How often do we say the words, “I forgive you,” the question is do we really mean it or feel it in our hearts when we say it? Personally, I have said theses words, “I forgive you,” and to be completely honest they were just words at the time. God says we have to forgive, well, I did say the words but that is not what He meant, is it? I just figured sooner or later if I said the words enough I would eventually feel it and begin to believe it in my heart or so I thought. I’m here to tell you it does not work that way; you need to have a change of heart.
God states in His word that we must forgive.
Luke 17:3-4 (NLT) 3 So watch yourselves! “If another believer sins, rebuke that person; then if there is repentance, forgive. 4 Even if that person wrongs you seven times a day and each time turns again and asks for forgiveness, you must forgive.”
Forgiveness is not about the person you are forgiving it is really about you and your heart. You must believe in your heart that you have forgiven them or how can God begin to heal those wounds especially if there is un-forgiveness still present in your heart. Sometimes you believe you have truly forgiven that person until something or someone triggers a memory that opens up that old wound. It is in that very moment you realize, “Wow, I guess, I really haven’t forgiven them after all? So what do I do now?”
You must choose if you really want to forgive them or not because the next step in the process of forgiveness is a crucial one. You need to be willing to prepare your heart to make a conscientious decision to ask God for help. You can’t do this on your own and I am speaking from experience. I needed others to pray that I would have a change of heart. In my flesh it was impossible for me to forgive this person for what had been done but God does not want us to stay in a place of un-forgiveness, you only end up hurting yourself. My heart needed to be softened and with the help and prayers of my brothers and sisters in Christ my heart changed. God heard all of our prayers and I was able to truly forgive this person. At the time that I was working through all of this I felt God speak to my spirit, “Debby, I forgave Paul.” I knew I had to forgive him. I no longer carry the burden of un-forgiveness, God now has it!
Matthew 6:14-15(NLT) 14 If you forgive those who sin against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you. 15 But if you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins.
Is there someone you need to forgive? Ask God to help prepare you for a change of heart.