10 Practical Steps To Forgiveness
Here are some tips from a message I preached in August 2019. There really is no easy road to forgiveness. We see that it is hard, when we see all that Jesus did to make forgiveness possible for us. We were completely in the wrong. We were in the wrong even before we were born, but we proved it through our lives. We weren’t even seeking forgiveness, yet God provided the way. He satisfied justice through His own sacrifice. He paid the price. There is no wrong that we could suffer that is comparable to the wrong (sins) that we have done against our God. Yet He loves us and made the way of forgiveness. Romans 5:8 says, “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
So many times we try to forgive others because we are told to, and yet we don’t really know how. We end up stuffing our hurt rather than sacrificing pride. Here are some ‘practical’ steps. Please take time and look up the accompanying scriptures. Let them breathe life back into your situation as you begin to trust God with the pain and hurt. It is not a quick thing for many people. You have been struck. You have been hurt. You need to heal. Healing is an important part of forgiveness, and forgiveness is an essential part of healing. Healing takes time, but it also takes intentional steps to keep a wound clean. This is a process. It is hard. That’s ok to admit.
I truly hope these steps help you to heal and forgive.
1. Check Yourself (before you wreck yourself)
Pray. Pray. Pray. Talk to your Father in Heaven. Before taking the ‘martyr’ or ‘victim’ stance, pray for God to search your heart for any fault on your part, easy offense, or misunderstandings. Reflect on: Psalm 139:23-24; Matthew 7:1-5
2. Get Your Grace Goggles On (you’re going for a ride)
a. Remember that ‘a soul is a soul is a soul’. We are all the same at the foot of the cross. The worse the sin or offense, the more the person needs Jesus. Romans 3:23-24
b. Recognize that it is only by God’s grace, and not your own goodness, that you have received mercy. You are just as deserving of judgment as anyone else. – Ephesians 2:8-9
3. Hang Tight To Jesus (and don’t let go)
Resolve to cling to Christ and to do what He has you do, no matter what anyone else does. Luke 14:27
4. Take the ‘Cross Road’ (wherever it may go)
Apply the substitutionary work of the cross through your life. Identify with Christ and His sufferings. Romans 6:6-7
5. Keep The Mercy Juices Flowing (and flowing)
Recognize that it is the mercy of God flowing through you that forgives and that His grace is enough. Philippians 4:13
6. Get On Up (let God move your body)
Apply the resurrection power to your life. Identify with Christ living in you, restoring you, empowering you to eternal victory. Romans 6:8-9
7. Full Steam Ahead (but without steam in your head)
Fix your eyes on the prize – it’s about the ‘hereafter,’ but we live it here and now. Hebrews 12:2
8. Know Your Enemies (and know your victory!)
Remember that the person/people aren’t your real enemy(-ies). Recognize your real enemies: Satan and his lies, the world and its lies, and your own flesh (and its lies). Ephesians 6:10-20, James 4:4, Luke 6:27-36
9. Love Like Crazy (it’s crazy… I know)
Pray. Pray. Pray for the individual – for their salvation or their eyes to be opened to the truth. Luke 23:34
10. Rinse. Lather. Repeat.
Continue these steps every day until true joy and compassion for the individual wins the day, forgiveness flows freely, and Jesus is glorified through the situation.
God is passionate about loving: For God so loved the world
God is passionate about forgiving (forGIVEness is a GIFT): That He gave His one and only Son
God is passionate about souls, ALL souls: That whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have everlasting life.