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FORGIVENESS

by Sis. Marie Mitchell




Forgiveness is the setting of one's will, the making of a decision (a decree, a decision at the spiritual level) that a release is granted to the offending person or situation (sometimes it's an organization or a body of people more than just an individual).  When we forgive, we chose to set them free.  We don't hold the resentment; we don't hold the bitterness; we let go of our plans for retaliation.  We let go

of the feeling, "They owe me something." We set them free.  It's important for you to forgive all who have contributed to your hurts and bondages.

Forgive

To cease to feel resentment against

To grant relief from payment

Pardon

The excusing of an offense without exacting a penalty

Divine forgiveness 

Forgiveness is an act of the will in which we choose to give up our right to hold another person accountable for the wrong they have done to us.

What forgiveness is NOT:

justifying the other person's behavior

forgetting that the offense took place, or denying that you were hurt

telling the person you forgive them

You can never justify what the other person did.  You can never forget what they did or deny harm was done. Yet you can still FORGIVE!!!!

Our Father which art in heaven. forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors Matthew 6:9-12 KJV 

And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.  Matthew 6:12 NAS

Forgiveness is the beginning of true deliverance. 

Unforgiveness puts us into the custody of tormenting spirits (see: Matt. 18:34, 35).  Full and sincere forgiveness is a prerequisite for deliverance.  God has given the devil a legal right to incarcerate and torture the unforgiving. Basically, you give the devil a legal right.  The Word of God will not return unto Him void.  If you are willing to forgive, you unlock the door for healing and deliverance from bondage. 

Starting the Process

1.      Face your problem with moral honesty.  Confront every memory and how it has made you feel. Acknowledge it to yourself and someone else that can help.  Confess you faults one to another, and pray one for another, that you may be healed. James 5:16

2.      Accept your responsibility in the matter.  How did you respond to the problem?  Your action produces fruit in your life.

3.      Ask yourself if you want to be healed.  (see: John 5: 3-9)

4.      Make a choice to forgive everyone who is involved in your problem.

5.      Forgive yourself.  Self-hate is a sin.  You are commanded to love yourself.  If you are not loving yourself or forgiving yourself, you probably are not forgiving or loving others. (see: Matt. 22:39).

6.      Ask the Holy Spirit to show you what your real problem is, and how you need to pray.  (see: Rom. 8:26).

Read:  Matthew 18:21-35

Sometimes we fail at receiving forgiveness, so we fail at giving forgiveness.

Looking to Collect- Pay me what you Owe!!!

1.      The test - are you resentful of how people have treated you?  Do you take responsibility for your own faults and failures, or is there a recording that goes on doing the blame game.  Do you treat other people a certain way because they remind you of someone or something that hurt you?

2.      The high price for unforgiveness

It robs you of God's forgiveness (see: Matt. 6:15, Mark 11:25, Luke 6:37)

It allows a root of bitterness to grow (see: Heb. 12:15)

It shuts God's ears to your prayers (see: Mark 11:24, 25)

It causes God to turn us over to tormentors and it blocks our deliverance - which means salvation. (see: Matt. 18:34-35)

It gives Satan an advantage.  It is an open door. (see: 2 Cor. 2: 10,11; Luke 17:3)

It prevents us from partaking of God's nature.  Forgiveness and love are the characteristics of Christ that everything revolves around. Without them you have nothing. (see 2 Peter 1:3-4)

It causes us to walk in darkness (see: 1 John 2:9-11)

It binds us to the one whom we can not forgive. (see: John 20:23)  Remit means to let go, pardon and forgive.  Retain means to hold on to.  It is like have the person you hate joined to you. 

It grieves the Holy Spirit.  (see: Eph. 4:30-32)

Forgiveness and love produces healing and restoration.  The absence of love and forgiveness causes spiritual arthritis to set in the body.  The word arthritis means "joint inflammation," and the Bible compares the joints of our body with our relationships to others.  The Body of Christ is compared to all joints working together. (see: 1 Cor. 12: 12-25 and Eph. 4: 15-16)

Blocks to Forgiving Others

1.      You have never been taught what forgiveness really is.

2.      Misconceptions - I have to feel forgiving.

3.      The sin is too big to forgive.

4.      Fear of forgiveness. 

5.      You think you have already forgiven.

6.      You want power over the other person.

Why is forgiveness important?

1.      It is a command of God.

2.      Our enjoyment of God's forgiveness depends on our willingness to forgive others.

3.      Forgiveness stops Satan from taking advantage of us.  It stops his schemes.

4.      It frees you from bondage.

What helps you forgive

1.      The enabling power of the Holy Spirit

2.      The cross is the model of God's forgiveness

3.      Considering the person you have not forgiven.  What makes them do the things they do.

4.      Know that Satan has a plan to destroy you with unforgiveness

Forgiveness Exercise

Unforgiveness is your attempt to hold onto the person who hurt you and make them pay.  Forgiveness is choosing to let them go.  Forgiveness cuts off Satan's attacks.

Ask God to show you those you need to forgive.  As He reveals them, write their names in the space provided. Briefly describe what you need to forgive each one for.  As you make your list, be sure to include family members, authority figures, and strangers who have caused you pain.  Remember also churches, business associates, doctors, schoolteachers, boyfriends and girlfriends, husbands and wives, and anyone else you may need to forgive.  Remember to forgive YOURSELF for any wrongs you are holding against yourself.  You do not have to show this list to anyone.

THOSE I NEED TO FORGIVE.

HOW THEY HAVE HURT ME.

Now it is time to forgive.  Forgiving each one is a CHOICE you must make.  It doesn't depend on them.  It is not necessary for them to ASK for forgiveness.  The choice is up to you.  Take the people one at a time.  Picture them in your mind, and make the following declaration over each one:

I FORGIVE YOU. (say their name)

FOR.    (their offense, specific items to forgive)

As an act of my will I choose not to hold you accountable for these things.  I give up my right to think about them, speak about them, vindicate myself, orseek retaliation.  I fully and freely release you and set you free for the Lord to deal with you in His grace.  By the grace I have found in Jesus, I now declare you to be forgiven!

(continue until you have made this declaration over

each person on your list!)

You have now forgiven these people.  By God's grace, Satan's access to our life in these areas is cut off!  Praise God that you are released from the burden of bitterness!  Pray a blessing over each person you have forgiven, then tear up this paper and throw it away!

WARNING:  Satan will test your forgiveness.  He will bring back memories of what these people have done to you.  When he does, stand firm on the decision you have made.  Remind yourself, and Satan, that this person is forgiven!

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