There’s A Way To Completely Forgive
When I was learning about how to have true forgiveness, I mean truly embracing it and letting it change my ways and life, this verse at the tail-end of a parable from Matthew 18 really called me out:
“So My heavenly Father also will do to you if each of you, from his heart, does not forgive his brother his trespasses.”verse 35
The verse comes after Christ’s metaphor of a man who owed millions being forgiven of the debt by his master and yet, that same man, when confronted by a man who owed him $20, refused to forgive that pittance and actually threw the man in jail!
At the end of this parable (before verse 35), I felt pretty justified in shaking my head at that hypocritical man… yeah. But then I took a close look at the gavel-dropping verse 35 – especially the words, from his heart – and I was strongly convicted.
I think I was because it’s one thing to say, “Yeah, whatever… I forgive so-and-so for what they said or did to me,” and go your way (until the subject is broached five years later, whereupon you rain down hell-fire on them as if it had happened that afternoon). It’s another thing to truly embrace heartfelt forgiveness and let that thing go, forever, as if it had never happened. THAT is challenging… and I simmered in the heat of God’s requirement for quite a while.
But then, Holy Spirit got to me (thank God). He said, ‘how have you let go of anything else I’ve asked?’ And I answered, “I just chose to.” Almost as if I could see Him grinning and nodding, He replied, ‘Exactly.’
And that’s all, folks; really, that’s all we have to do regarding forgiving anyone from the heart. Choose to. Make up your mind that you are going to side with God’s will and not your own, and then just take that offense, sin, infraction, whatever, and let it go; it’s the Greek word aphiemi (pronounced, afee-aimee), and it means exactly that. Release that thing like a helium balloon to the sky, or a paper boat in the ocean – never to be seen or heard from again.
The bottom line is it’s a command of God: Forgive. From. The. Heart.
Suck the dread out of that challenge, ladies and gentlemen. Make up your mind it’s what you’re going to do no matter what has been done to you or who did it. I’ve been healed of many things, not the least of which was childhood molestation… I know what I’m advising you to do, and I know the power of Jesus Christ to heal the obedient soul.
As soon as you let Him clean out your heart and you speak a blessing over your offenders, Holy Spirit will make you stronger and more able to forgive. Your soul will have escaped damnation like a bird from the snare of a fowler. Hallelujah! Then you can (as I do) laugh in the face of the devil and say along with this great Psalm:
“Our soul has escaped as a bird from the snare of the fowlers; the snare is broken, and we have escaped.”Psalm 124:7