Day 29: Forgiveness is a Difficult Choice

ForgivenessChains

This past week we have focused on forgiveness. Consider the following as a review of what forgiveness is and is not.

  1. Forgiveness is not forgetting.
  2. Forgiveness is a choice, a decision of your will. Since God requires you to forgive, it is something you can do.
  3. By forgiving, you let the other person off your hook, but they are not off God’s hook.
  4. You forgive others for your sake so you can be free. Forgiveness is mainly a matter of obedience to God. God wants you to be free; there is no other way.
  5. Forgiveness is agreeing to live with the consequences of another person’s sin.
  6. Do not wait for the other person to ask for your forgiveness before forgiving them. They may never do so.
  7. How do you forgive from your heart? You allow God to bring to the surface the painful emotions you feel toward those who’ve hurt you.

We need to forgive others so satan cannot take advantage of us (2 Cor. 2:10,11). Ask God to bring to your mind the people you need to forgive. You can do this by praying the following prayer out loud:

Heavenly Father, I thank You for the riches of Your kindness, and patience toward me, knowing that Your kindness has led me to repentance (Rom. 2:4). I confess that I have not shown that same kindness and patience toward those who have hurt me. Instead, I have held on to my anger, bitterness and resentment toward them. Please bring to my mind all the people I need to forgive in order that I may do so now. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

On a seperate sheet of paper, list the names of people who come to your mind. At this point don’t question whether you need to forgive them or not. If a name comes to mind, just write it down. Often we hold things against ourselves so write “myself” at the bottom of your list so you can forgive yourself. Forgiving yourself is accepting the truth that God has already forgiven you in Christ. Also, write down “thoughts against God” at the bottom of your list. Obviously, God has never done anything wrong, but sometimes, we harbor angry thoughts against Him because He did not do what we wanted Him to do. You can pray the following prayer out loud after you have gathered the names:

Lord, I choose to forgive (name of person) for (say what they did to hurt you) even though it made me feel (share the painful feelings). Lord, I choose not to hold any of these things against (name) any longer. I thank You for setting me free from the bondage of my anger towards (name). I now ask You to bless (name). In Jesus Name I pray, Amen.

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11 Responses to Day 29: Forgiveness is a Difficult Choice

  1. carolynmacomber says:

    This post has been one of the most difficult to put up. I had begun writing it the day before . . . and then this morning I went to put it up and the formatting was all messed up. After 45 minutes of playing with it . . . and praying over my frustration at the computer – it is finally up. I even made sure the codes had been erased as I tried to fix the problem, but still the post behaved improperly. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised. I sometimes wonder if these “mishaps” are not just a physical anomaly, but verge on the spiritual. Forgiveness is a topic the enemy would like us to ignore or choose to forget. To me, forgiveness, is what brings me closest to the heart of God – whether I am being forgiven or doing the forgiving. It is definitely a “God” thing.

    In my own life I have done the activity above . . . listing those that God brought to my mind that I needed to forgive. It was not an easy exercise. But it was a freeing one.

    I’ve come to understand forgiveness in a new way . . . even though I may choose to forgive someone – it doesn’t mean it is completely gone from my mind. Something may happen that triggers the memory again and I ruminate over the wrong that was committed. And at that point I have to make a choice to forgive again. I wonder if that is what Christ meant by forgiving 7 times 70?

  2. aamphd says:

    Carolyn, I appreciate the methodical and protracted focus you have led us through this week on forgiveness.

    Often in my life, forgiveness is treated like an escape hatch or eject lever. I have been “quick” to get it done and over with.

    Thank you for helping me give the respectful remorse and redemption time needed to make right my life with GOD and others.

  3. Michael Young says:

    I personally do believe that forgiveness is a choice. The natural human mind without God will naturally resent people and hold on to it for a long time in their personal lives. I believe forgiveness is also an issue of trust. I believe that God sees a need for vengeance in many areas in our life. When we hold on to resentment for too long its almost like not trusting God to take the vengeance when it is needed to be taken. We can be assured that God will work everything for the good. Sometimes God does not take vengeance the way we expect him too, but we can always remember that whatever happens it is always for the good, because God knows our needs. He knows them even better than we do, so He will take care of the needs that we need for our personal life. When we hold on for a long time it’s almost saying God I don’t trust you to deal with this appropriately.

  4. aamphd says:

    Powerful point Mike. I never thought of resentment as being an indicator of lack of trust in GOD. Excellent insight!

  5. aamphd says:

    Lord God, I long to be free. Forgive me, help me to forgive myself and forgive others with the lavishness of Your grace-filled heart. It’s time to live freely.

  6. suzydmd says:

    What a beautiful exercise! One I’d like to archive for repeat use from time to time. Forgiveness is a choice!!! And it’s our way to be truly free!! May I carry this spirit into being a wife, being a mother, into my friendships. Free at last!

  7. aamphd says:

    Today I experienced the joy of reconciliation. Hurt and resentment were an awful weight to my spirit and my outlook. I am glad that GOD instructs us to be reconciled to each other. What a difference forgiveness can make!

  8. May forgiveness set me free today. I no longer want to be in bondage to bitterness. Let today be a day of joy. Amen.

  9. Marivic D. McFall says:

    I just love this beautiful song “Evening Prayer”
    “If I have wounded any soul today.
    If I have caused on foot to go astray;
    If I have walked in my own willfull way. Dear Lord, forgive.
    Forgive then sins, I have confessed to Thee;
    forgive the secrets sins I do not see;
    O guide me, love me and my keeper be,
    Dear Lord, forgive me. Amen.

  10. suzydmd says:

    I am sooo grateful!! This is beautiful! Forgiveness is MY choice. I pray to bask in this forgiveness and purge any grievances left in my heart! May the glory be yours as I live out that forgiveness in my relationships. Sweet freedom!

  11. As I was editing the Spanish version for today, it immediately came to my mind one of my best friends[?] that offended me several times, and I kept forgiving him until I got tired, and decided not to talk to him anymore and stay away, we played music together at church for many years and I have good memories of it, but his behavior against me was unbearable, I haven’t talk to him in a few years, I realized today that I have to forgive him once again and as many times I need to…………..This is difficult to do but with God’s grace it is possible.’

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