Friday, August 20, 2010

How To Forgive Someone Who Has Hurt Me

Welcome friends! I am glad you found my blog and I pray that my writings will guide you to finding peace in the presence of God and thankfulness in your trials so that you can live an abundantly free life in Christ.

The longer I live, the more convincing truths I read in Scripture.  This morning I was reading one such passage in Matthew 18: 21-35.  The words virtually jumped off the page at me.  I have read this parable many times before, but this morning the words had an altogether new meaning.
Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, "Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me?  Up to seven times?"
Jesus answered, "I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times."   
Therefore, the kingdom of  heaven is like a master who wanted to settle accounts with his servants.  As he began the settlement, a man who owed him ten-thousand talents was brought to him.  Since he was not able to pay, the master ordered that he and his wife and his children and all that he had be sold to repay the debt.
The servant fell on his knees before him.  'Be patient with me', he begged, 'and I will pay back everything.' The servant's master took pity on him, canceled the debt and let him go.
But when that servant went out, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denari.  He grabbed him and began to choke him.  'Pay back what you owe me!'  he demanded.
His fellow servant fell to his knees and begged him, 'Be patient with me, and I will pay you back.'
But he refused.  Instead, he went off and had the man thrown into prison until he could pay the debt.  When the other servants saw what had happened, they were greatly distressed and went and told their master everything that had happened.
Then the master called the servant in.  'You wicked servant, ' he said, ''I canceled all that debt of yours because you begged me to.  Shouldn't you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you?'  In anger his master turned him over to the jailers to be tortured, until he could pay back all he owed.
This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother from your heart. 
God wouldn't do that, would he?  Turn us over to the jailers to be tortured, I mean. Do these words grip you like they gripped me?  Does your life feel a lot like a torture chamber?  Are you being tortured with depression, fear, hopelessness, suicidal or destructive thoughts, heart palpitations, high blood pressure and other physical pain?  Are there voices in your head telling you life is just not worth it and you should just give up?

To understand what Jesus means, we have to understand who the jailer is and who does the torturing.  In other passages of scripture, such as Eph. 4:26,27 we are told not to give Satan a foothold by letting the sun go down while we are still angry.

I believe failure to forgive is the #1 area that Satan uses to keep us in bondage, in jail, and he tortures us both mentally and physically (since we know that our body and spirit are inseparable) while we are angry and bitter and refuse to forgive.

There is freedom, my friend, from the enemy's torture chamber and it simply requires an act of your will.  To forgive someone does not mean that you condone their behavior and it does not mean that they will never hurt you again.  To forgive someone is to release them from the debt they owe you - no strings attached, just like the parable above.

Forgiveness is truly a miraculous process.  When we desire to obey God by forgiving someone more than we desire to hold on to our bitterness and pain, God enables and empowers us to forgive through His divine power.  Miraculously, both individuals are released from bondage -  you are released from the the jailer's torture chamber, and the person you forgive is released from their debt to you.

Not that long ago, I was given a worksheet called "Forgiving An Individual Who Has Hurt Me".  Each day I would work on this worksheet and my list grew longer by the day; however, as I read the the prayer at the bottom I would say to myself, "No way, I am not ready to pray that prayer".  This went on for 2 weeks before I was ready to pray the Forgiveness Prayer from my heart.

Forgiving An Individual Who Has Hurt Me
List each way ______________________(name) has hurt/offended you.










add more lines if you need to...


“Lord, I choose to forgive ________________(name) for ________________________(offense, wound). I acknowledge my emotion(s) of ______________________________________________ and I am willing to work through the emotional pain and consequences that ________________________ has caused me. I take back any ground given to Satan through my bitterness and now yield that ground to the control of the Lord Jesus Christ. I chose to no longer live as a victim of that offense.”

I can't tell you the release I felt when I prayed that prayer with true sincerity from my heart.  I had a fluttery, light feeling that made me want to get up and dance, but instead, I just sat there and cried.

This is a huge step in the healing process.  Jesus is the re-builder of all things broken and he wants you to be healed.  When I say healed, I mean mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually.  He is the healer!  Sometimes healing is instantaneous, but mostly it's a process.

If you want the voices in your mind to stop and the healing process to begin, start with forgiveness.  Then follow this blog as we begin the process of being transformed by the renewing of your mind (Romans 12:2).

For more information about finding freedom in Christ through forgiveness, I HIGHLY recommend Neil Anderson Bondage Breaker and the Step By Step Guide to Freedom In Christ.

Grace and Peace be yours in abundance today~