A Process for Applying Mercy and Forgiveness
Talking about forgiving people is one thing. Fcing those sins on an individual basis – and fully connecting with the emotions, the damage, and the consequences – is entirely different. Most of us inappropriately deal with the way others have hurt us. We don’t understand the significance or the effects. Given that, we think it will just go away in time. Consequently, we never experience the blessing of authentic forgiveness.
Recall The Violations
The purpose of this process is to recall and work through the events that occurred in our lives. Primarily, this may include those that either you’ve helld continued resentment toward, or that remain toxic in your life. Don’t let the process bog you down. Just allow God to reveal things to your heart. God must be the one who directs the process. Cover your authentic forgiveness in prayer.
Be Honest About Your Feelings
The ability to connect emotionally is an important aspect of healing. Here are important aspects of recalling past violations. “Was what happened to me wrong. Were my rights as a human violated? Can I honestly identify with how the act made me feel? Have I been able to connect emotionally with what happened? And finally, have I ever cried, grieved, or expressed hurt as a result?
At this point, if your answer was “no” to items on this list, it is possible you may still be protecting the painful event through some form of denial, whether intentionally or not.
Only the power of the Holy Spirit can “breakthrough” your denial and begin to nurture in you a heart of mercy. Let God show you any brokenness or woundedness you’ve been unaware of. Remember, He knows that you’re not ready to deal with this issue yet, so don’t put pressure on yourself. Rest assured, it is certainly ok to move on for now and focus on something else. Just remember to continue to pray for God’s guidance and power, not allowing the spirit of denial to take root.
Honesty and Mercy
If you were able to answer yes to the questions above, then you can begin to write and speak truth statements about the act. These statements move your heart toward authentic forgiveness in your life. Audibly speak the words that have been revealed to your heart.. You are going to declare this to yourself, to God, and to the enemy.
Genuine Forgiveness Is A Gift of Grace
The final step in the process is a willingness to forgive the person who committed the act against us. Some important things to remember.
- Forgiveness is a choice of the will, not a feeling or emotion.
- Forgiveness opposes our human nature. Therefore, we’ll need God’s divine power and grace to give us the genuine mercy needed to forgive.
- Forgiveness begins with a small willingness, not necessarily a strong desire.
- Jesus felt and bore the weight of violatioins committed against us. Therefore, we don’t need to go through this alone He has already gone through it with us and for us.
- As we deal with forgiving others, we aren’t necessarily going to ever be in a relationship with them again. Forgiveness is not reconciliation. We can only be reconciled with those who have realized their part in the situation, are emotionally (and physically) safe to encounter, and are willing to make amends to us.
Christian Counseling for Forgiveness
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