Forgiveness A BIBLE Study

Matthew 6:14-15 - "For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins" (NIV).

We have all experienced different forms of pain and injustice. From an unkind glance to outright abuse, we often carry around the damage of injustice for years. How should we respond to real pain that has come into our lives? Jesus tells us to forgive the offender (Col. 3:13).

Just forgive. Sounds easy, right? Actually, the words seem simple enough, but to actually forgive is another matter. You see, our pain causes us to react. We want the offender to pay for what they have done. They shouldn't get off free. So, in an effort to "pay back" for the wrong done, we withhold forgiveness. In the end, we are the ones held captive in pain when we don't forgive as Jesus commanded us.

What is forgiveness?

Forgiveness is a choice to release the offender from the burden of "paying back" the wrong and releasing them into the hands of God.

Read Luke 6:37-38. What does this passage say in your own words?

Forgiveness frees the offender and frees the offended. Until forgiveness happens, the pain of offense in your life remains a festering wound. Forgiveness allow the pain to heal. You won't necessarily forget the pain. But, it will more like the remembering of a scar, rather than experiencing the ongoing pain of an infected wound.

Why forgive?

Read Matthew 18:21-35

What will happen if we choose not to forgive our offender?

How to forgive?

  1. Acknowledge you have been wronged.
  2. Choose to release the offender into the hands of God. Release them from the burden of "paying back" the wrong.
  3. Choose not to hold onto the wrong in your heart and mind.
  4. Speak out your forgiveness and release over the offender. There is power in your words.
  5. As you are reminded of the pain, continually choose to release the offender and pray for mercy over them.

Forgiveness is both an event and a process.

It is important for us to speak out, "I choose to forgive ___________ for _________________, and how it made me feel ________________."

This is a significant declaration. You won't necessarily feel loving and warm toward the offender at this point. But, you will now need to walk out the process of forgiveness. As you are reminded of the pain, you continually choose to release the person and pray mercy over them. You choose not to bring up the pain again with the person or with yourself in a moment of self-pity. As you walk out the process of forgiveness, the Father brings healing into your heart, mind and emotions.

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