It is very easy to advise a friend to forgive. However, we know too well that it is not that simple in real life, especially if the hurt is very deep. How can one truly forgive?
PUBLISHED ONJul 2018
It may help to understand that God asks us to forgive because in His wisdom and love for us, He knows it is best for us. Unprocessed anger blocks the flow of His graces into our lives. Who are we to withhold forgiveness when we ourselves seek pardon from Him for our own iniquities? We pray in the Our Father, “Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.”
Holding on to our anger will poison us spiritually, psychologically, physically and even materially. A lady I accompanied realized that the root of her skin disease which her dermatologist could not heal, was her deeply buried hatred towards herself. When she allowed the Lord in prayer to embrace her and show her that He loves her unconditionally, she also began to accept herself as she is, with her past and present. In that prayer too, He led her to love and forgive herself. The wounds, the itchiness and redness on her skin eventually disappeared.
I personally know another lady who forgave the person who molested her, and she experienced the joy and freedom that no achievement could equal. Her inner beauty began to show and it translated to external attractiveness. Her salary even quadrupled!
How did these two people get to the point of forgiving? First, it is very important to humbly acknowledge one’s anger. Instead of denying or feeding it further, one needs to bring it to the Lord. It is definitely a process and each one goes through a unique pace. However, even if the feeling to forgive is not yet present, knowing that forgiveness is good for oneself and is according to God’s will, one can ask Him for the desire to forgive. Secondly, even when this desire is already present, one continues to need the love, grace and power of God to make it a daily conviction.
A very helpful and specific prayer is, “By the love of the Father, in the Name of Jesus, by the power of the Holy Spirit, I forgive you (say the name of the person) for (his wrongdoing towards you).”
The same prayer is uttered in asking for pardon from another person, but we say “please forgive me.” It is recommended that just as we drink our maintenance medicine for physical ailments on a regular basis, we say this prayer three times daily in honor of the Holy Trinity as a cure for our anger, as long as necessary. One has fully forgiven when, despite remembering what another has done to him, he no longer feels bitterness towards that individual.
Is it possible to forgive even the deepest hurts? Yes, it is. In my mission of inner healing, I have personally witnessed this. I have seen how forgiveness truly sets a person free!