In Touch Daily Devotional
by Dr. Charles Stanley
March 23, 2007 – The Process of Forgiveness – Ephesians 4:30-32
No doubt, you’ve been hurt. Most likely, someone you loved and trusted did something unthinkable. Perhaps it was so devastating that it changed your whole perspective on that person. If that’s the case, you have a choice. You can either wallow in self-pity, pain, and anger, or you can forgive.
Forgiveness is the act of giving up the resentment we have toward someone—along with the desire to retaliate. It involves three important steps.
First, we must release the general feeling of resentment. That is, we must make a decision not to suffer in our pain. This can be difficult! Many people seem to enjoy holding on to self-pity or a sense of martyrdom. They may believe it’s just their lot in life to suffer. But that’s not true. You can choose to move past it.
Second, forgiveness means we must surrender specific feelings of resentment toward a particular individual. We must let go of our anger at being hurt and seek to restore the broken relationship.
Third, we lay down all claims to revenge. You cannot forgive someone with your words while secretly wishing him or her harm. True forgiveness seeks the other person’s good, not punishment.
Someone with a forgiving attitude may say something like this: “Though you hurt me, I choose to forgive you. I won’t dwell on this. And, I won’t allow it to destroy my life or my attitude. I won’t spend one minute plotting revenge. You are God’s precious child, and I love you.”
Truly forgiving another person carries a price. But without a doubt, the rewards are greater. Unleash the power of forgiveness in your life today.
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