talents. (25) And since he could not pay, his master ordered him to be sold, with his wife and children and all that he had, and payment to be made. (26) So the servant fell on his knees, imploring him, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you everything.’ (27) And out of pity for him, the master of that servant released him and forgave him the debt. (28) But when that same servant went out, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii, and seizing him, he began to choke him, saying, ‘Pay what you owe.’ (29) So his fellow servant fell down and pleaded with him, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you.’ (30) He refused and went and put him in prison until he should pay the debt. (31) When his fellow servants saw what had taken place, they were greatly distressed, and they went and reported to their master all that had taken place. (32) Then his master summoned him and said to him, ‘You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt because you pleaded with me. (33) And should not you have had mercy on your fellow servant, as I had mercy on you?’ (34) And in anger his master delivered him to the jailers, until he should pay all his debt. (35) So also my heavenly Father will do to every one of you, if you do not forgive your brother from your heart.” — Matthew 18:21-35 (ESV)
God treats every person on earth who comes to Him for forgiveness with grace, as if they had never sinned before. God wants His people to extend the same courtesy of forgiveness to others. Although it is a commandment from God, it is for your benefit. Your peace and salvation depend on it.
Many people think forgiveness means the hurt will go away, and when it doesn’t, it means you did not truly forgive. I’ve been told that many times and when the hurt doesn’t I would start condemning myself for not forgiving and then I would become fearful of God not forgiving me. This is not true. The indication is condemnation, which does not come from God (Romans 8:1). When you choose to forgive a person, Satan will bring to your memory the encounter or encounters you have had with them. Remember, anytime Satan comes, it is to steal, kill, and destroy. Understand that forgiveness is not a feeling, it is a choice that you make in faith. After you have decided to forgive the person and taken it to God by faith, you can release that bitterness in faith by casting down that wrong imagination. Another way of putting it is resisting the devil (James 4:7).
You may have to do this several times, because Satan will keep bringing up the hurt. From the cross, Jesus said, "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do." (Luke 23:34) He had compassion on His offenders. I believe one reason is because he understood that it was behind their actions. One of the things that helped me deal with forgiving others quickly is the understanding that most people simply don't understand the hurt they are causing, and knowing that the same devil that was trying to destroy me is trying to destroy my offender. So now, recognizing this, I quickly forgive all offenders and pray for them that God will deliver them out of Satan’s hand and bring them closer to Christ. I’ve noticed that when I do this, Satan doesn’t keep coming to bring the offense.
Listen, if you are a born-again believer, God’s love has been poured into your heart through the Holy Spirit (Romans 5:3–5). Therefore, you can emulate Jesus, and extend compassion just like He does. So let me ask you, are you harboring unforgiveness towards someone? Have you found it hard to forgive others when they offend you? It doesn’t matter what the offense is, you can forgive with the Holy Spirit’s help. Remember, forgiveness is not a feeling, it is a choice. Depending on the offense you may have to pray several times before it sinks in but make the decision to forgive and God will help you with the rest. Here is a short prayer that will help with the words to pray:
Heavenly Father, You know people do some cruel things, even in Your name sometimes Lord but You Father FORGIVE A GREAT SINNER LIKE ME when I do sinful and hurtful things. LORD YOU are my example of how to forgive. Your Sacrifice has enabled me to forgive even the cruelest offense. Thank You LORD JESUS. I receive your Strength and Your Grace to forgive...
Right now, I choose to FORGIVE ________ for _______. Father I ask that you forgive _____ too. Let _________ see ________ the fullness of your mercy. open the eyes of ________'s understanding lord that they repent and return to you.
Father You are THE GOD who heals and delivers. Heal me Oh God and I shall be healed. Deliver me and I shall be delivered. in the mighty name of Jesus Christ... in Jesus name I pray.
If you want to receive Jesus as your Lord, believe and say out loud:
Heavenly Father, I come to you in Jesus' name. Please forgive me of my sins. I believe your Son Jesus was sent to die for me on the cross, and he rose from the dead. I receive him as my Lord and Savior. Please take my life and use it for your glory. I choose to extend forgiveness to anyone who has sinned against me.
Halleluiah! If you just prayed this prayer, welcome to God's family! Your spirit was just born again! The just live by faith. Choose to spend time learning more about Jesus in the Bible. You can study about Him in the books of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. Seek God on what local church you should attend to learn more about Him. As you continue learning about God, be His ambassador by sharing what you have learned with everyone. Where you go, the Lord goes. You may be the only Jesus someone will see so, choose to represent Him every day.
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