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Sunday, March 22, 2009

12 Steps to Forgiveness According to the Bible

I've struggles a lot in the past over forgiveness. Mainly the problem was forgiving people that continually hurt me. I have been learning the reasons behind why God wants us to forgive. It's not to heal the person you are forgiving but for you, to change who you are in God.

Well, today at church we discussed prayer and how to pray and what the Lord's Prayer is trying to tell us.. The one thing that stood out in today's sermon was the 12 Steps to Forgiveness.. It was so powerful that I would like to share it. I will also be printing it out and posting it somewhere in my house as a daily reminder.

12 Steps to Forgiveness:

  • Ask God for a list of people you need to forgive.
  • Acknowledge the hurt and the hate. How does their offense make you feel?
  • Understand the significance of the cross.
  • Decide you will bear the burden of each person's sin. Meaning, you've decided not to retaliate in the future.

Galations 6:1-2
"Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently. But watch yourself, or you also may be tempted. Carry each other's burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ"

Proverbs 17:9
"He who covers over an offense promotes love, but whoever repeats the matter separates close friends"

  • Choose to forgive. It's about your will.
  • Pray the following for each person.. "I forgive (name) for (list of offenses and how they made you feel)"
  • Destroy your list. You are free.
  • Your forgiveness will not affect the people you've chosen to forgive. It only changes you.

Matthew 5:44
"But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. "

2 Corinthians 2:7
"Now instead, you ought to forgive and comfort him, so that he will not be overwhelmed by excessive sorrow."

  • Try to understand the person you have forgiven, but don't rationalize their behavior.
  • Expect positive results of forgiveness in you.
  • Thank God for the lessons you have learned and the maturity you have gained.
  • Be sure to accept your part of the blame for the offenses you suffered.

1 John 1:9
"If we confess our sins, he is faithful, and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness"

Colossians 3:13
"Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you"

This really touched me today and has given me a better understanding why God wants us to forgive those who have sinned against us. Regardless how many times they've hurt or sinned against you. He wants us to forgive.. So this is my lesson that I will work on the weeks to come..

That was hard for me for so many years. I have people that were close to me for many years and still hold many grudges and has not learned forgiveness and it's hard to speak to them and also forgive them as well. The offense they did isn't what unforgiveable but the fact they can't let go and forgive you.. I know now that it's not about that anymore but getting right with God and forgiving those who have hurt you. It's not easy by any means but I know it will make me a better person, who will in return learn to love more, and live more walking beside Jesus.

There is no better motivation than that. To be right with God. Also it's very important to seek God's forgiveness of our sins.. Each and everyday we all sin in some way or another and to take all of that to the cross everyday is so freeing and allows us to grow closer to the almighty!! I can't survive the rest of my years here on earth without knowing I am right with God and my relationship with Him is pure and good..

"No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him." 1 Corinthians 2:9