The Process of Forgiveness
Some of the information will be from the book Choosing Forgiveness John & Paula Sandford and Lee Bowman. Because we will be talking about Forgiveness, we will also be covering the topic of personal woundings.
The Proces of Forgiveness
Preparation For Moving Toward Forgiveness
In order for the power of Christ's forgiveness to work in us, we must make ourselves available in the following ways:
- Believe that the Lord Jesus Christ has power to accomplish forgiveness in us, through us, for us.
- Be patient about what it will take to achieve forgiveness.
- Prayerfully seek to become empathetic with those we perceive have wronged us.
- Repent of our own part in the subtle dynamics that cause relationships to be broken
- Admit our own inadequacy to achieve forgiveness and humbly seek the Lord's help.
Six steps to achieving forgiveness
- Honestly desire to become free of the burden of unforgiveness and prepare to forgive.
- Sit down with a fair-minded counselor or friend and talk over the situation that requires forgiveness.
- Pray specifically about the person or situation that is the focus of a forgiveness issue.
- Do something to bless the one who is being forgiven. (See below)
- Be prepared to suffer hurt to fulfill God's purpose.
- Seek reconciliation.
How are we to bless those who have hurt us?
- Do not take revenge or repay evil for evil, but attempt to live in peace. If justice is due, leave it for the Lord to repay.
- Attempt to be kind, understanding, and to live in harmony. Rejoice with those who rejoice and mourn with those who mourn.
- Put aside pride and conceit and be willing to associate with those you previously held in low esteem.
- Be available graciously to lend assistance in your enemy's time of need.
This is not to say that forgiveness should mean looking the other way as if hurts and injustices had not happened. We cannot deny evil or even try to tolerate it without confrontation. In Lewis Smedes book Forgive and Forget he states: "There is no real forgiveness unless there is first relentless exposure and honest judgment. When we forgive evil, we do not excuse it, we do not tolerate it. We look evil full in the face, call it what it is, let its horror shock and stun and enrage us, and only then do we forgive it."
In our next nugget we will speak on forgiveness as a lifestyle.
Copyright @ 2010 Richard D. Dover. All rights reserved.
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Unless otherwise noted, Scripture quotations used are from the New American Standard Version (NASB).