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Starting The New Year With A Clean Slate:(How to Forgive Someone Who Has Hurt You) Part 2

Updated: Jan 17


But there is another side to forgiveness. As freeing as it is to know that God holds no record of confessed sin, the forgiven one is now faced with the command to forgive others (Eph. 4:32).

Jesus told a story, recorded in Mt. 18:23-35, about a servant who owed the king the equivalent of several million dollars. The king ordered that the man's wife and children and all that he had be sold to pay the debt. But when the man fell to his knees and pleaded for mercy, the king cancelled the debt. Yet as soon as the man left the palace, he set upon a fellow servant who owed him only a few dollars. When the debtor pleaded for time to pay off the loan, the servant had him thrown into prison.

How incredulous we are when we read the story. Yet when we do not forgive one offense when we have been forgiven for a lifetime of sin, how are we different from the unforgiving servant?

Forgiving others is not an option. It is a command. When we forgive we are conformed to the image of Christ in attitude and behavior. He forgave. We are to follow His example.

Steps to Forgiveness

1.    First, realize that forgiveness is risky. Even your repentant family member is very likely to fail again, perhaps in the same area.

2.    Second, rely on God.  Cry out to the Lord, “And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. Matthew 6:12 (KJV)

3.   Third, actually cancel the debt.  “The servant therefore fell down, and worshipped him, saying, Lord, have patience with me, and I will pay thee all.   Then the lord of that servant was moved with compassion, and loosed him, and forgave him the debt.  Matthew 18:26-27 (KJV)

4.    Fourth, evaluate whether you should tell the offender what you have done before God.

5.    Fifth, if appropriate, verbally offer them forgiveness. If they repent, your relationship can resume. If not, the relationship cannot be resumed; but with forgiveness offered, good can be returned for evil (Romans 12:21).

By God’s Grace


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