Have you ever had a situation that you needed help with? You tried to seek godly counsel and advice from other brothers and sisters in Christ and the only thing they told you was “let go and let God”? Well, I have experienced this in my life and the question in my mind was, how do I do that? It’s important as believers that we don’t just say cliches but we actually give practical step by step instructions, using the Word of God to help those overcome the obstacles they face.
God has called us and has given us all special talents and gifts. Ephesians 4:11-12 “And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ.” All of these individual offices serve a purpose to build up God’s people and kingdom.. I believe one of the gifts He has given me is that of a teacher. I love to be able to break things down so that others can have an understanding. I believe in practicality and I know that step by step instructions can bring about a particular result just like a recipe can with a chocolate chip cookie. I also believe that knowledge is gained through reading but wisdom is God-given and wisdom shows you how to apply that knowledge. We can have all the knowledge in the world but without application, what use is it?
It is true that God has certain mysteries that are hidden and you must seek His face to know them. Other things are practical, simple and common sense because He designed them to be that way. For example, Exodus 20:3 was the very first commandment God gave to Moses for the children of Israel “you shall have no other gods before me.” There is no mystery as to why God required them not to worship false gods because He follows up with his reason in the same chapter, 5th verse. “For I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me, 6 but showing mercy to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments”. God is saying those who follow false gods, he remembers their iniquity because it’s a generational curse brought about through pagan worship and that generational curse will last up to the 3rd and 4th generation, so don’t do it! How long is a generation? A generation is roughly 30 years. It’s during a time when children are born, grow-up, become adults and have children of their own. So if God said 3rd and 4th generation that’s 90-120 years of being under a generational curse because of someone’s great, great, great grandparent’s sinful acts. Therefore, the instructions and steps God gave are practical to avoid such calamity.
Let’s tie this practically into a topic that some of us deal with today; unforgiveness.
How do you know if you harbor unforgiveness and how do you forgive?
Step 1: Identify if you have unforgiveness by searching your heart
Think of that person who has wronged you or hurt you.
Do you still feel hurt, resentment, anger, displeasure, guilt, shame, pain, bitterness, jealousy, vengeance, emptiness, anything except for the love of God from you to them? If so, there’s a root of unforgiveness.
Step 2: Determine why you haven’t been able to forgive
Identify why the root is there
What did they do, say, didn’t do or didn’t say to you?
How did that affect you?
Were you ever able to let them know how you felt or were you able to talk to anyone else about your hurt?
Did you tell God about your hurt?
Do you want to keep that bitterness or let it go?
If you want to let it go, go to step 3
Step 3: Repent and Release
You may be questioning why do you have to repent when they are the ones who hurt you. Well, you are not repenting for their act towards you, you’re repenting for the vengeance, hate or malice that you have in your heart for them. We all have done things in our lives that before Jesus’ sacrifice, would have warranted death for us but it’s only because of His grace and mercy that He saw fit to forgive us while we were yet (still currently active) in our sins. Repentance must take place for true deliverance.
Get a journal. Write a letter to the Lord letting Him know how this person has wronged or hurt you and how that affected you.
Read it out loud to yourself. If you have to cry, cry; but get it out. Release that pain so you can start to heal.
Step 4: Pray for them
In that same journal write a prayer to The Lord about that person. Be genuine. Pray for them as if you would pray for someone you love.
Let The Lord know that you forgive them and that you’re releasing yourself from unforgiveness.
Read it out loud to yourself
Step 5: Cast down negative thoughts
Anytime a negative thought or emotion comes up about that person go back and read the prayer for them reminding yourself that you have given the problem to the only one who can handle it. Ask The Lord to give you compassion for that person as He has given you much compassion.
Step 6: Do you have any other areas in your life of unforgiveness?
Ask The Lord to show you any other areas in your life where you harbor unforgiveness. Then repeat steps 1-5.
Little by little, that root of unforgiveness will die and a seed of compassion, mercy, grace and understanding will replace it. If you continue to nurture that seed, love will grow there.
If you have unforgiveness towards yourself for something that you have done, you can still follow the steps. God forgives you and loves you so let’s walk in that and display it towards yourself and others.
Peace and Blessings in Jesus Name. Amen!