Forgiveness is a choice you make, and one of the
most valuable gifts you can give to someone else. And the reward
to yourself is priceless. For any relationship to develop in a positive
way, forgiveness will be essential. For friendship and love to exist
forgiveness will have to be part of the relationship. Unforgiveness
stems from some sort of betrayal felt, whether it is real or not.
As Christ was dying on the cross He spoke the words in Luke 23:34,
”Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.”
Jesus was innocent of all that he was accused of, yet he still forgave
them. Hebrews 9:22, In fact, the law requires that nearly everything
be cleansed with blood, and without the shedding of blood there
is no forgiveness. We no longer need to offer blood sacrifices to
God to cover our sins. When Jesus died on the cross, He shed His
blood for us.
Whom have you not forgiven? __________________ Is
this your choice? _______
Unforgiveness is sin, and sin separates us from God. Unforgiveness
only harms yourself, not the other individual. Unforgiveness breeds
bitterness, and the root of bitterness will destroy you as it consumes
your life. It binds you up to your past, consumes your present not
allowing you to be free to live and enjoy the life God has for you
today, then steals your tomorrows and the hope Christ has promised
you in your future. Only you can make the choice to forgive and
set yourself free. Jesus will help you to forgive, you just need
to ask Him for His help, and pray for forgiveness. Then pray for
the other person who you feel offended or wronged you. Ephesians
4:32, Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other,
just as in Christ God forgave you. Mark 11:25, And when you stand
praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that
your Father in heaven may forgive you of your sins.
How long have you held onto unforgiveness? ____________________________
Will you choose to forgive? ______ When? _____________________________
With forgiveness comes freedom, with freedom hope, and hope will
give you a future God can bless. Forgiveness opens your heart to
God and all the blessings He has for you. Jeremiah 29:11, For I
know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper
you, not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
Do you believe this verse? ______ What does it mean to you? _______________________
God has so much for you. Don’t let unforgiveness separate
you from the life and blessings He has for you.
This issue about forgiveness is about you, not another person.
It’s about choosing to set yourself free and give it to God.
You can’t control the response or feelings of another person,
at least not directly. As your new forgiving heart grows within
you, it will impact those around you. By letting it go, and giving
it to Christ the effects will be eternal for you and can have profound
effects on those close to you and the forgiven party. Satan will
use unforgiveness as an opportunity to destroy your relationship
with Jesus Christ and others close to you. 2 Corinthians 2:10-11,
If you forgive anyone, I also forgive him. And what I have forgiven
- if there was anything to forgive - I have forgiven in the sight
of Christ for your sake, in order that Satan might not outwit us.
For we are not aware of his schemes.
Can you recall a past or present relationship where Satan has
used your unforgiving heart to
destroy or at least deteriorate a relationship? ____________
When you forgive someone, this does not mean you except their behavior
or what they did that wronged you as being acceptable. There can
still be consequences for their actions, but your forgiveness can
still be given to them without accepting what they did as being
OK. Forgiveness is a gift. It’s also a gift to you. Real forgiveness
comes from the Holy Spirit, as humans we can’t. To truly forgive,
means to never bring it up again. This means if you forgive someone,
then a few months or years later you bring it up to them or make
reference to it, you have not forgiven them. Our human nature will
not allow us to do this on our own. It’s never too late to
forgive someone, but the sooner the better. Remember it’s
only hurting yourself. If that person has died then just pray your
forgiveness to God. God will set you free. If they are alive seek
them out, and share the gift with them. You will be blessed.
Do you believe that God has forgiven you when you have asked Him
for forgiveness? _______________
Have you forgiven yourself? ______ Have you let it go? ______ Have
you given it to God? ______
Realize that unforgiveness is a tool created and used by Satan
to destroy lives and relationships. Don’t let Satan have the
victory. Find the treasures of Forgiveness, and share it with others
for life. It’s never too late.
Ron DiDonato 9/25/03