Five-Steps to Forgiveness
- Admit the pain
- Any offense creates pain. In an effort to ignore it we deny the pain. It’s our pride that stops us from dealing with it. We take an attitude of ignoring it because we don’t want to admit it hurt. This allows resentment to build and fester creating bitterness, which is a spiritual disease. This causes us to gradually isolate and alienate ourselves from God and the church body. This behavior keeps us from healing.
- Instead, understanding the offense is the beginning of healing.
- Work through the confusion
- When an offense happens, we, need to clearly and carefully figure out responsibilities in the situation. We need to establish solid ground within ourselves — to lay boundaries and safeguard them when limits are invaded.
- Look for facts
- Once we understand who’s responsible for what we can move to the next step to figure why the offender offended us. This keeps us from being persistent on a single purpose to get revenge. It may behoove us, if possible, to question others to gain information on the matter, or, as the saying goes, walk a mile in the offender’s shoes.
- No excuses. Information alone is important.
- When the truth appears it’s easier to move forward into restoration.
- Grant facts to be wisdom
- Often when facts become clear our self-talk overrides reality and throws us into a pity party, bitterness, and anger.
- It takes a brave effort to move past the pain, to understand, and say “I forgive you.” Do not relive the events over and over. It’s done.
Think about the torture Jesus was put through. He could’ve easily gone violent ninja and took the lot of them out. What did He do though? In Luke 23:34a – Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they don’t know what they are doing.” He forgave them.
- Forgiveness is a gift of God’s grace. The wonder of it is that God gives us wisdom into our own heart and involves us with Him in the freeing the offender.
- Choose to renounce the whole situation
- Here’s story to relay renouncing hurts/offenses:
|The Trouble Tree – Author Unknown
The carpenter I hired to help me restore an old farmhouse had just finished a rough first day on the job. A flat tire made him lose an hour of work, his electric saw quit, and now his ancient pickup truck refused to start. While I drove him home, he sat in stony silence.
On arriving, he invited me in to meet his family. As we walked toward the front door, he paused briefly at a small tree, touching the tips of the branches with both hands. When opening the door he underwent an amazing transformation. His tanned face was wreathed in smiles and he hugged his two small children and gave his wife a kiss.
Afterward he walked me to the car. We passed the tree and my curiosity got the better of me. I asked him about what I had seen him do earlier.
“Oh, that’s my trouble tree,” he replied.” I know I can’t help having troubles on the job, but one thing’s for sure, troubles don’t belong in the house with my wife and the children. So I just hang them on the tree every night when I come home. Then in the morning I pick them up again.”
He paused. “Funny thing is,” he smiled, “when I come out in the morning to pick ’em up, there ain’t nearly as many as I remember hanging up the night before.”
I know this is a simple story. However, when we give up reliving events over and over they diminish their impact. They don’t seem quite as offensive as we first allowed them to be. It’s all about our attitude.
When we are offended, stop, think about how Jesus handled offenses. Allow the Holy Spirit to wash over you and fill you will God’s grace.