Everything You Need to Know About Forgiveness

Forgiving others is a key virtue of your character and the secret to a happy and successful life. However it is very difficult to do. There are many hindrances and excuses not to do it. But there are ways to help you so that you can live in freedom and joy.
Why should I forgive?
  • - God commanded it.
    • - Mat_6:14 For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you,
      • Mat_6:12 and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.
    • - Mat_6:15 but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
      • Mat_18:35 So also my heavenly Father will do to every one of you, if you do not forgive your brother from your heart."
    • Luk_6:37 "Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven;
    • Eph_4:32 Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.
  • - Good for us
    • - Remove our bitterness and hatred
    • - Free us from bondage
    • - Bring us healings
      • Mat_9:2 And behold, some people brought to him a paralytic, lying on a bed. And when Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, "Take heart, my son; your sins are forgiven."
      • Jas_5:15 And the prayer of faith will save the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven.
    • - Obtain forgiveness for ourselves
      • Mat_9:6 But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins"—he then said to the paralytic—"Rise, pick up your bed and go home."
    • You are truly His disciples because Christ also forgive those who crucified Him.
What is Forgiveness?
  • Forgiving the people(including yourself) who hurt us bring closure to the bad experience of the past.
  • - It is an act of your will and not of feelings
    • released and peace will come when you truly forgive.
  • - Forgiveness is a process.
    • It takes time for the Holy Spirit to heal the inner heart. Luk_7:47 Therefore I tell you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven—for she loved much. But he who is forgiven little loves little."
Who should I forgive?
  • Others
    • Luk_17:3 Pay attention to yourselves! If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him,
    • 2Co_2:7 so you should rather turn to forgive and comfort him, or he may be overwhelmed by excessive sorrow.

  • Yourself
    • for the mistakes that you made
      • - the cause of your present suffering
      • - if only I did not do that.
      • - the loss of money
      • - the wrongs committed against yourself eg chemicals addictions
    • - 1Jn_1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1Jn_2:12 I am writing to you, little children because your sins are forgiven for his name's sake.
  • God
When should I forgive?
  • immediately
    • Mar_11:25 And whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father also who is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses."
    • as soon as possible
  • of past events and people
Where to forgive?
  • You can forgive right where you are. It is not necessary to go back to the crime scene.
How to forgive?
  • 1. Know that God has forgiven us
    • Mat_26:28 for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.
    • Mar_3:28 "Truly, I say to you, all sins will be forgiven the children of man, and whatever blasphemies they utter,
    • Col_3:13 ... forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.
  • 2. Look to the past
    • - be specific
      • to the person and
      • to the wrongful acts
      • at a particular time and place
    • Mat_26:28 for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.
  • 3. Do it now
    • get help from others and the Holy Spirit if you have difficulty
  • 4. Look to the future
    • know that God is the judge and will judge them. God will vindicate you of your hurts and injustices did to you.
  • 5. Examples of Jesus & Stephen
    • Luk_23:34 And Jesus said, "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do." And they cast lots to divide his garments.

  • - Seven Hindrances learned from Ps John Liu's sermon:
    • a. Not knowing that forgiveness is commanded by the Bible
    • b. Misunderstand that must have the feeling first in order to forgive.(Fact - Forgive first then feeling will come eventually - It is a Process)
    • c. Too deep a hurt so could not forgive.
    • d. Misunderstand that forgiveness is about ignoring the actual injury.
      • (It is facing the injury and bringing closure to the hurt through forgiving and healing by God)
    • e. Misunderstand that you have already forgiven when actually you have not.
    • f. Misunderstand that the one who forgives is weaker and not to forgive is to have the right to win against others.
    • g. Under the hindrances of the demonic spirits of unforgiveness and control.
How can you know you have truly forgiven him/her?
  • - when you don't feel the pains to recall the events and the perpetrator
  • - when you can calmly greet the perpetrator
  • - when you don't make any demand on him/her to repay back.
    • It is like he owes you and yet you did not demand that he pays you back.
  • - better still, you can pray for blessings upon him/her.
How Many/How much?
  • Seventy times seven
    • Luk_17:4 and if he sins against you seven times in the day, and turns to you seven times, saying, 'I repent,' you must forgive him."
Forgiveness and Forget
  • Forgiveness is not about forgetting the betrayals and hurts. It is about not being held in bondage to the bitterness and hatred and the desire to take revenge.
Forgiveness and Trust
  • Forgiveness is not about trusting again. In fact, forgiveness is about resetting the trust offered earlier to nothing and the forgiven person needs to earn the trust again. 
Lao Zi also tells us about forgiveness. 
See if you can learn some more from:
By Lim Liat (c) 4-11-16