Written by: Author Keywana Wright-Jones
Then Peter came to Jesus and said “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and “I forgive him? Up to seven times? Jesus answered, I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times. Matthew 18:22
When you harvest unforgiveness, it causes bitterness in your life. Bitterness is an ill feeling that steals one’s happiness and trust. Unforgiveness causes you to feel bitter toward people who have mistreated you. Often forgiveness must start within. Perhaps you need to forgive yourself first. Have you done something to someone or yourself that is holding you back to the destiny that lies ahead? Is unforgiveness holding you in bondage?
You may be asking “How can I be free and healed?” Freedom comes from God alone. He is the only one who can change one’s heart. You must ask God to help you. Our help comes from the Lord. Psalm 121:1 2
- Acknowledge the hurt or offense.
When you acknowledge the pain, it begins the forgiving process. You must be willing to admit you were hurt. The offense causes you pain. Please do not choose to go live or post on social media to address the issues. By posting a negative comment about someone. Instead, talk to the individual that offended you. Matthew 18:15 says if your brother sins against you, go and confront him privately. The bible encourages us to go to that person that has hurt us and talk to them in private.
The second step is to forgive someone who has mistreated you or someone who may have abused you. The bible tells us that if we do not forgive others, our Heavenly Father will not forgive us. We can no longer focus on the hurt, but we must release hurt by offering forgiveness. If we are unable to forgive others, we hold ourselves in emotionally and mentally bondage. If the person you need to forgive is deceased, in prison, or you do not know where they are. I would recommend writing a letter offering forgiveness.
The question that comes up often is, do you have to maintain a relationship with them? I would say if you feel safe, then maintaining a relationship may be appropriate after you have forgiven them. Remember, forgiving others brings healing to you.
Let us pray,
Heavenly Father, I pray that you will help me to forgive others that have mistreated me. Lord help me not only forgive, but to forget what the offensive was. Help me to love those who despise me. Amen