Forgiveness: How to Forgive and Forget

Forgiveness is the ability to heal a wounded heart. To forgive and forget an offense involves an emotional process, and it is not an instant event.

Doctor Saima Noreen and his team at the University of St Andrews carried out a related research and their outcome suggests that forgiveness facilitates forgetting. The research found that individuals are more effective at suppressing items of information associated with memories for offenses they have already forgiven.

Fred Luskin, a psychologist reported that in careful scientific studies, forgiveness training has been shown to reduce depression, increase hopefulness, decrease anger, improve spiritual connection and increase emotional self-confidence.

Research also shows that people who are more forgiving report fewer health and mental problems, and fewer physical symptoms of stress.

There are various offenses such as cheat in the marriage/office, fraud, lies and so on. These offenses might not have the same hurtful size, but God wants you to forgive every offender.

Everyone had once offended the Lord, but He forgives us and forgot our past sins. The forgiveness of the Lord made us Christians today! So, the Lord made forgiveness a mandatory trend for every one of us.

Matthew chapter 6 verses 14 & 15 says: “For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.”

3 Rules of Forgiveness for Reconciliation

Forgiveness is not an action you do in haste or under pressure. You must find out the details of the offense, and the intention of the offender.

Jesus gave the rule of forgiveness in the book of Luke chapter 17 verse 3 & 4 says: “Take heed to yourselves. If your brother sins against you, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him. And if he sins against you seven times in a day, and seven times in a day returns to you, saying, ‘I repent,’ you shall forgive him.”

1. Criticize your Offender
It’s sinful to keep malice with your offender. Ephesians chapter 4 verses 31 say: “Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice”.

So, the first step towards forgiveness is to call the offender, and criticize the offense through the word of God. Read the Bible passage that condemns such offense to the offender.
You might be going through a serious pain, but you must be strong to explain the scriptural implication of the offense to the offender.

2. Confirm Offender’s Repentance
The offender that deserves forgiveness and reconciliation must feel bad for committing such offense.

For instance, a rude son offended his dad by joining bad boys to steal on the street. The action of this boy brought a public shame to his father. Having rebuked the boy, the confirmation of his repentance was to renounce his bad gangs, and join the group of God-fearing boys.

3. Forgive your Offender
Forgiveness might not be easy in some heart-breaking offenses, but it is safer for you to forgive the (repented) offender.
Matthew chapter 18 verses 15 says: “Moreover if your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone. If he hears you, you have gained your brother.”

Forgiveness that deserves reconciliation is a two-way process which involves; repentance on the side of the offender and to forgive on the side of the offended person.

There are some occasions where the offender will not be remorseful for the offense committed. It would be impossible to reconcile with such offender. Don’t allow the bitterness to stay in your heart forever. The best options are forgiveness and prayers for the stubborn offender (who might be your enemy).

How to Handle Forgiveness without Reconciliation

Jesus explained the scenario in Mathew chapter 18 verses 16 &17:

• “But if he (offender) will not hear, take with you one or two more, that ‘by the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established’.

• And if he refuses to hear them, tell it to the church. But if he refuses even to hear the church, let him be to you like a heathen and a tax collector”.

Benefits of Forgiveness

• It restores hope for the offender.

• Forgiveness relieves the heart of the offended person.

• To forgive and forget offenses will give you a healthy heart that is free from bitterness, anger, stress and hypertension.

• The more you forgive, the lesser your risk of losing heaven…

About Ekundayo

I am an evangelist in the vineyard of the Lord since 2000 moving from one place to another to spread the gospel of Jesus.

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