“You were taught… to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness” (Ephesians 4:22-24, NIV).
Forgiveness is not something we do only once. It is something we learn to do as we walk with Christ.
First, we must take the time to forgive. How much time depends on the severity of our hurt and the closeness of the relationship. We may need to grieve for “what might have been.”
Second, we must decide to forgive and let go. We may have to tell ourselves often, I have decided to forgive them. I will let my anger or bitterness go. Forgiveness means we actually stop blaming the person who hurt us. Forgiveness must not depend on what they do or don’t do.
Finally, we enter a state of forgiveness. We can tell we really have forgiven someone when we honestly wish them well.
When we forgive, we allow God to make us into the person He wants us to become. When we forgive, we act like our Heavenly Father.
I can be easily offended and find it hard sometimes to forgive. But this I know: I don’t want to ruin my future happiness by harboring unforgiveness in my own heart. Do you? Join me and let’s begin the process of forgiveness together!
Kimberly Snider works at Asia Pacific Media Ministries where she coordinates publications and advertising as well as produces many of the instructional materials that accompany video teaching series. Kimberly ministers at women’s retreats and media training workshops. Kim is a former schoolteacher. She has a BA from the University of Illinois and a MA from Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville.
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