Learning How to Pray with Others, School of Ministry, January 6 & 13, 2014
Radiant Church, Huntington Beach, CA Healing and Restoring Our Relationships: Forgiving One Another
Dr. Joe Johnson, Heart of the Father Ministry,
Eph. 4:32; instead be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.
Colossians 3:13 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.
Matthew 18: 21-30 Parable of the unforgiving servant.
Two different Greek words for forgiveness.
Aphiemi, Which means to let go, send away or release (Hebrews 9:22)
Charizomai, which has charis (grace) as its root. This word means to give freely, grant forgiveness, show kindness unconditionally
A choice we make as an act of the will. Forgiveness is not a feeling.
To obey God. Jesus commanded us to forgive as we have been forgiven. It is not a suggestion or an option (Matthew 6:15).
Through the power of the Holy Spirit – supernatural—we need the power of the Holy Spirit to forgive.
Letting go of resentments, hurts, debts and the right to get even.
Releasing what happens next to God.
Reasons why we forgive
Jesus commands us (Mark 11:25)
We become like Jesus. Jesus has already forgiven the offender.
We keep our heart open to receive mercy and forgiveness
Unlock the door to healing and freedom
Positive health effects
Outsmart the devil (2 Cor. 2:10-11)
Steps to forgive others from the heart? (Matthew 18:35)
1. Receive God’s mercy and forgiveness (Romans 5:1-2). The parable of the “Running Father” (Luke 15:11-32).
2. Face the facts. Name the wrongdoing.
3. Feel the hurt. It is possible to forgive too soon.
4. Confront our anger, fear, resentment or hatred.
5. Release those who have wronged us. Let them off the hook. Surrender our right to get even. Transfer what happens next to God.
6. Affirm the humanity of the wrong doer. Wish our wrongdoer well.
7. Long for reconciliation (2 Cor. 5:17-21).
Other factors that help us forgive;
1. Forgiveness is often a progression or process. We go through stages of denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance.
2. Fear of losing control hinders progress in forgiveness and mires us in the desire to punish. The more we focus on safety in the Father’s arms, the easier it is to release offenders
3. Forgiving is easier than not forgiving because we if we don’t, people have “free rent” in our head.
4. Picture offenders as little children who are being hurt by their friends, family of origin or others.
5. We may need to forgive ourselves and God.
Five Love Languages for apologizing which help others forgive one another.
Chapman and Thomas
1. Expressing regret “I am sorry”
2. Accepting responsibility “I was wrong”
3. Making restitution ‘What can I do to make it right?” Making amends
4. Repenting “I am committed to change and be loving
5. Requesting forgiveness, “I ask you to forgive me for _________(be specific)
7. Identify reasons we do not forgive
The offense was too great.
The person will not accept responsibility for the offense.
The person is not asking for forgiveness.
The person will do it again.
I do not like the person.
The person did it deliberately.
If I forgive the offense, I will have to treat the offender well.
Someone has to punish the person.
Something keeps me from forgiving.
I do not want to forget what happened
I do not trust God to take care of it.
I have not received forgiveness
7. What forgiveness is not: Forgiveness does not mean
We will stop hurting.
That we will forget.
Pretending that it didn’t hurt.
Approving or excusing the person’s behavior
Saying the offense is of no importance. Saying I am of no importance
Trusting the person again. A commitment to relate in the future
Demanding changes before we forgive.
Denying our feelings of anger
Believing that it is OK with God that it happened
Believing that I may not tell the other person how angry I am
Believing I will feel better after forgiving.
8. Forgiving doesn’t force us to live without boundaries. We may choose to limit participation or access with former offenders if their behavior is harmful. We clean only our own side of the street and let the other side be as that person chooses.