When you are ready to forgive, but you don’t know how.
Forgiving those who hurt us is possibly one of the hardest requirements Jesus gives us. But He did not leave us without a way of doing it. By faith you can move any mountain, even the mountain of unforgiveness.
Forgiving by Faith is Decisional
There are two levels of forgiving. There is the decisional level and emotional level. The decisional forgiving is when you make a decision to release an offense no matter how you feel or what the damage it has caused. Emotional forgiving is the process of healing emotional wounds so that you emotional spectrum is not consumed by the negative feelings that accompany an offense. Typically decisional forgiving occurs before emotional forgiving, but not always.
Forgiving by faith is decisional forgiving that uses the process of faith to forgive. The word of God tells us by faith we can move any mountain. All things are possible to him who believes. It is possible for you to release your offenders. I know there have been some hideous things that have happened. But it is possible to forgive the person who sexually abused you as a child, or the unfaithful spouse, or even the man who murdered your child. All things are possible to him who believes. (Mark 9:29)
How to Use Faith to Forgive
The process of faith involve what I call the four pillars of faith: Asking, Believing, Confessing, and Doing. It’s the same process of faith to become a Christian and the same process to live by. “…the just shall live by faith.” Romans 1:16. It all begins with asking.
The process of faith begins by asking. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you forgive your offender. In 1 John 5:14 it tells us that when we ask according to His will we can be confident He hears us and that we will receive the petition that we desire of Him. It is clearly God’s will for you to forgive your offender. But something else occurs when we ask God for help to forgive.
When you ask God for help it establishes or reinforces your trust in Him and establishes a deeper level in prayer. In prayer you can exchange your pain for His joy. In prayer the emotional healing begins. Jesus took all our pain, including our emotional pain, to the cross. (Isaiah 53:4-5) In pray we can transfer and allow Him to take our offense since He bore it anyway. Ask Him to take your pain today.
I said earlier that all things become possible to him who believes, but believing is an act of your will. Exactly what is biblical believing and how do we do it? Biblical believing is the process of accepting God’s truth without any sensory realm verification. In John 20 Jesus taught doubting Thomas, the disciple who refused to believe that Jesus was resurrected unless he could see and touch him a the following lesson:
“Jesus said to him, ‘Thomas, because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”’ John 20:29
In another post I tell how to believe, but in a nut shell the process of believing in your heart to forgive requires you to visualize, verbalize, and internalize forgiving. Those who hold on to offenses use the memory to repetitiously visualize, verbalize, and internalize the offense. In essence they replay the trauma over and over again. You can use your imagination to visualize, verbalize, and internalize releasing your offender. In essence you will be pre-playing your emotional forgiveness. To begin believing that you can release your offender, use your imagination to see Jesus taking your offense from your offender instead of you. Then imagine Him coming to you and saying “I forgive them.” Each time you are tempted to remember your offense, purposely imagine the Jesus scenario. Eventually the pain will begin to heal.
Proverbs 18:21 tells us that Death and life is in the power of the tongue so in order to forgive you must say it. You may have to say it a thousand times a day, but you must counter satan’s attempt to keep you stuck. When I am going through this process whenever the memory tries to take me there I say out loud “Jesus forgave them so I forgive the too.” Or “In the name of Jesus I forgive them.” Now you may not feel like you forgave, in fact you may want to do them harm. The truth of the matter is your feelings have nothing to do with it. You have made a decision to forgive and you must not speak anything different.
The last and most difficult pillar of faith is doing, or acting like you forgave. This is where the rubber meets the road. When you enter situations where you have the opportunity to act like you forgave, you must choose to. This means, if you come face to face with your offender, you won’t mistreat them. You will display the love of Christ to them. If you offender is no longer living and they are brought in a conversation, you won’t slander their name maliciously. If it a spouse, you won’t continue to treat them cold or be bitter towards them. You must act like you forgave them. Now, acting like you forgave them is not acting like it didn’t happen. Quite frankly, some offenses require you to use wisdom to protect yourself even if that means getting the law involved. I don’t want you to act foolish, I want you to forgive.
As you walk through the process of Faith to Forgive, you will find that the emotional healing will soon follow and you can experience all that God has for you without any hindrances.
I am Andrew Freed and you are a Overcomer in Christ.