Updated: Nov 15, 2021
Do you know how to forgive? Is there someone in your life, a family member, or a friend that you know you should forgive? Has it gone on for many years?
Now is the time. Pick up the phone, arrange a meeting, write a letter. Even if they do not respond or respond inappropriately you must forgive them.
Jesus instructs us about forgiveness this way in Matthew 6:12: “Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors”. Then in verses 14–15: “For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.”
We all have been treated unfairly and sinned against. We all have sinned against others. Many people have been physically and mentally abused in horrific acts of evil and sin.
How do we forgive?
Can we forgive a person who does not think he is done wrong and we think he has? Many of us encounter this in life.
The answer is we can, and we must forgive. We must do our part in the forgiveness even if the other person is clueless of wicked or does not care.
This is what Jesus meant when he said, “Love your enemies . . . bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you” (Luke 6:27–28). They are still our enemies when we do that, and they have not asked for any forgiveness or they do not think they need any.
We are to bless them, and that blessing means that our part of the inward forgiveness has happened. Christ through The Candle of the Lord, through our Human Spirit sees and understands what is taking place in our inner most selves. This is part of the process of sanctification, becoming more Christ-like we all go through in life.
The opposite of forgiveness is holding a grudge, but blessing is the opposite of holding a grudge, and so blessing is a type of forgiving.
In Matthew 18 Peter had just asked the Lord, “Lord, how often will my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?” (Matthew 18:21). Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you seven times, but seventy-seven times,” or seventy times seven, as some translations have it (Matthew 18:22). We are commanded therefore to forgive lots and lots and lots of times.
So be intentional in your forgiveness.