Forgiveness Is Not an Option

  • Matthew 6:14-15 For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.
  • Luke 17:4 Even if they sin against you seven times in a day and seven times come back to you saying ‘I repent,’ you must forgive them.
  • Colossians 3:13 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.
  • Ephesians 4:32 Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.

Forgiveness is not an option; it is a command. In fact, there are consequences to not forgiving. If you don’t forgive, God will not forgive you. You are also commanded to forgive from the heart. This means “I forgive but I’ll never forget” won’t cut it. Forgiving from the heart means it’s erased like God did with our sins. God wouldn’t ask you to do something you couldn’t do. His love was poured out in your heart by His Spirit (Romans 5:5), therefore you can love like Him and forgive like Him.

You are called to imitate God. You were created in His image. Jesus was whipped, spit on, beaten and crucified and He, a man when He was on earth because He had let go of His divine powers so that He could redeem us, was able to say: “Forgive them for they do not know what they’re doing”. He said this while He hung on the cross. What extravagant love our Savior has for us, and what extravagant love He calls us to have for others, including our enemies.

When you don’t forgive someone, you actually give them power over you – the power to hurt you over and over with an offense they might not even know about. You sentence yourself to a self-erected prison that continues to inflict pain instead of honoring God by doing what He said – forgive.

How to forgive:
  1. Review the scriptures on forgiveness and resolve that it is truly a command from the Lord and that it is non-negotiable.
  2. Spend time in prayer and meditating on scriptures pertaining to forgiveness and let them take root in your heart. Ask the Holy Spirit to give you revelation on forgiveness.
  3. Ask God to show you if you are holding on to unforgiveness. If there is someone you need to forgive, do so immediately. Ask God to help you if you are challenged in any way. His love has been poured out in your heart so you can do it.
  4. If someone has something against you, dare to approach them and ask for forgiveness in case you have hurt them (even if you believe you are right). If they don’t forgive you, don’t fret about it and don’t be offended. You have done what the Lord has asked you to do. (If God ever compels you to say you’re sorry again, be obedient. There are rich rewards for obedience not to mention that you delight your Father.)
  5. Let go completely. When the thought of past offenses come to mind, take your thoughts captive. Don’t linger on negative thoughts of any kind. Cast them out right away and repent. Do as Philippians 4:8 says and think about what is good.
  6. Forgive yourself if you have need to. A lot of Christians allow the enemy to remind them of past sins over and over again and they keep repenting for something that has long been forgiven by God. Allow God’s forgiveness to wash over you once and for all and settle in your heart that you’ve been forgiven. (See topic Take Control of Your Mind)

Call to action:
Honor God by forgiving offenses immediately. You’ll set the other person free and yourself as well.