Mark 11:24-26 “Therefore, I say unto you, whatever things you desire, when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you shall have them. And when you stand praying, forgive, if you have ought (anything) against any, that your Father also, who is in heaven, may forgive you your trespasses. But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father, who is in heaven, forgive your trespasses.” This is the root cause of Unanswered Prayers. Unforgiveness is not changed by time. The Person may have resentment in his/her heart for years. That Person still has to take the appropriate action to forgive. Unforgiveness is not changed by the fact that it has happened a long time ago. The Person that is closest to us is the one that is going to hurt us the most. To maintain a spirit of forgiveness is therefore essential to our walk with the Lord Jesus. One of the main problems with the Younger Generation is their relationship with their Parents. Parents have to carry the share of the blame, the “missing fathers” – Malachi 4:5-6 “Behold, I will send you Elijah, the prophet, before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord; And He shall turn the heart of the fathers to their children and the heart of the children to the fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.”
Remit or Retain
John 20:22-23 “And when He (Jesus) he had said this, He breathed on them, and saith unto them, receive you the Holy Spirit: Whosesoever sins you remit, they are remitted unto them; and whosesoever sins you retain, they are retained.” A tremendous responsibility on the Holy Spirit in-breathed Christian. The Person becomes “a Sin-Remitter” or “a Sin-Retainer.” The words of our Lord Jesus Christ were for all Christians rather than the earlier Disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ. The unforgiving Person is bounded by an invisible cord to the Person who he has not forgiven. The only way to break loose is Forgiveness.
When the Person is confronted with this requirement that we have to forgive others as we want God to forgive us, I often heard people say, “I can’t forgive.” But this arises from the misunderstanding of the nature of forgiveness. Forgiveness is not an emotion it is a decision. We cannot work up the emotion, but we can make the decision. This means that we can forgive if we know how. Six steps to forgiving others:
- Recognise our need to forgive by God. Be honest with ourselves. Do not try to be too religious or too pious. Do not pretend that they are no “bad feelings” in our hearts against that Person or Situation. Acknowledge that there are some people that we are really bitter against, we really hold resentment against. Do not covers it up. Be willing to name the Person(s) we need to forgive.
- Submit to God’s Word – Excepts the teaching of God’s Word on forgiveness (Matthew 6:14-15; Matthew 18:15-35; Mark 11:24-26; John 20:22-23). Forgiving others is not being spiritual but enlightens self-interest. The measure we forgive others is the measure God forgives us.
- Make the right decision, remember, do not wait for feeling, because our feelings are not fully under our control. But our wills are fully under our control. Forgiveness proceeds from the will not from the emotion. Willed to forgive that Person(s). Make the decision.
- Affirm to forgive verbally. Do not let it be an inner thought that passes through our mind. Affirm it with our words. “Lord Jesus I forgive…….” Affirming it with our spoken words give it tremendous power.
- Confirmation – Suppose that hurt and resentful feelings come back. We keep thinking about the Person(s) and the hurts. What are we going to do? Are we going to forgive again? My advice is that you do not reaffirm that forgiveness again. This will weaken our first forgiveness. What we need to do when we are tempted to give up the forgiveness, tempted to go back to resentment or bitterness, is this just say: “Lord Jesus, I have forgiven……” do not go back to it but just state it that it has been done. I have forgiven.
- Exercise Love – Replace the negative image you have created in your mind about that Person with the goodness in that Person, also speak into the spiritual world, the Person’s goodness. In other words, every time we begin to think of that Person that we have a hard time to forgive, do not dwell on the Person and the issue but thank God for that Person and the Situation. And begin to Pray for that Person and his family.
God, I acknowledged my need of Your Forgiveness. I believe that You are willing to forgive me for our Lord Jesus’ Sake. But I also acknowledge that I need to forgive Mr/Miss……….., so by the decision of my will, I now forgive Mr/Miss……… as I will have You to forgive me. Trusting in Your Grace and Mercy, I now affirm that I have forgiven Mr/Miss…….. as You have forgiven me. Thank you in Jesus’ Name. Amen.