The hardest thing to do is to forgive and let go. I am often asked, “Do I have to forgive? How do I forgive?” It is easier said than done. In your most daunting situations, it will take all of Jesus to help you forgive, but to answer your question, yes, you have to forgive! Some people have a hard time forgiving during extreme issues. However, I put emphasis on this because I want you to know that no matter how hard it may seem, you can—and must—forgive. In some instances, it is a process. I had to pray with all that was in me to forgive a man who had abused me for years; a man who, when I was grown with my own family, did not acknowledge what he had done. Before salvation, I despised his very presence.
Once God saved me, I read in the Bible that I must forgive. I had to apply the Word. Honestly, I couldn’t understand how that was going to happen. I prayed to the Lord and asked Him to help me forgive. Even though I said I had forgiven him, I didn’t have forgiveness in me.
When we don’t forgive, we are held captive to the situation or person we need to forgive. I later realized that it is just too much power for anyone to have over me. Colossians 3:13 says, “Be gently and forbearing with one another and if one has a difference against another, readily pardoning each other; even as the Lord has forgiven you, so must you also” (AMP). Ephesians 4:32 reads, “Become useful and helpful and kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you” (AMP).
Now for me, this was too deep. God was also commanding me to have a tender heart and be compassionate? Wow! It got deeper as I read more. God was also commanding that I understand and have a loving heart. This is where the struggle was; this is what most of us struggle with.
Lets discuss what forgiveness is. To forgive is to be magnanimous toward the enemy. To forgive and obtain freedom, you must release the person who wronged you to God. You also release the pain, rejection, and hurt to God. To do this, you must let God know how you feel and ask him to help you release. He already knows, but there is something about releasing it out of your spirit. As I was writing this paragraph, God gave me a vision. I saw a cloud being released; it came up and out of our spirits and out of our mouths as we released all of our pain to God.
Once you have released this, you can call your abuser’s name out daily—even begin to speak well of them. When you first do this, it may sound phony—and it probably is—but keep releasing to God until it is real in your heart. What does this mean? When you see them, hear of them, or think of them, nothing is pricked in your heart. You are then free, and forgiveness has begun. Don’t expect this to happen overnight; it takes much prayer and release.
Part II- Is Forgetting Forgiving & Move Forward – will post in a few days