Forgiving others is no easy task, but it's something the Lord asks us to do out of obedience to Him. Learning to forgive people takes a lot of time and prayer. God tells us that forgiving one another is of utmost importance for us if we are going to walk with Christ.
We have put together some Bible verses to encourage you to forgive those who have deeply hurt you over the years. As you read these, be reminded that your Savior forgave you of your sins, out of pure love, when you didn't deserve it.
He Forgave Us
All through the Bible the Lord reminds us of His unconditional love. He encourages us to live life the way Jesus did, loving everyone no matter what. God reminds us that we have an obligation to forgive people in order to receive His full forgiveness for ourselves.
1. "Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you." Colossians 3:13
2. "For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins." Matthew 6:14-15
Let Go Of Bitterness
Harboring bitterness is never healthy for anyone. It causes unnecessary stress on us physically and mentally. God never intended for us to live our lives resenting others. Instead, he encourages us to forgive those who have wronged us. No matter how many times people hurt you, God says to keep on forgiving them. Doing this will strengthen your relationship with the Lord and bring you a sense of unending peace.
3. "So watch yourselves. "If your brother or sister sins against you, rebuke them; and if they repent, forgive them. Even if they sin against you seven times in a day and seven times come back to you saying ‘I repent,' you must forgive them."" Luke 17:3-4
4. "Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you." Ephesians 4:31-32
Start With Yourself
The Lord also calls us to forgive ourselves. This is much easier said than done. Often times, we are our own worst critic. We judge our past mistakes harder than any human ever would. Forgiveness doesn't just apply to everyone else, it applies to ourselves too. If we're honest, many of us feel that we don't deserve to forgive ourselves. Our past is just too messy and broken for that. But, that's exactly where God's grace comes in.
5. "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness." 1 John 1:9
6. "I, even I, am he who blots out your transgressions, for my own sake, and remembers your sins no more. Review the past for me, let us argue the matter together; state the case for your innocence." Isaiah 43:25-26
Repent To God
Trying to forgive someone who has hurt you very deeply can be really difficult. Even if you know you need to forgive them, it still can be hard. If you're feeling like you want to release the strong hold unforgiveness has on your life, but you don't know where to begin, start with going to God. Repent to Him and ask Him to heal your heart and release the bitterness from it . And just watch what happens.
7. "Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord," Acts 3:19
8. "Come now, let us settle the matter," says the LORD. "Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool."" Isaiah 1:18
Remember His Gift
The Lord gave us the most amazing gift when he sent Jesus Christ to die for our sins. Jesus paid off our unpayable debts. In the same way, we ought to forgive people of their sins toward us. By doing that, we are honoring God as well as showing people what God's unending grace truly looks like.
9. "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!" 2 Corinthians 5:17
10. "In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God's grace" Ephesians 1:7
Forgive People & Forget
When God forgives our mistakes he forgets them as well. He gives us a clean slate. Our mistakes no longer define us and we are made new. When we forgive others, the same thing happens. In our eyes, they are seen as loved and adored no matter what they've done.
11. "Then he adds: "Their sins and lawless acts I will remember no more."" Hebrews 10:17
12. "The Lord our God is merciful and forgiving, even though we have rebelled against him;" Daniel 9:9
Shut Down Any Unforgiveness
Unforgiveness was never supposed to be apart of our lives. God didn't design us to be bitter, angry, and hold grudges towards each other. He designed us in His image, an image of love, grace, and forgiveness. But, Satan tries get in the middle of everything by stirring up feelings of unforgiveness and resentment within us. When you recognize this happening in your own life, stop and say a quick prayer to God asking him to intercede on your behalf.
13. "For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins." Colossians 1:13-14
14 ."as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us." Psalm 103:12
Read His Word
All throughout the Bible there are many different instances where God forgave people who didn't deserve it. Showing love to people who don't expect it is one what God does best. Time after time, Jesus forgave people who everyone thought were unforgivable. Reading through these stories reminds us that God has been forgiving hard-to-forgive people for thousands of years and that we need to follow his example in our daily lives.
15. "In accordance with your great love, forgive the sin of these people, just as you have pardoned them from the time they left Egypt until now." The LORD replied, "I have forgiven them, as you asked. Nevertheless, as surely as I live and as surely as the glory of the LORD fills the whole earth," Numbers 14:19-21
16. "Who is a God like you, who pardons sin and forgives the transgression of the remnant of his inheritance? You do not stay angry forever but delight to show mercy. You will again have compassion on us; you will tread our sins underfoot and hurl all our iniquities into the depths of the sea." Micah 7:18-19
Love Others Like Jesus Did
Doesn't it seem odd to accept God's love and forgiveness if we don't extend that same love towards others? The Lord reminds us of this truth multiple times throughout scripture. He strongly encourages us to forgive people because that is exactly what he did for us. It's impossible to be a follower of Christ but not be willing to forgive people. Forgiveness is part of the foundation of God's character. If we want to be more like Jesus, we must learn to forgive.
17. "This, then, is how you should pray: " ‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.' For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins." Matthew 6:9-15
Pray About It
Forgiving people all starts with prayer. Maybe someone has been on your mind lately that you know you need to forgive. Whoever that person is, lift them up in prayer to God. Ask God to help you see them the way He does. Pray for peace over that person and ask God to use you to bring them closer to Him.
18. "And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive them, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins."" Mark 11:25
19. "This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins." Matthew 26:28
God delights in us so much when we forgive. He knows that forgiving others is difficult. But, He also knows that it's completely worth the reward of releasing bitterness and feeling peace again. We all need to be reminded to forgive ourselves and others from time to time. Because forgiving is an act of worship. It shows God that we love Him and that we are willing to do the hard things if it means He is glorified through our example.
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