- Be honest with your feelings directly before God. Often, before we can move forward, we need to openly admit our true feelings to ourselves and to God.
- Realize that you have been forgiven…completely. Remembering what we’ve been forgiven from by God helps us to forgive others more easily. After all, God has forgiven us of a debt we could never repay, so how can we not forgive others?
- Release the other person from the debt you feel they owe you. This means no longer holding that person responsible to meet your needs.
- Accept people as they are. This means changing your expectations of others. Don’t expect them to be something they’re not or do something they’re not willing or capable of doing.
- Look for perspective. God allowed this situation for a reason. What do you think He wants to show you through this?
- Make reconciliation with that person. Start by apologizing for any role you played in the breakdown of the relationship. Sometimes reconciliation is not possible, but to the extent that it is possible, be reconciled to everyone.
Remember, forgiveness benefits you. If you choose not to forgive you’re really just hurting yourself. Unforgiveness allows the bitterness and resentment that Elizabeth talked about yesterday to grow and fester in our hearts. It’s not an easy thing, particularly when someone hurts us again and again. At the same time, it’s important to God. However, forgiveness is not always a one-time event; many times it’s a process.
In Matthew 18:22, Jesus tells Peter he should forgive someone who sins against him not seven times but seventy-seven times. He wasn’t saying to literally forgive someone only 77 times. He was saying to keep on forgiving no matter how many times it takes. Thankfully, God doesn’t ask us to do anything that is not possible. Instead He says, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:9).
Some tips courtesy of intouch.org.