Day 7 – Step Into Freedom – Forgive

Jesus doesn’t mince words when He instructs us to forgive: For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” Matthew 6:14-15

Forgiveness is a priority in our life with God. It’s a commandment that we are to follow. And my guess is that you know in your heart that you’re supposed to forgive those who have hurt you . . . and maybe you really want to forgive. But for some reason the hurt continues to resurface and you just can’t seem to shake the resentment, the bitterness, and the negative feelings you have toward some people. 

Here is what I found to be true: we are told to forgive. And we actually want to do it. But few people really know HOW to forgive. And therein lies the problem. At least part of it. Another big issue around forgiveness is that you may not know what forgiveness is and what it isn’t!

So in the next few paragraphs I want to cover some of the discoveries I’ve made in my own life so that I can honestly say that I know how to forgive and practice the commandment readily. Yes, stingy memories may arise, but now I know what to do to move feelings and emotions into their proper place. 

First, let me share a tenet that I hold to be true: Not everything is acceptable, but everything is forgivable. Let’s unfold that belief so I can explain what I mean.

Acceptable behavior has boundaries. The Scriptures are clear about what is okay and what isn’t. The Ten Commandments serve as a foundation. And then throughout the Bible we find teachings from the Lord that define the acceptable ways we are to live our lives and behave. 

Jesus said, As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love. If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love.” John 15:9-10

Abusing others is outside of the commandments. As are stealing, lying, adultery and the list goes on. None of the actions that don’t align with the ways of God are acceptable or considered good. They are sins against God and often sins that hurt others. 

When you forgive someone, you are NOT agreeing with their behavior. Their actions are not acceptable. So be clear. When you forgive you are not accepting the pain they caused you or the abuse you received or the way the person behaved. 

What you are doing when you forgive is releasing the resentment, bitterness, and feelings of revenge that you may be harboring in your soul toward that person. You are releasing the individual of your hostility toward them. And you’re moving to hoping that the person draws nearer to God and is blessed. 

What? We are to want the person to be blessed by God? 

Yes. And again, not for what they have done that is wrong. But instead, that they move toward God and into repentance, renewal, and total forgiveness. 

It took me years to understand how to forgive others. I read multiple books on the subject. I listened to teachings. And I wrote to Bible teachers and pastors who taught about forgiveness. They still missed the part about “how to forgive.” They taught about what forgiveness was, but didn’t show me the actions so I could experience it. 

Finally, in an unexpected way, I found a path I could follow. And ever since that time I have been able to forgive easily. I’m not saying that it’s immediate. There are times when I need to sort out some feelings and get some things in order in my mind. But the whole time I know where I am headed. I am on my way to forgiving. 

And so I spend time with the Lord and go through a process of forgiving the person who has hurt me or offended me. I release them from any angst I have toward them. And I give the whole matter to the Lord and leave any responses up to Him. He says in Deuteronomy 32:35, I will take revenge; I will pay them back. In due time their feet will slip. Their day of disaster will arrive, and their destiny will overtake them.” 

Our Lord wants us to forgive and then walk away. He wants us to be free of the negative emotions that hide in our hearts when we don’t forgive. And He also wants us to release the offender from our animosity. He wants us to be a reflection of God’s love  and to live in the way of our faith. 

Again, hear the words of Jesus, “For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” Matthew 6:14-15

Harboring malice against another is a sin. We are called to forgive. It’s a gift you give to yourself and an act of obedience you give to your Father. 

If you want to learn more about forgiveness and the experience I’ve discovered, CLICK HERE


Please, be a blessing to others as you share your thoughts and experiences about forgiving others. Use the form below. 

19 Comments

  • Sanglian Guite says:

    ThAnks for the massage.. Thats what i need.
    GBU Susan

  • Ijeoma's Mac says:

    Dear Susan
    Thanks for sharing your pearls of wisdom on forgiveness. I have been taking notes as I am still on this important journey and oftentimes appear to have forgiven with my head, but not with my mind. The litmus test is my ability to consistently and spontaneously pray that God blesses my identified enemies. To my mind, Faith is a journey whose success is measured by our readiness to obey God and our commitment to loving our fellow human beings, especially those whom we consider undeserving. We are all uniquely created in the image of God and this why our love for God is measured by how much we love undeserving people.
    For Lety, I perceive that your unwillingness to walk away from your husband is because you still love him. Were this assumption. correct, perhaps, as part of forgiving him, you should pray for God to enable you to love him. Pray for enablement to act with love toward him for God’s sake; and to have the strength to regularly and consistently tell him that you love him. Affirm your love for him by understanding and communicating in line with his love language. God’s love is given to each of us unconditionally; we are all daily offenders. The big difference is that the blood of Jesus Christ provides and affords continuous 24/7 forgiveness and justification for us that believe. We need to be humble in recognising that we all are undeserving but forgiven sinners!
    We need to keep in mind that God is sovereign and Jesus came to set the captives free. Only the Jesus kind of love towards your husband can break the cycle of sin in his life. The strength for such love can only come from the Holy Spirit. Perhaps, you could focus on developing this intimate walk with God through growing sensitivity to His Spirit by spending more time in the Word and in prayers. This, I believe, is what the fast will help you achieve. Focusing on God will remove your focus from your husband. You will increasingly receive God’s special grace that enables you to increasingly see him with greater compassion as God sees him; so you can pray more effectively for him,. You can only do this in partnership with the Holy Spirit. Susan has talked about getting wise confidential counsel from a mature Christian; If you have someone you can trust. tThis would be priceless as this person would have a. better insight after hearing your fuller story.
    I can also see that Susan had advised along the lines from the bible which says, ‘if your eye causes you to stumble, pluck it out’…’ Matt 5:29. You alone would know what your special circumstances are; so carefully present these challenges to the Lord during your fast.
    On my own part, I am continuing to look to the Lord for His grace to grow in love and to be sensitive to the Holy Spirit’s prompting to regularly pray for the people who have either wished or done me some harm that had resulted in a deep hurt. I am determined that I will emerge from this fast lighter and less hindered by unforgiveness. And I hope you will all concur because God can if we ask and believe.

    • Susan Gregory says:

      Be blessed, dear one! Thank you for sharing your message. Jesus is our Healer. I give Him all the praise and thanksgiving for His love, support, and grace.

    • susan says:

      humble but insightful. This is by the prompting of the holy spirit and close walk with God

  • Sandy says:

    I am encouraged to read your take on forgiveness and to affirm that forgiveness is really about releasing the feelings of’ resentment, bitterness and revenge’ that we hold against the persons who offended us. i have had some bad relationships in my life that have angered me over the years and it was not until 2007 when I truly read and reflected on Jesus’ passion, the torture and crucifixion that he endured for me, did i really see myself as one of the crowd who cried ‘crucify him’. I was overwhelmed and broke down in tears because I realized then that although on the outside I seemed to be a ‘good christian’, on the inside I was as guilty as those who had called for his death. I realised that i had to truly ask God’s forgiveness and to start to really rid myself of all the resentment and anger that i still felt deep in my soul. It has not been easy, but as I read and reflect more and more on God’s word, i am trying to allow God’s will and not mine, to direct my life and bit by bit, I am now finding more peace in my life.

  • constance says:

    I am encourage about this message of forgiving my wish is to learn to forgiv

  • Anita L Gooden says:

    Wow Julie Hennard, I want to be you when I grow up!

  • Anita L Gooden says:

    And I thought no longer wanting to kill the person with my own two hands was progress. Still a long way to go in that area.
    Also, I’m still holding onto hurts and slights from my childhood, using that as an excuse for shunning people and isolating myself. People should really be careful what they say to each other, because you never know what can trigger destructive tendencies in another. Right now I am going through speech therapy post CVA and my therapist is urging me to interact with people, start small, maybe an hour here, 30 minutes there. (I’m still having issues with conversational speech) I can’t make her understand how much just the thought of forced interaction gives me anxiety. But because of you Susan, I’m starting to see that truly forgiving the people that hurt me is a step in the right direction and would most likely be therapeutic as well. Thank you and God bless.

  • Julie Hennard says:

    Yes, the true love behind forgiveness revolves around the love of the Father. If you love the Lord and heed His word you will do whatever it takes to learn to truly forgive someone. Some times it feels humanly impossible to forgive and I believe maybe it is but all things are possible with God. I prayed for twenty years for God to help me forgive someone and somehow he supernaturally did. It was truly a miracle. Worse things have happened to me since then but I can honestly say that I have learned to walk in continual forgiveness. It has become a way of life for me, I have no other choice. I have been through so much and survived by the grace of God that to not forgive would seem absurd because I know without a shadow of a doubt who our true enemy is for we do not wrestle against flesh and blood. God has our back at all times and if you can just stay focused on Him through the pain and suffering then He will make a way of escape. I love you all with the Love of the Father.

  • Monica Berry says:

    I truly thank God for you, Ms. Susan. Many times I thought that I had it right about forgiving but in reality I didn’t. I will say, Lord I forgive them but on the inside of me I was hurting so bad. I was just in a situation were my niece was going around saying that; I had called DHS on her. Father God knows that I didn’t do it. I will never do anything like that to anyone. My niece is spreading that venom and God knows that I didn’t do it. Yes, it hurts but I had to forgive her. I made up in my mind that I will never get on the level that she is on but she has to get in God to be on the level that I am on. I have to use wisdom. I will not bring shame to Jesus Name.

  • Mrs Rhetta Franklin says:

    Well I would like to reply on the last comment with you Susan Gregory . I’m also in one of those kind of relationships only to say that he’s my husband of eighteen years to be exact. No I didn’t divorce , but there’ were some times I felt this was the only thing to do to get myself back together. But just as I thought our marriage had ended I realized I really do love him, I didn’t resent him, but I resented what he’d done. It carried weight on my heart , even to this day I see myself taking baby steps each day to forgive. He’s told me that he loves me. Idk if I’m just insane or I’m just maybe in love. He knows what he has done is wrong and hurtful to my heart , I’ve told him this., so I pray and walk away, and leave it in Gods, plan. Our only decision should be getting more closer with God. Forgiving is not hard it’s work. Stay encouraged.

  • MercifulLove says:

    Hi. Can you forgive someone but still not want to live with them or be around them on a daily basis? Or would that be looked at as still harboring ill feelings? I have a situation where someone is living with me and has done some wrong things while in my home. And even though I’ve released my anger/negative feelings to God. I am not just interested in living with this person.

    • Susan Gregory says:

      Forgiveness means you release them from your judgement and from doing any kind of harm toward them. It does not mean you must trust them or even want to be around them. You will know if you are acting out of resentment and bitterness or out of discernment that the person is not yet worthy of your trust.

      I hope this helps.

  • Yolanda Smith says:

    Thank you, Susan for the reason to forgive. I going through this again at my church. Yet, it seem that even when I forgive and want best for them. They still try to destroy what God trying to do in my ministry. I continue to respect them and love them right where they at. Yet, it seem that they want control and hold on to hurt and don’t want to forgive. So, I have learned to love them and continue to pray that God move their heart to forgive.
    – Yolanda

  • Lety Torres says:

    Hello! It say in your passage that ‘The Lord wants us to forgive and walk away’. I’ve been in a relationship filled with dishonesty, betrayal, and emotional abuse! It has been very difficult to forgive because he’s not showed me that’s he’s changed. Many people have told me to walk away but it’s been very very difficult to break that chain and getter harder to forgive him. I don’t know how to move on and forgive him for the things he’s done when he continues to do the wrong things!

    • Susan Gregory says:

      Dear Lety,

      Yes, this is a tough situation. Clearly, he is not one you can trust. Trust is earned. Forgiving doesn’t mean trust is restored. The two are totally different. Right now he is not trustworthy and so you do need to decide what to do about your relationship and if you will remain in it.

      I encourage you to talk to someone you do trust and who can give you wise counsel. You may need to leave this relationship. God does not call us to stay in abusive relationships. So you may need to depart, and if so, make a plan so you are okay.

      Find support. You do need help. Make sure you look to people who aren’t just sympathizers, but you can give you guidance.

      And remember, God is with you. He will stand with you as you make the decisions you need to make.

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