Many people ruin their health and their lives by taking the poison of bitterness, resentment and unforgiveness. Matthew 18:23-35 (AMPC) tells us that if we do not forgive people, we get turned over to the torturers. If you have a problem in this area or have ever had one, I’m sure you bear witness with what I’m saying. It’s torture to have hateful thoughts toward another person rolling around inside your head.

Helping Yourself and Others

Who are you helping most when you forgive the person who hurt you? Actually, you’re helping yourself more than the other person. I always saw forgiving people who hurt me as being really hard. It seemed so unfair for them to receive forgiveness when I had gotten hurt. I got pain, and they got freedom without having to pay for the pain they caused.

Now I realize that I’m helping myself when I choose to forgive. I’m happier and feel better physically when I’m not filled with the poison of unforgiveness.

I’m also helping the other person by releasing them so God can do what only He can do. If I’m in the way—trying to take revenge or take control of the situation myself—God has no obligation to deal with that person. However, if we trust God and choose to forgive, He will take care of the rest. See, the act of forgiving is our seed of obedience to His Word. Once we’ve sown our seed, He is faithful to bring a harvest of blessing to us one way or another.

Mark 11:22-26 clearly teaches us that unforgiveness hinders our faith from working. The Father can’t forgive our sins if we don’t forgive other people. We reap what we sow. Sow mercy, and you’ll reap mercy; sow judgment, and you’ll reap judgment. So do yourself a favor—and forgive.

Forgiveness and Fellowship with God

There are still more benefits of forgiveness. Your fellowship with God flows freely when you’re willing to forgive, but it gets blocked by unforgiveness. Forgiveness also keeps Satan from getting an advantage over us (see 2 Corinthians 2:10-11 AMPC). Ephesians 4:26-27 tells us not to let the sun go down on our anger or give the devil any such foothold or opportunity. Remember that the devil must have a foothold before he can get a stronghold. Do not help Satan torture you. Be quick to forgive.

How to Forgive

Would you like to become more successful at forgiving others? There are practical steps that must be taken. One time I asked the Lord why so many people want to forgive but aren’t successful doing it. And He said, “Because they aren’t obeying what I tell them to do in My Word.” As I searched the Word, I found the following instructions:

1. Decide – You will never forgive if you wait until you feel like it. Choose to obey God and steadfastly resist the devil in his attempts to poison you with bitter thoughts. Make a quality decision to forgive, and God will heal your wounded emotions in due time (see Matthew 6:12-14).

2. Depend – You cannot forgive without the power of the Holy Spirit. It’s too hard to do on your own. If you are truly willing, God will enable you, but you must humble yourself and cry out to Him for help. In John 20:22-23 Jesus breathed on the disciples and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit!” His next instruction was about forgiving people. Ask God to breathe the Holy Spirit on you so you can forgive those who’ve hurt you.

3. Obey – The Word tells us several things we’re to do concerning forgiving our enemies:

  • a. Pray for your enemies and those who abuse and misuse you. Pray for their happiness and welfare (see Luke 6:27-28). As you pray, God can give them revelation that will bring them out of  deception. They may not even be aware they hurt you, or maybe they’re aware but are so self-centered that they don’t care. Either way, they need revelation.
  • b. …Bless and do not curse them (Romans 12:14). In the Greek to bless means “to speak well of” and to curse means “to speak evil of.” You can’t walk in forgiveness and be a gossip. You must stop repeating the offense. You can’t get over it if you continue to talk about it. Proverbs 17:9 says that he who covers an offense seeks love.

Who Should You Forgive?

Forgive the person who badly hurt you long ago and also the stranger who stepped on your toe in the grocery store. Take those two extremes and forgive them in addition to everyone in between. Forgive quickly. The quicker you do it, the easier it is. Forgive freely. Matthew 10:8 (AMPC) says, …Freely you have received, freely give. To Forgive means “to excuse a fault, absolve from payment, pardon, send away, cancel, and bestow favor unconditionally.”

Forgive God if you are angry with Him because your life didn’t turn out the way you thought it should. God is always just. There may be things you don’t understand, but God loves you, and people make a serious mistake when they don’t receive help from the only One who can truly help them.

You may even need to forgive a situation or an object—the post office, bank, a certain store that may have cheated you, a car that always gave you trouble, etc. Get rid of all poison that comes from bitterness, resentment and unforgiveness. And remember Proverbs 4:23 (AMPC): Keep and guard your heart with all vigilance…for out of it flow the springs of life.

Unforgiveness is spiritual filthiness, so get washed in the water of God’s Word to forgive and stay clean.


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  1. Kevin Foster 4 years ago

    I believe one of the biggest problems we as Christians have is to forgive ourselves. Many times we may hurt someone close to us and then crucify ourselves with shutting down, turning away, (self-sabotage). We do not give ourselves a chance and allow the enemy in to the battlefield of the mind avoiding anyone close enough to get hurt. Fear, pain, guilt are three of the biggest tools of the enemy to keep us down. Fear of hurting someone else and fear of rejection from those we hurt. Pain, taking the pills of isolation are as bad as a drug overdose. Allowing the pain to fester inside our hearts and minds and not talking about the pain. Avoiding more pain prevents healing!
    Guilt is the area I struggle with the most. Because I’ve made many bad choices along the way and hurt may people I resort to charging myself guilty. God’s word says, Forgive lest you be forgiven. That is for us as well. Jesus died for freedom. Allowing us the opportunity to say I’m sorry, walk away forgiven a free person.

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  2. Exegesis 4 years ago

    The law pronounces us guilty, but we are not under law, but under Grace Romans 6:14
    The law was nailed to the cross and the Blood ? of Jesus declares us Righteous.
    The enemy will always remind you of the guilt of your sin, and he uses your own un-renewed mind to condemn you. You become your own judge and jury. On the other hand, as a believer, the Holy Spirit will always remind you of the finished work of Jesus which removes that guilt.
    Remember, guilt and Godly sorrow are very different, the one leads To death, the other to repentance which leads to Salvation. 2 Cor 7:10

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    • Fernando Ramirez 4 years ago

      I heard this before “we are not under the law” but what that means?

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      • Exegesis 4 years ago

        Many years ago I took a road trip out west to California. Upon approaching the sign that read “Welcome to California” I notice a pile of motorcycle helmets lying under the sign.
        You see, at that time, California had no helmet laws, but all the other states that the riders had traveled through did, so they were subject to those laws and the penalties associated with it. Now in California, the riders were free from the law and It’s penalties.
        The helmet law was good, it was meant to protect the rider’s from harm. Now that there was no law for them anymore, it doesn’t mean that they should start acting reckless, they need to ride safe, with or without the law in place.
        Imagine for a moment, as you cross over the border without the helmet, an officer from other state you just exited pulls you over and pretends to possess the authority to arrest you and force you to pay a fine. What would you think? Well, if you didn’t know the truth of the fact that he had no such authority, you might think you were guilty and pay the fine. And if you never learned the truth, this could happen to you over and over again.
        We are born into an inherent state of sin, and there is a law in place in which the penalty of the inherited sin is a separation from God’s enteral life and replaced with a union with death. But God provided a why out through Jesus Christ, When we become a believer in Christ, our spirits are transformed, and we become United with Christ and inherit His eternal life! We are transferred into His Kingdom where we are not subject to the old law. Scripture tells us [Rom 8:2] “THE LAW OF THE SPIRIT OF LIFE HAS SET YOU FREE FROM THE LAW OF SIN AND DEATH. You are now freed from the Law of sin and it’s penalty death, which is separation from God. This freedom was a gift from our Heavenly Father through His Son Jesus Christ!
        The reason I started off with the Helmet story is this; Similar to the lying officer, Satan wants to keep us in bondage by making us think we are still under the law of sin and death, and that we must keep paying fines when we sin. The fines take the form of trying to work your way out of your moral failures, this will keep you on a treadmill of performance, never fully realizing [ Ephesians 2:8] FOR BY GRACE YOU HAVE BEEN SAVED THROUGH FAITH; AND THAT NOT OF YOURSELVES, IT IS A GIFT FROM GOD.
        Of course there is so much more to discuss on this subject, including the law of Moses and how this relates to the Gospel and forgiveness. Unfortunately, It should come as no surprise that many teach a mixture of Law and Grace :(

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  3. Aglow 4 years ago

    To forgive means it may not be right what the person did. But God is the righteous judge. By forgiving i will not allow my self to be held captive any longer by what some one has said or done. God said who the son sets free is free indeed.

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  4. pryrwaryr 4 years ago

    During old testament times the Jews were considered GOd’s chosen ; and they had certain laws or rules and rituals to abide by that kept them in good favor with God. Jesus changed all that! In old times a blood sacrifice must be made for the cleansing of wrongdoings. Jesus became our ultimate sacrifice once and for all when he died on the cross, then overcame death in resurrection. We are no longer have the boundaries of the law, we are free — but with that freedom we must also acknowledge and respect the sacrifice of Jesus – not making a mockery of it. We cannot enjoy its freedoms if we reject his sacrifice

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    • TOKO44 1 year ago

      I agree. Although, Jesus paid the ultimate sacrifice, we should reverence that. I recently read Isa.30:8-22. I think its relatable. God is merciful but we have to really pay attention not to fall away .

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  5. AlwaysPraiseHim 4 years ago

    Hi everyone: I just joined GCR. I am learning my way around the site. Hopefully I can get back into where I am now lol. Anyhow I found this topic of forgiveness VERY interesting. I continued for years “wanting to forgive” almost in a desperate mode. It wasn’t until God dealt with me that I am unable to do this myself. (note myself) and that all along I was trying to do this myself. God revealed I CAN FORGIVE BY HIS GRACE. He has supplied His grace to all believers we only need to ask. So I began sharing my issues with Him (as if He didn’t know) regarding the specific people of whom I needed to forgive.

    A I began asking Him for His Grace allowing me to forgive. It was from my heart (sincere) that I wanted to forgive and the loving God that He is, blessed me with His merciful grace thus allowing the burdens of unforgiveness I carried to dissolve. I felt really lead to share this. Blessings to all.

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  6. oanneh 1 year ago

    When the Lord tells us to forgive it is something He wants us to do. He will not do it for us. He will teach us but it’s up to us to do it. I’m learned how to forgive the hard way. Lost a son. I had to forgive his offender. Everything inside me cried for vengeance. When the Lord told me vengeance is mine saith the Lord I wept bitter tears and wrath consumed me. I had to accept that but found it so hard to forgive. The Lord is faithful and patient with all His instructions and admonishes. He showed I stood with rocks in my fists ready to cast them at this man. I also had thousands piled up at my sides. He spoke – He that is without sin let him cast the first stone. I was stubborn and would let go of my stones. Slowly with stones held tightly in my fists the Lord told me to imagine him standing in front of me and saying to him – I love you and I forgive you. I just couldn’t bring myself to say that wile looking at him knowing all the horrendous things he had done to my son. But with fists clenched tight to my rocks and anger beyond rage I spoke those words. He told me every time I felt that way that I had to say those words. Why? Forgiveness is a process. We must forgive one offense 7×70 times and beyond if that’s how long it takes to free yourself from unforgiveness. Each time I said that the rocks began to disappear. It took me over 12 years to let go of that final rock. Today I can honestly say that I love him and forgive him. After all was said and done with no bitterness in my heart the Lord spoke to me and said – now you know how I forgive all my children. I separate what they do from who they are. That is how you love your enemies. You separate who they are from what they do. You love them like I do for who they are but hate what they’ve done. I love him for who he is but I will always hate what he did. God loves us but hates the sin. He loves him just as much as He loves me. My son’s perpetrators sins are no greater than mine. God does not put degrees on sins. We do. Sin is sin. And He will forgive all our sins as we forgive those that sin against us.

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    • apwall42 1 year ago

      I do wonder what/how this process of forgiveness does relate to our expectations in life.

      That is, God has chosen to allow us to be forgiven through Jesus, but upon our Repentance and Acceptance of Christ’s labor. And even as our own unforgiveness can keep us from connecting with God’s Spirit, is the unrepentant offender free to our company due to our position of forgiveness? God may have set up that we will be given more access to himself upon our repentance of grudge, but as many note, this seems to be a point at which he sometimes chooses to step some of himself out.

      I guess I mean to say, I think it’s true that we are to forgive, but we are also to be wise with who we surround ourselves with. And what follows is my thoughts, and I may be short or off the mark, so take with a grain of salt:

      We are not to hold equal footing with unrepentant sinners. We should not treat the one who is enjoying sin, the same as a sister in Christ, nor as someone who has asked us forgiveness. If a sinner has not apologized or repented, we are not necessarily called to create attempt to get closer to that person.

      I believe such a thing might be individually given, as God might design in His Providence. Yet I think it concerning if we are found teaching each other that our forgiveness has concluded the episode. For instance, that having forgiven, we must not further recognize that the sin is still going to be an effect and affect on the sinner. Or that the sinner must be given more access to deepen their sins without reply.

      I guess, after saying all that, it concerns me that some calls for “Restorative Justice,” would encourage this type of relationship as a matter of Practice or Dogma, instead of as a Holy Spirit led relationship with God, that might also include this sinner in our life.

      God be praised for our struggles, and that we can even know a Love that we are told approximates towards His.

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