How Do You Forgive?

From the archives of Oral Roberts

I personally believe that forgiving others is one of the hardest things we have to do as Christians. In the Lord’s Prayer Jesus taught His disciples to pray, “Forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors (Matthew 6:12 NKJV).”

Have you ever noticed the Scripture passage that follows the Lord’s Prayer? It says, “If you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses (vv. 14-15 NKJV).”

But how do you forgive someone who has hurt you?

It’s not easy to admit that a wrong exists between you and another person, but asking forgiveness is the first step in healing the wound. Get in touch with the person and make every effort to make things right. Even if you feel it’s the other person who owes you an apology, make the first move. Sometimes when you take the lead, the door opens for the other person to say, “I’m sorry too.” Even if he or she doesn’t respond, you can be free because you’ve done what God’s Word says to do.

Sometimes the person linked to the offense is dead, or you don’t know how to get in touch with the person who has offended you. Then prayer is the only way. Imagine yourself standing before Jesus, then ask Him to forgive both of you.

When you forgive others, you aren’t just being nice and generous. You’re unlocking the handcuffs that link you to your offender. You free the other person and yourself at the same time! Forgiving others opens you up so God can heal and restore you in every part of your being.