This "How to Forgive" page is for
those of you who are having difficulty forgiving someone
or for those of you who want to help others to forgive.
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Learning to forgive is a spiritual need in the body of Christ.
I pray that you find some or all of the following strategies and tips helpful. But even if they are not your “cup of tea” perhaps they will “prime the pump” of your mind and cause you to think more creatively about strategies that will work for you.
Take note that we have a Learning to Forgive page which will complement this page.
Several years ago, I had a challenging forgiveness situation.
I was struggling to forgive someone who had hurt me habitually and in a huge way.
I am going to walk you through some of the main points in my forgiving process.
Note that I am not going to reveal if this person was male or female. For ease of reading, I will use the masculine pronoun when it is necessary to use a pronoun.
of Learning to Forgive
I knew God wanted me to forgive. I wasn't opposed to forgiving. I just didn't know how to forgive.
I had heard several preachers and teachers talk about forgiveness. Their only helpful tip could be summed up with two words, “Just forgive.”
Maybe that works for some people, but it didn't work for me.
If you are like me, you need more specifics in order to complete your forgiveness process.
I pray this page will help you find your path to forgiveness.
We all need to learn how to forgive.
The Journey Begins
Note: each phase took days to go through
before I could go to the next phase.
FIRST - I began by praying and asking God to help me learn how to forgive.
(That prayer was answered over and over during my journey as I would think of new strategies that appeared to be helpful. I would try them out and find that they worked!)
I admitted that what was done to me was hurtful, wrong, and sinful.
(I also advise people to admit that God wants every person to be treated with respect and kindness – and that includes you and me.)
I prayed and asked God to help me truly care about the person's welfare.
(What the person had done to me had caused me to lower my normally caring attitude.)
also asked God to dispel the anger and resentment
by pouring extra love into my heart.
I prayed daily for this person.
That means I daily had a prayer time where I would pray for this person to be blessed – even if I didn't feel like praying such a prayer. Then during this phase, I made a goal of working through my feelings and coming to a place where I could pray a forgiveness prayer and mean it.
For several days I sincerely forgave this person once and for all. After each time I prayed, I felt like I had sincerely forgiven and I was done. Yet the next day, I knew by my attitudes toward this person, that I really hadn't forgiven completely yet.
I had been sincere each time, so why wasn't I done?
That was confusing. Didn't I just have to sincerely forgive?
The Lord showed me that sometimes a person has to forgive daily - day after day - for a period of time. Then after a period of days, weeks, or months - forgiveness is complete.
The Lord told me to picture a tall flower vase inside of me. The Lord told me that he would put some of my unforgiveness in that vase each day.
He said that each day, I was responsible for sincerely – from my heart – getting to a point every day where I could forgive. Each day when I got to the point and could truly forgive, my vase would be clean inside. There would still be unforgiveness in me but my vase would be clean. God said at that point, I would be clean before him with no unforgiveness issues between he and I for the rest of the day.
Then God told me that the next day he would put more of my unforgiveness in the vase.
(God did not speak audibly to me but I heard his voice in my mind. I believed it was God and when I tried what he said – it worked. So I believed and I still believe God spoke to me.)
I followed this plan. I said the forgiveness prayer daily. After several months, I sometimes went days before I felt any unforgiveness in my vase.
After a few months, I found that some days there was nothing in my vase. Meaning that when I came to my prayer time I wasn't in any way upset or irritated or unforgiving toward this person.
Eventually, there was nothing for weeks and then months! I was free. I was living in freedom. I was almost finished with the process. There was just one more step.
I will be adding to this teaching and answering the following questions:
For the answers to these questions
click: How to Forgive Part Two
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