Forgiving and Forgetting

Freedom from the Past

 Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive anyone his sins, they are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.” When you fully forgive, God’s peace will rest upon you, and the Holy Spirit will comfort you.

A root of bitterness can grow up in a person because of unforgiveness. This root can be buried deep inside your heart and can block the flow of God’s love from penetrating deep within your heart. It also blocks the flow of God through you, making it difficult to experience God’s love for others. Unforgiveness is a major cause of depression, many people have unforgiveness but are not even aware of it because it is buried so deep inside. Sometimes people do and say things that hurt us very deeply. Sometimes we are hurt by the ones that are closest to us. Sometimes people are hurt in childhood, at the most vulnerable time of life, leaving wounds that we think are healed but they have left scars that still remind us of the wound.

These painful hurts can be buried so deep within us so that we may be unaware that we are still carrying some resentment toward the person who hurt us. Unforgiveness is a form of pride that rejects God and invites Satan in. “Be angry, and do not sin”: do not let the sun go down on your wrath, nor give place to the devil.  (Ephesians 4:26-27 NKJV) Make every effort to live in peace with all men and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord. See to it that no one misses the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many. (Hebrews 12:14-15 NIV)

Unforgiveness is an unforgivable sin allowing Satan an open door into your life. For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. {15} But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins. (Matthew 6:14-15 NIV)

Jesus says; But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your brothers, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect. (Matthew 5:44-48 NIV)

Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited. Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord. On the contrary: “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. (Romans 12:14-21 NIV)

But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful. “Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. (Luke 6:35-37 NIV)

How to know if you have truly forgiven someone that has hurt you?

  • Do you say or think things like this? I forgive the person but I will let God deal with them. If you want God to judge and punish them, that is not forgiveness.
  • Do you say things like, I forgive the person but I do not want to see them or talk to them again. How would you feel if God said to you I forgive you but I am going to avoid you and not speak to you, would you feel forgiven? That is not forgiveness. God’s forgiveness always restores.
  • Do you still have any anger or bad feelings toward the person? When you fully forgive the person, anger will be replaced with pity for them.
  • Do you still hold on to the memory of the wrong done to you thinking about it often? True forgiveness forgets, because of the healing of forgiveness the pain disappears as if it did not happen. When God forgives He forgets it forever as if it never occurred.
  • Do you have trouble accepting God’s love for you, and accepting God’s forgiveness? If so it could be because you are standing in judgement of another person, because you don’t have mercy, it is hard for you to believe that God has mercy and compassion for you. Forgive others and you will be able to forgive yourself, and accept God’s forgiveness in your life.

Blessed are the merciful, For they shall obtain mercy. (Matthew 5:7 NKJV) Part of the meaning of the word blessed means to be happy, joyful, and depression free. Sometimes we may think that we have forgiven someone but we really have not. When you forgive someone then they are also forgiven by God. Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive anyone his sins, they are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.” When you fully forgive, God’s peace will rest upon you, and the Holy Spirit will comfort you. (John 20:21-23 NIV)

This is how to enter into the healing forgiveness, compassion, mercy, and Love of God, which is His grace. Get on your knees and enter into prayer for the person that has hurt you. Approach the throne of grace, in front of the mercy seat, and petition your Father in heaven to please forgive this person. Ask God almighty to pour out His grace, mercy, and compassion upon this person, and in this person. Name off every sin that has been done against you, God will reveal them to you there so you can leave them behind. Tell God please forgive this person because they did not know what they were doing, they did not know how bad there sin was and how much pain it would cause. Just as Jesus hanging upon the cross in agony looked down on the people murdering Him and said Father forgive them for they know not what they are doing.

Ask God in Jesus name, and by the blood that Jesus shed on the cross to please forgive each sin done against you individually. As you name each sin against you and ask God to forgive a ten ton burden will lift off with each one. You will know when they are all gone.

Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show it by his good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom. But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. Such “wisdom” does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, of the devil. For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice. But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. Peacemakers who sow in peace raise a harvest of righteousness. (James 3:13-18 NIV)

There was a time God took me into the deepest realm of forgiveness that I had ever experienced. Feeling wronged by a Christian Brother, I was offended, and felt that I did not deserve the false judgments and things he was saying against me, mainly to other people. Jesus teaches us if someone has something against us to go and be reconciled to your brother before you even bring a gift to the Lord. I wanted to reconcile but it seemed impossible because we were unable and it seemed unwilling to even communicate so that we could reconcile. One night when this was a heavy weight upon my soul I began crying out to the Lord not even knowing what to say or pray. I sometimes just groaned in my Spirit and even groaning out loud at times. For about two hours I sought the Lord and His help.

At one point it finally occurred to me that the Lord must be trying to teach me something because it seems always at my lowest points of despair God gives me the greatest revelations. So I said Lord what are you trying to teach me? Within a few minutes the revelation began. I felt that I should pray what I have been teaching others to pray. That is for God to have grace, mercy, and compassion upon the person who I felt had wronged me. But immediately I thought no maybe God needs to deal with this person and “teach him a lesson”. Recognizing that this was judgmental on my part and a very wrong attitude, I proceeded to pray for him that God would have grace, mercy and compassion on him.

At that moment I felt in my spirit that I was moving into the presence of God and my burden starting to lift. I then proceeded to ask God to please forgive my brother who I felt wronged me and I started to name off each offense I felt was done against me. Each time I named an offense and asked God to please forgive him I felt a heavy burden lift from my being. When I named the last one that I could think of I was free. Immediately I felt the Holy Spirit say to me the words of Jesus “If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.” I knew that my brothers’ sins were fully forgiven, not just by me but also by the Lord, and now Satan had no right and no more hold over my brother, or me, the next day we began to be reconciled. I believe that as his sins were forgiven he was set free from deception

I had always thought that I was very good at forgiveness, and I believe people that know me would agree with that because of some situations I have gone through before. But this time the Lord took me to a new dimension of forgiveness that I had never known before. Now I realize that what I thought was forgiveness was not. Until you go before the throne of grace in front of the mercy seat and plead for God to also forgive the people who have wronged or offended you, you have not fully forgiven. Just as Jesus hanging in agony on the cross, looked down at the people killing Him and said “Father forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing”. God wants us to come to that point in our life. When you get to that point you are dead to yourself, you have given up all of your rights, all your rights to be angry, hurt, offended, to punish, and to judge the other person. It is the most humbling spiritual experience I have ever had, it is very painful to cross that line of giving up all your rights and dying to yourself. But He gives more grace. Therefore He says: “God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble.” (James 4:6 NKJV)

But once I was there, and I felt that burden lift, I felt the most awesome blessing of God come upon me. Blessed are the merciful (compassionate), For they shall obtain mercy (compassion).  (Matthew 5:7 NKJV). I felt God’s compassion come all over me, and fill me to overflowing. We have to be very careful to not let ourselves become offended at other people because we will be judged the same way we judge others. “Judge not, that you be not judged. “For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you. It’s better to have mercy than judgment. (Matthew 7:1-2 NKJV)

We must forgive everyone that offends us, and everyone that sins against us. For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. {15} But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins. (Matthew 6:14-15 NIV) It is clear from God’s word that we are required to forgive sins that are against ourselves because our God and Father forgives, so as His children He wants us to forgive also. Forgiveness is an action of compassion, an act of love. “But love your enemies, do good, and lend, hoping for nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High. For He is kind to the unthankful and evil. “Therefore be merciful, just as your Father also is merciful. “Judge not, and you shall not be judged. Condemn not, and you shall not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. “Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you.” (Luke 6:35-38 NKJV)

 Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. (Hebrews 4:16 NIV) Every high priest is selected from among men and is appointed to represent them in matters related to God, to offer gifts and sacrifices for sins. He is able to deal gently with those who are ignorant and are going astray, since he himself is subject to weakness. This is why he has to offer sacrifices for his own sins, as well as for the sins of the people. (Hebrews 5:1-3 NIV)

Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins, (1 Peter 4:8 NIV).



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