“When you forgive, you in no way change the past – but you sure do change the future.” -Bernard Meltzer
Forgiveness has been a struggle for many, whether it is dealing with forgiving others or forgiving ourselves. However, to overcome unforgiveness you must first address the root of the matter and deal with it head on. For some, harboring unforgiveness is about past hurts from failed relationships, childhood abandonment issues and church hurt. Then there are those who struggle with forgiving themselves from decisions they have made in the past that have now caught them in a whirlwind of bitterness and resentment. So often, we hear about people who want to forgive but they are unsure of how to take the first step towards forgiveness. Here are a few that will help you to let go of unforgiveness and start living your life.
STEP 1: Acknowledge That You Haven’t Forgiven
There are people walking around in unforgiveness because they refuse to acknowledge the rotten root. They would rather sweep it under the rug or dress it up and call it something that it clearly is not. By doing this, you are prolonging the healing process, as well as stopping yourself from being able to move forward in life.
STEP 2: Acknowledge Your Roll in the Situation
It is very easy to point the finger at everyone else’s faults and their specific position in the matter, however this step involves taking ownership of what is yours. Look at the situation realistically by seeing it from the outside in. Many times when we do this, we begin to see everything in a new light. We see where we should have spoken up, when we should have removed ourselves from a situation or simply listened more.
STEP 3: Set Yourself Free
Forgiveness has nothing to do with other people but it does have everything to do with you. Meaning, you cannot allow someone else’s actions to determine your happiness and peace of mind. I am in no way minimizing the hurt you may still be feeling to this day, but there is no way you can successfully push forward in life if you insist on hoarding junk from the past. Know that whoever you are harboring unforgiveness towards is living their life, all the while you are the one choosing to be held captive. If this has been an ongoing struggle for you, I challenge you to seek God’s face in the matter, study His word and finally allow yourself to receive the freedom that is yours through Christ Jesus.
Here are several scriptures you can reflect on pertaining to forgiveness..
But when you are praying, first forgive anyone you are holding a grudge against, so that your Father in heaven will forgive your sins, too. Mark 11:25
Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you. Ephesians 4:32
But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness. 1 John 1:9
Though we are overwhelmed by our sins, you forgive them all. Psalm 65:3
But the Lord our God is merciful and forgiving, even though we have rebelled against him. Daniel 9:9
He has removed our sins as far from us as the east is from the west. Psalm 103:12
© 2011 De’Andrea Reese All Rights Reserved.