“Forgive, and you will be forgiven.” Lk 6:37 NIV
Here are three more steps to forgiveness:
(1) Accept people as they are and don’t try to change them. You say, “I’ll only forgive them if they change.” That just keeps you tied to them, obsessing over what they did and demanding they act in ways that you approve of. Nothing makes people less willing to change than when you try to control them and demand that they meet your requirements. Changing people isn’t your job—it’s God’s job! Your job is to choose to forgive and leave the outcome in God’s hands. The formula for healing is simple: forgive, let go, and let God.
(2) See your offender as God’s tool for your growth. It’s easier to forgive someone when you stop seeing them as Satan’s agent sent to destroy you, and begin seeing them as God’s instrument to develop you. The life of Joseph speaks to this principle. The path that led him from the pit to the palace was paved by injustice, disappointment, and betrayal. But God used each painful circumstance to get him to his destiny. And God can do that for you.
(3) Try reconciling with your offender. Reconciliation is God’s nature. “When we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son” (Ro 5:10). And what God did for you, He wants you to do for whoever you are at odds with. Jesus made reconciliation a top priority by saying, “Leave your gift there before the altar…First be reconciled…then come and offer your gift” (Mt 5:24 NKJV). Yes, it will take selflessness and humility on your part, but the return is worth the investment!
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