The Forgiveness Test Am I walking in forgiveness.

Forgiving or Unforgiving?

Following is a list of unforgiveness tells

Do any of these experiences listed below accurately describe your feelings concerning a relationship?

Irrational agitation over innocuous events, words

Mood was darkened by a “trigger.” Mood did not lift but grew heavier with time.

Something that should not normally upset a person stirred up deeply rooted anger connected to painful events of the past.

I feel lost and in need of wisdom for a relationship.

Bible Verse Insight

1 John 2:9 If anyone claims, “I am living in the light,” but hates a fellow believer, that person is still living in darkness. 10 Anyone who loves a fellow believer is living in the light and does not cause others to stumble. 11 But anyone who hates a fellow believer is still living and walking in darkness. Such a person does not know the way to go, having been blinded by the darkness.

Zoom in on Verse 1 John 2:11

Spiritual blindness is caused by focusing our thoughts on the darkness (sin) of our Christian brother/sister's life.

Hating our brother/sister in Christ is as subtle as these defining words. Take the Do I Hate Test below to read through the defining characteristics of hate, to see if any relate to your relationship with another person.

The phrase in the box below came from Bible Hub's commentary on this insightful verse. For more scholarly commentary on this key Bible verse, click the box.

For a powerful boost in the path of forgiving, listen to Joyce Meyer's sermon on pressing past anger and un-forgiveness. It's powerful! Even listening to the first 5 seconds will propel you toward freedom!

RECOMENDED BIBLE STUDY:

The below excerpt from the reading plan. It's a game changer!

The last time they had seen each other, Esau was plotting to murder his brother, Jacob (see Genesis 27:41–45). As the years passed, Esau learned to embrace forgiveness. And once he had forgiven his brother, he no longer demanded repayment or restitution. Esau had made the choice to set Jacob free from any remaining debt.

Nothing promotes reconciliation more than forgiveness. To forgive someone means to let him or her off the hook or to cancel a debt owed. When we refuse to forgive someone, we still want something from that person, and even if it is revenge that we want, it keeps us tied to the person forever.

Refusing to forgive a family member is one of the main reasons people are stuck for years, unable to separate from their dysfunctional families. They still want something from their family. It is much better to receive grace from God, who has something to give, and to forgive those who have nothing with which to repay their debt. This ends the suffering because it ends the wish for repayment that is never forthcoming, and which makes the heart sick because the hope is deferred (see Proverbs 13:12).

If we do not forgive, we are demanding something our offender does not choose to give, even if it is only confession. This “ties” the person to us. If we come from a toxic family situation and have been waiting for something before we can forgive, we need to let go. If we cut loose the ties, we will be free. We will be free in forgiveness.

Prayer of confession and repentance for holding un-forgiveness against a brother or sister in Christ

Lord, I see that I still have much forgiveness to extend, because my anger still boils. Help me Lord. Help me to be like You. Help me to forgive my brother/sister so that I too can be forgiven by You completely. I need to be free. My heart is sickened by focusing on my offender’s sin and waiting for my his/her restitution. They cannot repay the debt owed me. Only You know and see the depth of my sorrows and are able to turn them to joy.

I know Lord, that You are able to restore my spirit and relationship with or without my offender’s cooperation. Nobody can hold back your blessings on my life but me, through stubborn disobedience. Help me Lord.

I believe you can heal and help me, Lord. Help me to be healthy and to forgive Lord. I need Your help. Give me an understanding and obedient heart, a soft and humble heart, in Jesus name, Amen. Help me to forgive completely because of my love and faith in You, that I may be healed and saved and pleasing to You, in Jesus name, Amen. I need You Lord.

Biblical Counsel

Like Esau, you must fully grieve and recognize the depth of your loss. Then you must see believe and trust the Lord is just and good and able to cause all things, even this thing to work out for the good of those who love Him and keep His commands.

Afterward, as you know, when he wanted to inherit this blessing, he was rejected. Even though he sought the blessing with tears, he could not change what he had done. - Hebrews 12:17

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28

Notice both of these cases of forgiveness are between brothers. This is why God says you must love your brother believers. Anyone who hates his fellow believer is lost, the truth is not in him, he is blinded by the darkness.

And he has given us this command: Those who love God must also love their Christian brothers and sisters.-1 John 4:21

Now, you must choose to retrain your mind to not stare into the darkness of the evil and pain you have suffered, for that blinds you, so that that you can no longer love, it hardens your heart against your brother, causing you to hate him.

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things. - Philippians 4:8

When you look at your past, you must say, It was all for our good.

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. - Romans 8:28

Study Joseph a Biblical Example of Forgiveness

And Joseph said to his brothers, “Please come closer to me.” And they approached him. And he said, “I am Joseph your brother, whom you sold into Egypt.

Now do not be distressed or angry with yourselves because you sold me here, for God sent me ahead of you to save life and preserve our family.

For the famine has been in the land these two years, and there are still five more years in which there will be no plowing and harvesting.

God sent me [to Egypt] ahead of you to preserve for you a remnant on the earth, and to keep you alive by a great escape.

So now it was not you who sent me here, but God; and He has made me a father to Pharaoh and lord of all his household and ruler over all the land of Egypt.

Hurry and go up to my father, and tell him, ‘Your son Joseph says this to you: “God has made me lord of all Egypt; come down to me, do not delay.

You shall live in the land of Goshen [the best pasture land of Egypt], and you shall be close to me—you and your children and your grandchildren, your flocks and your herds and all you have.

There I will provide for you and sustain you, so that you and your household and all that are yours may not become impoverished, for there are still five years of famine to come.”’

Look! Your eyes see, and the eyes of my brother Benjamin see, that I am speaking to you [personally in your language and not through an interpreter].

Now you must tell my father of all my splendor and power in Egypt, and of everything that you have seen; and you must hurry and bring my father down here.”

Then he embraced his brother Benjamin’s neck and wept, and Benjamin wept on his neck.

He kissed all his brothers and wept on them, and afterward his brothers talked with him.

- Genesis 45: 4 - 15

Reflection on Joseph

God gave Joseph visible glory and honor above all people, save the Pharaoh. Of course it was easy for him to forgive and to acknowledge God’s blessing through all the injustice he suffered.

Our glory, and honor in Christ is recieved through obedience to God’s command to love. We don’t get the blessings associated with “those who love Him and keep His commands” unless we “love Him and keep His commands.”

Biblical Counsel

Everything changes the moment we repent.

Study Esau a Biblical Example of Forgiveness

Then Jacob looked up, and saw Esau coming with four hundred men. So he divided the children among Leah and Rachel and the two maids.

He put the maids and their children in front, Leah and her children after them, and Rachel and Joseph last of all.

Then Jacob crossed over [the stream] ahead of them and bowed himself to the ground seven times [bowing and moving forward each time], until he approached his brother.

- Genesis 33:1-3

Reflection on Esau

See how fearful and guilty Jacob knew he was? He was a deceiver and always trying to hide, cheat, lie, he was afraid of people finding out who he was and what he did. He knew he had sinned greatly against his brother, but he did not confess, or repent, ever, he chose rather to stay hidden and fearful of people.

Remember how difficult his marriages were? They were all wrought with strife, and bitterness of soul for both of his wives and his concubine- everyone Jacob was close to suffered because of his deceptive nature and fears. He was 90 years old before he received a new nature and name, Israel, because God persevered with him, while he fought God’s hand all the way.

The name Jacob means Jacob trickster, supplanter, heel grabber.
The name Israel means: May God prevail. He struggles with God. God perseveres; contends.
Study More of Esau as an Example of Forgiveness

Genesis 33: 4-9

4 But Esau ran to meet him and embraced him, and hugged his neck and kissed him, and they wept [for joy].

5 Esau looked up and saw the women and the children, and said, “Who are these with you?” So Jacob replied, “They are the children whom God has graciously given your servant.”

6 Then the maids approached with their children, and they bowed down.

7 Leah also approached with her children, and they bowed down. Afterward Joseph and Rachel approached, and they bowed down.

8 Esau asked, “What do you mean by all this company which I have met?” And he answered, “[These are] to find favor in the sight of my lord.”

9 But Esau said, “I have plenty, my brother; keep what you have for yourself.”

Reflection on Esau

Notice how Jacob tried to make restitution- but not really.

He only tried to save his own life because he was scared he would die.

This may be the shallow way an offender treats us. He/she try to make restitution, but not really, they only offer gifts, tokens for display, not from love or penitence, but from fear guilt or punishment.

Like Esau, we must be so full of God’s blessing, that we easily live without any token of fear or feigned penitence.

Study More of Esau's Example of Forgiveness

Genesis 33: 10-11

10 Jacob replied, “No, please, if now I have found favor in your sight, then accept my gift [as a blessing] from my hand, for I see your face as if I had seen the face of God, and you have received me favorably.

11 Please accept my blessing (gift) which has been brought to you, for God has dealt graciously with me and I have everything [that I could possibly want].” So Jacob kept urging him and Esau accepted it.

Reflection on Esau

Esau accepted the token, but did not need it. He was free from his brother’s dysfunction, because he forgave.

When we forgive, we no longer need a brother/sister’s tokens of penance, they mean nothing to us and have little value in our eyes, we accept them because it alleviates the pressure our offender carries for not facing their own error against us.

We receive the token (words of penitence, or acts of kindness, or actual material gifts) as an act of mercy on our brother/sister’s own suffering conscience.

Study more of Esau's Example of Forgiveness

Genesis 33: 12-17

12 Then Esau said, “Let us get started on our journey and I will go in front of you [to lead the way].”

13 But Jacob replied, “You know, my lord, that the children are frail and need gentle care, and the nursing flocks and herds [with young] are of concern to me; for if the men should drive them hard for a single day, all the flocks will die.

14 Please let my lord go on ahead of his servant, and I will move on slowly, governed by the pace of the livestock that are in front of me and according to the endurance of the children, [a]until I come to my lord in Seir [in Edom].”

15 Then Esau said, “Please let me leave with you some of the people who are with me.” But Jacob said, “[b]What need is there [for it]? Let me find favor in the sight of my lord.”

16 So Esau turned back [toward the south] that day on his way to Seir.

17 But Jacob journeyed [north] to Succoth, and built himself a house and made shelters for his livestock; so the name of the place is Succoth (huts, shelters).

Reflection on Esau

Notice how Essau, with a clean conscience offers his brother help, support, protection, and nearness?

Jacob, had not repented at all of his life of fear and deception, So his name remains, Jacob.

He again is afraid for his own life, and deceives his brother, saying he will go with him- only more slowly, while he takes the opposite path seeking his own peace and safety.

This choice resulted in the rape of his daughter, and the subsequent disownment of two of his sons, also his oldest son lost his rights as firstborn because they defiled their father’s bed.

Study more of Esau as a Biblical Example of Forgiveness

Genesis 33: 18-20

18 When Jacob came from Paddan-aram, he arrived safely and in peace at the city of Shechem, in the land of Canaan, and camped in front of the [walled] city.

19 Then he bought the piece of land on which he had pitched his tents from [c]the sons of Hamor, Shechem’s father, for a hundred [d]pieces of money.

20 There he erected an altar and called it [e]El-Elohe-Israel.The mighty God of my father.

Reflection on Esau

Notice how slowly Jacob would come to the Lord? Through all his sin, fear, rebellion, and using human strength to try and accomplish God’s will- he learned very slowly! Esau was a much easier study, and God blessed him.

Biblical Counsel

Some may say, “But Esau was hated by God, God loved and chose Jacob! Esau is an example of those who lose their salvation! I don’t want to be Esau!”

Fear not! This is only an example of forgiveness where the offending party is not truly penitent.

We are not without hope. God is with those who are with Him. This example points out that Jacob, God’s chosen one- whom He loves in truth- like our offender, may be very difficult and slow to learn and many suffer because of their weakness in Godly character, even as his own beloved son Joseph did. Jacob grieved for for 20+ years and his family nearly starved to death due to Jacob’s slowness to receive God’s provision and blessings.

God did not give up on Jacob. So we must not give up on our offender. Yes, we, and many others will suffer, perhaps our children and families included as we endure with them, - but we have a choice to love and obey God, causing all things to work together for our good.

It is our free choice. God is good and desires mercy and blessing and prosperity.

Remember how free and happy God made Esau- God wants us to be free and happy and blessed too, regardless of our brother/sister’s fears, deception, abandonment, neglect, or lack of trustworthiness. We must be free from our need for them to care for us and find our peace and blessing and prosperity in God.

The example of Jacob and Esau relates closely to the situation where the offender never expresses repentance to us, though they may have sinned greatly against us.

Remember in the primary example above with Joseph, he certainly did not lose his salvation.

We may relate to Joseph, knowing early in life we are loved, called and chosen by God, This confidence may fill our souls LONG before our offender, ((maybe a brother or sister in Christ currently rejecting us) embraces God’s love and care for them. (Remember, God persevered 90 years with Jacob (name means deceiver) before he became, Israel)).

Though our offender (a brother or sister in Christ) are God’s children of promise, called, chosen and blessed to receive God’s salvation, yet they may be tormented by fears and live a deceptive life into their very old age.

Like Joseph, and Esau who forgave their brother’s sin- learn to live without our brother/sister’s true repentance and faithfulness and receive and walk in the great and rich blessings God is able to give independent of our offender’s goodness.

Some may say, But, doesn’t the Word promise that no-one IN CHRIST continues in sin?

Yes, and our offender will grow from glory to glory in Christlike character- but there are stages, depths, and speeds of love and obedience to grow in. Some grow more slowly than others. We can trust God to nurture our offender’s growth and never give up on him/her so long as they depend on Him.

Like Jacob and Joseph in the end God will bring us together with our offender, if not sooner than later, perhaps not before we pass through those pearly gates, but we will be brought together in unity with all our brothers and sisters in Christ and God’s command is that we love one and forgive one another.

Practical Application

In the two Biblical examples above there are 4 expressions of forgiveness both Esau and Joseph extended. We can use these as a guide and a test for ourselves to see that we are truly walking in the forgiveness God requires of us toward our offender.

Use these 4 Biblical expressions to choose forgiveness toward the offender.

Keep yourself encouraged by referring to the above examples, and listening to the Joyce Meyer’s video to renew your mind as often as any evidence you detect (triggers of anger related to past offense, feelings of being lost and not knowing what to do concerning the offender, any expressions of hatred (check hate-defined checklist for more subtle expressions of hatred)

LORD, I FORGIVE

4 Proofs of Forgiveness

1) Forgiveness means sincere intimate acceptance and embracing

2) Providing care provision nearness and accessibility

3) Receiving the token and feigned expressions of allegiance to help alleviate their pressure of guilt and fear

4) Focus and give emphasis/credit to God's provision and blessings rather than the offenses.

Prayer of Application

Lord, I have heard Your voice. You counseled me and gave me light. You gave me help and guidance I needed because I was completely blind. Lord, as I choose to obey Your word, please fill me with grace to obey your word in truth, and demonstrate the fruits of my faith, in Jesus name, Amen.

Lord, I sincerely and intimately accept and embrace __________. I am not suspicious of him/her. I am not afraid of what he/she might do to me. I am not afraid of him/her abandoning me. I give to him/her my complete sincere and intimate acceptance and embrace with all my heart soul mind and strength, as unto You Lord. Because I love You, I accept and love __________ deeply, regardless of his response. I choose to love and forgive him/her.

Lord, I chose to provide care and provision both physical & emotional. I will be present and offer my support and care for his/her needs, physical and emotional regardless of his/her appreciation and desire for my support because I love You Lord.

Lord, as __________ offers token and feigned expressions of allegiance to me, I will accept his/her expressions, not because I need them or want them, but to honor him/her and help alleviate the fear and pressure that drives this action. I will graciously receive these expressions in Your compassion and gentleness because I love You Lord.

With my words and thoughts, I will focus on God’s blessings and favor and calling through all the evil events of the past, not pressing any blame upon __________. I will discourage him/her from being angry with him/herself, pointing to the Lord who has helped us through all things for his glory and honor.

So, I will focus on the light, and not the darkness so that I will not become blind again, and hate my brother. I will deny myself the liberty to accuse him/her of evil and demand restitution and repentance. Rather I will view the suffering of my past at his/her hand- as God’s will, so that we could receive His blessings and help others.

Forgive me Lord for focusing on his/her sin and blaming him/her. Help me instead to forgive and instead attribute glory and honor to You for Your provision through all the past.

In Jesus name, I give up my right for restitution because of the sins committed, I give up my right in the courts of this world- and in the heavenlies,

I ask that his sins not be attributed to him/her. Instead I ask that he be forgiven of all the sins committed against me. financially, emotionally, physically, verbally, or spirituality .

I choose to forgive and ask that these things be removed from his record. But I look to You Lord and I ask You for blessings to fill our lives through my choice to forgive.

And I ask Your help, so that I would remain in a forgiving state toward him/her and all people forever, in Jesus name, Amen.

Declaration of Faith:

__________ is cleansed and forgiven. I am clean and free to love. I choose to think on what is good concerning him/her. I choose to speak uplifting kind words only to him/her. I chose to withhold negative thoughts and words from him/her and about him/her. I chose to find small acts of kindness to demonstrate my love and care. I am FREE. I am empowered by the Holy Spirit to love.

Prayer of Thanks to God and request for his help:

Thank You God, fill me with Your thoughts, dreams, and counsel so that I would make good plans for my words and deeds in expressing sincere love. In Jesus name, Amen.

Welcome to FREEDOM and FORGIVENESS! Keep this link handy, and review it as often as offense comes. We must learn to live in the habit of forgiveness.
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Angela Schans
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