Are you a parent struggling to forgive the drunk driver who ended your son’s life? A child living with an abusive parent? A spouse learning to deal with the hurt of a cheating partner? A mother learning to trust the words of a recovering son?
Whatever it is you are going through right now, one way to break from this chain of unhappiness is to find healing through forgiveness.
Find healing by seeking forgiveness from God
God never gets tired in healing and forgiving people who seeks healing and forgiveness. But in order to wholly experience the forgiveness of God, we must learn to forgive ourselves and others, too.
“For if you forgive men for their sins, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men for their sins, neither will your Father forgive your sins.” (Matthew 6:14–15)
Find healing by seeking to be forgiven by the person or people that has hurt you
Forgiveness requires humility. You have to admit that you may be in the fault, too and that you need God’s help and healing. You must abandon all pride to truly open up to God.
“Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed.” (James 5:16)
Healing through restitution
If we are humble before God, we will learn to be humble before others. Restitution is the act of making amends and correcting a wrong act. It has to be unconditional. People react differently, so we will encounter people who we have wronged not receptive of our “Sorry’s” or those that have wronged us who refuses to ask forgiveness. But let us ask forgiveness and forgive them anyway.
“Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift.” (Matthew 5:23-24)
Jesus life and death: the paragon of true forgiveness
Our forgiveness will be based on how we forgive others. Isn’t what this Jesus’ life all about? Forgiving everyone who had wronged and persecuted him?
“He was oppressed and He was afflicted, yet He opened not His mouth; He was led as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before its shearers is silent, so He opened not His mouth.” (Isaiah 53:7)
Even after he was beaten beyond recognition and was left to die on the cross, Jesus not only forgave those who had persecuted him, but also prayed for them.
“Then Jesus said, ‘Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.’” (Luke 23:34)
Forgiveness works wonderfully two ways. It’s not only for the person who committed the wrong, but also for the person who is doing the forgiving.
It is essential to free your heart of the resentment and pain so that God can fill it with His love.