How to Forgive and Be Forgiven

To forgive and to be forgiven

 

Please allow me to share part of my journey when God truly began to reveal to me the importance of forgiving myself, asking for forgiveness and forgiving others.

My Journey

Once I recognized the destruction in my life, I knew that I didn’t want to be a hurt person hurting people anymore. I wanted to be free! I cried out to God for help, and in the quietness of my spirit I heard . . . forgiveness. From that moment, I began to learn the power and freedom of forgiveness. When I realized that God promises to forgive us for our destructive thoughts, attitudes, words and behaviors, I asked for His forgiveness of all of mine. Though I knew that He would forgive me, I struggled with forgiving myself for all the ways I had brought destruction into my life and relationships. I was so burdened by all of the unintended consequences of my harmful choices that I was unable to let go of my shame.

During my times of stillness, God urged me over and over to forgive myself. He reminded me that He had already forgiven me, and that my holding on to the burden of my guilt would never set me free. I couldn’t just know that He would forgive me; I had to accept that His forgiveness had already washed me clean. Eventually, I was able to truly accept the gracious gift of God’s forgiveness—I finally released the burden of my guilt and forgave myself.

With this decision, I was walking toward greater freedom, but God had more to teach me about forgiveness. He showed me that accepting His forgiveness is not just about releasing my own guilt. Accepting His forgiveness requires seeking forgiveness from those we’ve hurt and choosing to forgive those who have hurt us. Choosing forgiveness is not always easy and does not always “feel” right, but it is a necessary choice for our freedom: “For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins” (Matthew 6:14-15). Gradually, I chose to forgive those who had hurt me, and with a wash of healing tears, I felt the heavy burden of unforgiveness lift. I felt whole; I felt free.

God also began to prompt me to seek forgiveness from various people I had hurt. These promptings were not all at once; in fact, some were even years after I began my journey out of my dark valley. But each time I responded in obedience to God’s leading, I experienced the gift of forgiveness from that person. I encourage you to examine your heart to see if there are any remnants of unforgiveness toward those who have hurt you, or if you need to seek forgiveness from someone else. If so, press into God, and He will give you the strength and courage you need to experience forgiveness in your relationships. It is a choice worth making—forgiveness leads to freedom.

Be Love, Give Love

Abby

About the Author

Abby

Abby Lewis has a degree in Health and Wellness and her massage therapy license. She is the author of Living Still and producer of A Breath~in Stillness. Her life’s work is to passionately encourage others to experience transformation of spirit, mind and body by learning to practice “living still.”