Find Forgiveness through Christ

Forgiving someone who has hurt you deeply will probably be one of the hardest things you will ever do. The freedom you will experience when you do finally forgive will be worth all the pain and effort it requires! Ultimately, offering true forgiveness cannot be accomplished without outside help... and that help has to come from God, who is the prime example of Forgiveness!


  1. Acknowledge that you are as imperfect a person as the one who has hurt you. You too are in need of being forgiven by people you might have hurt in some way. You too need forgiveness from a perfect God.
  2. Try to understand the other person; ask yourself what kind of suffering has occurred in his/her life; what kind of struggles has this person gone through that has made him or her hurt you so badly. Perhaps this person was abused at some point in his or her life.
  3. Recognize that as long as you stay angry at this person, he or she will have power over you. This person might long have forgotten the injury inflicted on you, while you are allowing anger to seep the life out of you.
  4. Ask God to help you in this process. Think of the forgiveness He offers you through His son, Jesus... a totally free gift, which neither you nor I deserve! He asks us to pass this forgiveness on to our fellow human beings; not an easy task, yet He asks it of us and He knows that if we do that, we will find incredible peace and freedom! Cast your care onto the Lord.
  5. Forego any desire for revenge. It is God's domain. Only He knows what this person actually deserves. Inflicting revenge will only make you feel better for a fleeting moment. Ultimately, it will make you feel much worse. Remember that people usually reap what they sow.
  6. In forgiving, you are not agreeing with what happened. You are not saying that what was done is OK. You are not saying you are in agreement. You can still condemn the sin, but you are placing the sinner in God's hands. You are affirming that only God is equipped to rightly judge his or her soul.
  7. Understand that forgiveness and reconciliation are separate concepts. The Lord requires us to forgive, so that our hearts can be clean before Him. But we can only trust again and reconcile as it might be appropriate ("As much as it depends on you, be at peace with all men" - Rm 12.18). For true reconciliation, both parties have to take responsibility and do their part. Otherwise we would be in an unhealthy "unequal yoking". Sometimes it's best to forgive, but to move on and let your peace return to you. Getting back together with the other person may not be a good option.
  8. The Bible does not allow personal payback: "Vengeance is Mine, says the Lord; I will repay", but promoting justice is a separate issue from personal forgiveness. If the offensive behavior is criminal it may be appropriate to notify the authorities. This becomes especially important when the behavior is ongoing and others are at risk. Each situation has to be considered on it merits, including your safety. Remember that forgiving sometimes just doesn't stop behavior. God may take you through a difficult time, not necessarily end it because you have forgiven.
  9. Know that Jesus promises rewards to those who overcome feelings like wanting to be unforgiving: "But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you... For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have?" God sacrificed his only son so that you could enjoy your life.


  • Realize that you might have to forgive your perpetrator more than once! Sometimes you need to make a conscious decision to forgive on a daily basis. Realize too, that you forgive with your will and not with your emotions. You will not necessarily be relieved of the pain you are experiencing, but you will have a great deal of peace and even self-respect when you are able to let go and release the perpetrator.
  • Fun little tip: when someone is mean to you, see it as the devil acting-out, for that moment, gets a hold of them and uses them as a tool to get to you. So the person isn't bad, its just the many-headed devil.
  • An excellent book on forgiveness is The Chair by James L. Rubart. It's a fast-paced suspense novel, but the story delves into what it means to heal and forgive.


  • Don't give up.
  • If you are still feeling hate towards the perpetrator and indulging in fantasies of revenge, the process of forgiveness might not be as far along as you thought. The freedom you find when you are able to forgive will be worth it!

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