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"We are not ignorant of the devil's devices" (2 Cor 2:11b) Satan is behind all relationship problems, whether it is between spouses, or among saints, or in the society. As a liar and the father of lies, he makes people believe what's not really true and makes them suspicious of everything and everybody. God has taught us in His Word how we can overpower Satan in this battle. Ephesians 4:26,27, "Be angry, and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your wrath nor give place to the devil." Holding anger for long—beyond sunset—even if it may be legitimate, gives foothold to the devil. Even God's anger is "but for a moment" (Psa 30:5). He may make us weep in the night because of His displeasure but He sends joy in the morning because of His favour! Are we holier and greater than God? 2 Corinthians 2:10,11, "Whom you forgive anything, I (Paul) also forgive. For if indeed I have forgiven anything, I have forgiven that one for your sakes in the presence of Christ, lest Satan should take advantage of us; for we are not ignorant of his devices." A man in the Corinthian assembly had been living in outright adultery with his stepmother. Paul urged the Church to take disciplinary measures against him. He even ordered the members to deliver the offender to Satan so he may suffer physically but be saved spiritually (1 Cor 5:1-5). The Church literally followed the apostle's instruction. But Paul's fatherly heart would not let the offender "be swallowed up with too much sorrow" (2 Cor 2:6,7). He urged the believers to reaffirm their love to the repentant (v8). If they had delayed their forgiveness, Satan would have taken advantage of the situation. "Truth divides!" "Jesus did not come to send peace but sword!" These are some of the most abused quotes in Christian circles. Folks with divisive mentality use these statements to justify their acts of causing splits in Churches. The devil has a better knowledge of all the proverbs and scriptures in the world than any of us. God Himself testified about Lucifer, "You were full of wisdom" (Ezek 28:12). But the devil invariably misquotes. If he tells, "It is written," we must know how to talk back to him and say, "It is also written" (Mt 4:6,7). No doubt we must speak the truth, but we must speak it "in love" (Eph 4:15a). The sword of separation Jesus spoke about was not among His children but between those who want to obey God's call and those who oppose it (Mt 10:34-39). How would He otherwise preach, "Blessed are the peacemakers"?
In my own experience, there have been times when I sensed God nudging me to pray for someone who (I felt) had deceived, betrayed, or wounded me. I knew that if I prayed for blessings on one of those rascals, it would not have been sincere and for that reason would not have pleased God. My grandchildren, when told to apologize to a brother or sister that they hit or pinched, have perfected the ability to say, "I'm sorry" in a tone of voice that says the exact opposite. Even when I mouth the words, "I forgive this person," my heart may contradict my speech. God, however, desires integrity of us; he desires "truth in the innermost being" (Ps. 51:6). I believe that asking me to pray for someone who has wronged me is a method God uses to bring to my attention a resentment that is unconsciously harbored in my heart. His intention is not only to bless the lives of the other person--which he could easily do without my prayers--, but to work in me. God wants me to know what is in my heart. He wants to heal me, free me and make me a better person. But even realizing the work God wanted to do in me was not enough. I knew what the Scriptures said regarding forgiveness, but my resentment had attached itself to my pain and it went deep. If he would not be pleased with fake forgiveness, he would not be pleased with resistance either. The alternative was to respond to him in sincere surrender. Then he could take it from there. So my prayer went something like this: "Father, I know You want me to forgive this person, but I cannot find the power in myself to do it. However, I am willing to let You work in my heart to change me. So I surrender to the work You want to do in me. Go as deep as you need to go, reveal whatever I need to know, do whatever needs to be done and I promise that when Your work is complete, I will pray for him sincerely and fervently." Immediately I felt God's pleasure, as if he were saying, "That is all I wanted from you and all I need." After the first time I did this, three months later I found I could pray for the person's well-being and continued spiritual growth. A few months later, I was able to pray God's blessings into his life with all sincerity. Since then, I have learned that God can do such a complete overhaul of my heart and mind, that I can pray, "Lord, if it pleases You to make this person's life easy and wonderful--this person who has made my life hard--then I am happy to pray that You do according to Your will." For me, what it comes down to is this: When alone with God, he is all that matters. The actions and opinions of others melt into insignificance. If there is anything that I can do to put a smile on Jesus' face--well, it puts a smile on my face to do it. Forgiveness is as much about our growth in Christ as it is releasing other people from their debts. God does not ask us to do what is easy, but what is right. If we get it wrong the first time, he gives us opportunity to return and ask for his help. It seems to me a wonderful blessing that God does not merely grace me with a gift of forgiveness, but that he changes me to make me a forgiving person--like himself and like his Son (Ep. 4:32).
Are you saved? Do you understand what your sin did to the spotless Lamb of God? Do you realize that God forgave you of your sin? Once we get this through our heads, then forgiveness is easy. We murdered the Son of God! It was our sin that placed Him on the cross. If God, in His love and mercy can forgive us, then shouldn't we be able to forgive those who have hurt us? No there is no process, formula or magic program...this is what we are told by Prosperity preachers. Everything in Christianity has been reduced to a magic formula and a seven step program...and this is wrong. The Holy Spirit has placed His love within us when He saves us, and that love compels us to forgive those in our life. If you don't want to forgive those who have harmed you then be careful...Christ warned us about this when He said if we don't forgive those who have sinned against us, then God won't forgive us of our sins against Him.
NEVER hurt in the name of LOVE, because you ARE love- made in God's image. God is love. This is what makes inner peace. Try you best- fight your best against the chaos. It is a battle already won for you bought by Christ's blood! Try your best to never hurt due to love, because love is your purpose here on Earth. You are God's beloved, you have been forgiven. Try your hardest to forgive even the unforgivable. Forgive the way God forgiven us. How? How when some of the most ugliest of things have happened to you, possibly? How do you permanently with out another passing thought of concern- turn your burdens over to the cross to never pick them back up again? Romans 13:8 KJV "Owe no man anything but to love one another, for he who hath, hath fulfilled The Law of Our Lord." God made you out of love, God made them out of love. In realizing this, in embracing this birth right- this privilege and purpose of being here on Earth- you have then NATURALLY fulfilled God's LAW! WOW! By loving! No matter what- trying your HARDEST to overcome through Christ! With Christ! Love your "enemy" love ALL of your brothers and sisters in Christ (for they are still your brothers, your sisters even if they do not walk with Christ, "yet" hopefully) You may give, give, give. And they may take, take take... And you end up feeling empty? Don't. They do not owe you anything in God's eyes. Pay your debts, and owe nothing more to them- but to love. That empty feeling- that resentment- is CHAINS on you. You are not promised tomorrow. It is a gift to live out each day. Do not live another day in chains! God is there to hold you through it all! That empty feeling- replace with love. Easier said than done, yes. But, there is a season for everything. Some seasons are longer than others, some are shorter. Maybe this may not be a season of peace for you. But God helps those who help themselves. So WORK for it. Work hard each day to handle your birthright. Birth right of having control of only these three things, truthfully. Which is control over your thoughts, the things you visualize, and your actions. If you suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder- I am very sorry for your triggers. Just hang in there! And KNOW that "time" does help to heal wounds. It will get better. You just have to work for it. Truly work for it. You will only go as far as your Will and foot steps allow. God is ready and waiting to guide you & your steps to fulfilling this all encompassing LOVE. This is what you call, Agape Love. Hang in there my brothers and sisters. I love you all. You all are precious children of God. And all have the equal potential in redemption through our Heavenly Creator. Peace be with you <3 Take care!
You don't (not all by yourself). You don't forgive anyone (all by yourself) anymore than you cause your blood to flow through your veins (I'm using poetic license). Poetic license is going beyond strict clear ordinary explanation, in order to make it clear, in this case, that so much of what we are looking to happen occurs indirectly by us, and DIRECTLY, by God. It happens beyond our conscious control, but there is a "WAY" and it's by following biblical principles. 1 John 2:1 says we have an advocate before the Father. Advocate can be understood as someone who pleads for us. Romans 8:34 says Christ is interceding before the Father for us. I have heard some teachers describe Christ as our lawyer, in a spiritual sense. So we can follow Christ's example and intercede on behalf of the person who hurt us. You see, if the one who was hurt is petitioning God to forgive, than it has more weight with God, in a similar way, our judicial system won't prosecute in many cases if no charges are filed. So we must intercede on behalf of those who hurt us. God is Holy and righteous in addition to being loving. If the one who was hurt acts as an advocate for the one who hurt him or her, than that allows God more freedom to act according to His character. So act as a spiritual defense lawyer (so to speak) for the person who hurt you. Pray daily or as often as needed listing all the good things about the person to God (in prayer) and asking God to first forgive him or her, and then ask God to help them forgive you, even if they have passed on. Also, ask God for forgiveness for the whole situation because you want peace for it. That's what I wanted to share. May it bring peace to many. In Jesus' name.
I festered a deep resentment for someone who wronged me in many ways. I prayed to God daily to help me forgive this person as I knew that if I could forgive them I would find peace. After many years, when I truly wanted to forgive them, I did when in prayer with our Lord! Such a load fell "off do my shoulders" that night. I also felt forgiven for holding this anger inside for so long. To me it was simply like the words in the Lord's Prayer : "Forgive me my trespasses as I forgive those who trespass against me."
The opposite of forgiveness is revenge. I suppose that It depends on the crime. I going to assume that the nature of the crime whether it be some form of abuse, deceit or hurtful circumstance large or small may be easier or harder to forgive. Some serious forms of hurt may warrant forgiveness but not absolution. I don't believe you are required to forget the crime done to you. LEARN by it. Forgiveness is also about letting go of the need for revenge. The weights of revenge and retribution are stumbling blocks in my opinion. You cannot move ahead spiritually when your mind is preoccupied with revenge. Some people use a transgression as an excuse for self pity or aggression and the right to hurt others. This goes against teaching. It is not fruitful. I had a family member who could not let go of his anger. I truly believe that it contributed to his early death. A great saying a friend had mentioned to me is: "Revenge is like you drinking the poison and expecting the other person to die." Often the person who hurt you goes on their merry way, while you fester in the filth of revenge and hurt. I submit the following verses: JAMES: HEARING AND DOING THE WORD 19 g Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person h be quick to hear, i slow to speak, j slow to anger; 20 for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God. Ephesians 4:26New International Version (NIV) 26 “In your anger do not sin”[a]: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, So, Forgiveness is about letting go. Why have the yoke or burden of the injury done to you hang around your neck? My advice is to take the chain of hurt off your neck and lay it at Jesus's feet. Let Him take on the burden as He has done for us on the cross.
How do you truly forgive someone? For the rest of your life. Repeatedly. I mean, there are things that I forgave years ago that will still crop up in my mind. Each time I remember them with a sense of injury or anger, I forgive them again and let them go. Jesus said to forgive seventy-times-seven times (Matthew 18:21-22), meaning that many sins against you by the same person, but sometimes we need to forgive the very same sin seventy-times-seven times. And to trust that just because we have to forgive it yet again, that doesn't mean we didn't truly forgive it before. When old injuries return to mind, forgive them again and say a prayer of thanks to God that there aren't enough new ones to crowd out the old ones. Satan has to dredge up ancient history to try to make you unforgiving. Defy his attempt by forgiving the same old thing once again, and letting it go (2 Corinthians 2:10-11). A few traps into which I fall: 1) thinking that I only have to forgive sins against myself and not sins against someone I love, like my mother. I'm still working on this one. 2) thinking that, if we will be forgiven only as we forgive that I don't have to forgive sins against myself that are much greater than anything I've ever done because I don't need that much forgiveness. 3) thinking that I'll forgive something once it stops, but cannot forgive it while it is happening. The idea is to just be like Jesus, who never did anything that needed forgiveness, but forgave while they were taking His very life, the sword that pierced His side also piercing His mother's soul (Luke 2:35). Whew. I'm not there yet. Sometimes, when I feel I can't forgive, it's enough to make a faith act of forgiveness: close your eyes, put your hand over your eyes, look away, shut off your mind to all the reasons why you shouldn't forgive, and state firmly out loud in faith: "I forgive this in Jesus Christ!" even if you can't make yourself want to or feel like you are able to do it or feel like you are actually doing it by saying this. It's what is called a "cold start." It chips away at internal resistance and at the enemy. And I also try to remember than just because I forgive someone, that doesn't mean I shouldn't get away from them (Matthew 10:23).
You need to heed the instructions of the Bible before forgiveness can truly be given. Luke 17:3 (NKJV) "Take heed to yourselves. If your brother sins against you, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him". We also need to consider Gods reaction to sin. God only forgives us if we repent and ask for forgiveness. Repentance can often be seen in the attitudes, and the behaviour of the person who has caused us grief. We must be careful though not to block the opportunity of the person to genuinely offer an apology. The ultimate goal is the healing of a broken relationship just as its Gods desire that we truly repent and heal the rift that exists between ourselves and God. We as Christians are obligated to forgive others who sin against us and then repent (Matthew 6:14–15; 18:23–35; Mark 11:25; Luke 17:3–4; Ephesians 4:31–32; Colossians 3:13). This obligation holds true even if someone continues to sin against us (Matthew 18:21–22). What should we do when someone sins against us and is not repentant? The fact that God makes repentance a condition for saving a person does not give us the right to withhold forgiveness. God can judge a person’s intentions because He knows what’s in a person’s heart (1 Samuel 16:7; Hebrews 4:12–13), but we don’t. We are not God or the Judge. For us to try to be God by refusing to offer forgiveness is an act of judgment on our part, something that Jesus warns us against (Matthew 7:2). Consider also that an unforgiving spirit will lead to bitterness, anger, and resentment. A heart with this sort of attitude cannot have true fellowship with God. By not harbouring grudges against someone this will then allow a state of mind that is ready and willing to forgive. Reconciliation is the goal, and if there cannot be acheived, a willingness to forgive must be maintained. There can never be any excuse for withholding forgiveness from others (Matthew 5:22–24). Ephesians 4:32 tells us, “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” Similarly, Colossians 3:13 declares, “Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.” The key point in both these Scriptures is that we are to forgive others as God has forgiven us. We should forgive because we have been forgiven.
These verses in Luke 6 and Matthew 5 give us some good advice on this subject: Luke 6:27“But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. 29If someone slaps you on one cheek, turn to them the other also. If someone takes your coat, do not withhold your shirt from them. 30Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. 31Do to others as you would have them do to you. Matt. 5: 43“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. 46If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? 47And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? 48Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect. The bottom line of what we're instructed to do when people hurt us in these verses is: 1) Show love to them 2) Pray for them 3) Treat them as we would like to be treated 4) Give them what it is they ask of us, sometimes more 5) Respond to unkindness with kindness I know this can seem unfair and unjust; nevertheless, these are our instructions. When we think about the example of Jesus, this is precisely how He responded to His persecutors, and we are to follow His example. Many times in my life I've seen that when we take the biblical approach to dealing with people who try to hurt us, God works to turn the situation around in His way and in His time. Proverbs 15:1 says, A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. I've definitely seen this truth fleshed out in many situations. Somehow, when we respond with the attitude of Jesus and in obedience to His word, it takes people by surprise and defuses their anger toward us. They expect us to respond the way the world says we should, and when we don't, it makes room for them to respond to us in a better way, as well. This doesn't work with all people, but I know from experience that it works with some. When I've been hurt by others, I usually start by praying for them, for genuine blessing in their lives. This opens my heart to be able to see them differently and to bless them in other ways, as well. I suggest starting with prayers of blessing, then let The Lord lead you to bless them in other ways.
A Christian counselor explained it to me years ago. You wake up and profess forgivness for that person. You ask the lord for help in forgiving and ask him to take away your anger. By doing this and releasing your claim on the anger you begin to heal and forgive.
Matthew 6:14-15 was a statement by Jesus from the old covenant, the Law of Moses. Under the old covenant you had to forgive to be forgiven. This was before Jesus' death on the cross. When Jesus died, _everything changed! His death and resurrection ushered in a new covenant which Hebrews 8:1-13 fully explains. Under the New Covenant of Grace, we don't forgive to be forgiven, we forgive because we have _already been forgiven. Remember to understand the context when you are reading the Bible. It is extremely important to know who was speaking, when they were speaking, and to whom they were speaking for the correct interpretation of scripture. That is called exegesis which is included in hermeneutics, the science of correctly interpreting the Bible. God's grace is also the answer to truly forgiving someone. We forgive others because we have been forgiven at the cross when the grace of God forgave everyone of their sins. Forgiving others is more important to you than who you are forgiving because you suffer all the negative feelings of what the person has done to hurt you. Once you let those feelings go, you begin immediately to heal and can be a Christian Jesus wants to live His life through. Nobody will be interested in learning about salvation from an angry, bitter person who professes Christianity but doesn't live as one. Since God was merciful, loving and gracious beyond measure to us in forgiving us, we can do no less than to forgive those who hurt us and be someone a new believer would want to emulate.
I must say that forgiveness seems rather difficult when we try to do the forgiving by our strength. We begin to relive the hurt and tell ourselves how we cannot let it go and all that. But the truth is that we do not need to do it ourselves. The Bible says that "the Lord works in us both to will and to do of His good pleasure". And so when we surrender our hearts to God and ask for His help in forgiving people that hurt us, then forgiveness becomes easier. Also, when we don't forgive, it's like tying ourselves to a rock and trying to move forward. Our whole life will begin to be shaped and affected by that unforgiveness, it literally becomes a weight or noose around ones neck that can only get tighter. Our prayers become hindered and our peace threatened. And so even if we have no other reason to forgive, we need to forgive others for our own sake,peace of mind and to make heaven. The Bible also says that we should forgive others so that God Himself can forgive us. As Christians we must live a life of LOVE. Love forgives all things, Love keeps no record of wrongs. The Lord Jesus said to us that if we cannot love our brethren who we can see, then how do we Love Him who we cannot see? So we need to ask God for His love to be shed richly in our hearts so we can love others like ourselves and forgive without qualms. May the Lord help us all in jesus name, Amen
Forgiveness is a precious thing. Rarely do you find it; the harder and more severe an offense is. Miraculously, amazingly and lovingly that’s what God our Father has done to those who turn to him and receive His forgiveness, his unmerited grace through Christ. For the Christian, forgiveness should be easier to comprehend. It is one of many motifs that run throughout the scriptures and a crucial aspect of our awesome, loving, gracious God. It is also what we are commanded to do as believers in Christ. Not to mention forgiveness is the exact thing that Christ has done to us, “Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you” (Ephesians 4:32). So for any Christian, one of the key things that an act of forgiveness is fueled by is love. Forgiveness ought to be an act of love. Forgiveness isn’t something anyone ever deserves. It is something free, unconditional and unmerited. God forgives us because we accept His gracious loving offer, our God is willing to forgive anyone who comes to Him, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”(1 John 1:9). We must be like our Father, forgiving, patient, slow to anger, and arms opened wide. But unlike God, humans are flawed. One of the key obstacles to forgiveness that God doesn’t have a problem with but humanity does is pride. We must cast our pride away. Yes, that person was wrong but you need to be humble enough to realize you’re not perfect either, you make mistakes and if you were in that position you know that you would want to be forgiven. You must be willing to cast down your hurt and your pride and be willing to understand and have compassion for your trespasser. Have some sympathy. After all you’re in the same boat, as a flawed human being, you have not only offended your fellow man purposely before, but you have offended and trespassed against a mighty, holy and perfect God. You have no right to not forgive a fellow flawed human being, you’re not much different. Jesus says: “But if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.”(Matthew 6:15). How can you not forgive someone as a new creation in Christ after tasting the sweet grace of our Lord? As Christ forgives you out of love show the same love your God has shown to you to others. God’s grace transforms the human heart. All in all another thing to keep in mind is to ask the Lord to enable you to forgive those who have wronged you. You grow as a member in the body of Christ and transform more and more into the likeness of Christ our Lord. Our Father works forgiveness out in every believer. Forgiving others is part of the Christian walk. It’s no doubt hard but if you’re truly trusting in the Lord he will make you victorious to forgive. Even Jesus says this when He’s praying to our Father and teaching His disciples how they should pray: “And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.”(Matthew 6:12). Ask God to help you forgive, for the human being resentment holds us back. You can’t move on and you can’t grow. Your lack of forgiveness turns to a bitter hatred and valued relationships decay and become decrepit. Pray for the one who has wronged you in truth and love, “But I say to you who hear, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you,” (Luke 6:27). Ask the Lord to work His will in you and you will no doubt receive His strength to forgive. Scripture say: “Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.”(James 5:16). Forgiveness brings reconciliation, healing and ultimately peace.
We are to forgive others their trespasses because Jesus has forgiven us our trespasses. We can not forgive others. Only the spirit of God that lives in us can do it. All we can do is what the bible says and pray that God will bless them. He may heap coals of fire on their heads. There is also the case of a sinning brother. We are not even to eat with them or we will be out of the will of God. We are never to judge another person. God is our only judge. We can not know another person's heart for sure. We can only judge what they do or say, not the person. God will judge us according to how we judge others. When we judge others, we should judge ourselves. We think we are better than them, but we are no better.
We should try to be like Jesus and forgive them for they know not what they do. Let us be grateful that we are not the ones sinning.
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