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Forgiving Your Past

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By Neil Anderson
 
Ephesians 4:32 
Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you
The second step in resolving past conflicts is to forgive those who have offended you. After encouraging Cindy, a rape victim, to deal with the emotional trauma of her rape, I said, “Cindy, you also need to forgive the man who raped you.” Cindy’s response was typical of many believers who have suffered physical, sexual or emotional pain at the hands of others: “Why should I forgive him? You don’t know how badly he hurt me!”
“He’s still hurting you, Cindy,” I responded. “Forgiveness is how you stop the pain. You don’t forgive him for his sake; you do it for your sake.”
Why should you forgive those who have hurt you in the past?
First, forgiveness is required by God. As soon as Jesus spoke the amen to His model prayer–which included a petition for God’s forgiveness–He commented: “If you forgive men for their transgressions, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions” (Matthew 6:14, 15). We must base our relationships with others on the same criteria on which God bases His relationship with us: love, acceptance and forgiveness (Matthew 18:21-35).
Second, forgiveness is necessary to avoid entrapment by Satan. I have discovered from my counseling that unforgiveness is the number one avenue Satan uses to gain entrance to believers’ lives. Paul encouraged mutual forgiveness “in order that no advantage be taken of us by Satan; for we are not ignorant of his schemes” (2 Corinthians 2:11). Unforgiveness is an open invitation to Satan’s bondage in our lives.
Third, we are to forgive like Christ forgave in order to keep our hearts from bitterness. Paul wrote: “Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. And be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you” (Ephesians 4:31, 32).
Your act of forgiveness will set the captive free, then you will realize that the captive was you!

Author: πίστις

A prodigal for many years, I eventually found my way back to Jesus through several difficult trials. I write with the hope that I can bless others who have struggled as I have. I seek through Christ to present the truth, and lead others to the cross of Calvary. Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. There is no other. In 2014 Greg Holt founded The Olive Branch Report, a premier Christian news service. Please visit Greg Holt on the web: Inspirational Christian Blogs, & The Olive Branch Report

3 thoughts on “Forgiving Your Past

  1. I agree forgiveness benefits the forgiver more than the forgiven. I have problems with many things, but forgiveness is not one of them.

    Maybe that is because I am selfish (knowing it will benefit me) but most likely it is a hangover from my past. Although I suffered much abuse, I *knew* it was because I deserved it because I was so evil – so I just accepted it, held no feelings of animosity (only fear) and never felt the need to forgive. Later, when the Lord stepped into my life, I only felt great pity for my abusers.

    I wasn’t conscious of doing so, but I suppose I forgave them. I know I came to the point where I could praise God for all that happened, because He used those things to make me what I am and to give me a special ministry to others in like situations.

    When I have been forgiven so much, how could I not forgive others?

  2. Pingback: Are people just pawns in God’s chess game? « My View and Opinion

Luke 21:36 "Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man."

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