Forgiveness is a supernatural ability that comes from God; it’s a supernatural choice. In Romans 12, we are learning that we need supernatural strength to overcome the evil that is thrown at us. The supernatural Christian is one who is confident in Christ and able to love others and themselves. To forgive others is a supernatural choice–to let it go.
Forgiveness is letting it go—it’s not letting the offense go, but letting “it” go. What is “it”? The “it” is fear.
No matter what the offense is—the response is the same.
- If someone tries to take your place at work—the response is the same.
- If someone tries to violate you physically—the response is the same.
- If someone comes in and robs your home—the response is the same.
Offense is to create fear because fear is the opposite of love.
- I fear I’ll never be loved.
- I fear being hurt again.
- I fear him/her leaving me.
- I fear I will not be rewarded for my work.
Anger comes from fear. I can’t control something so I fear being out of control.
1John 4:18, There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love.
Let it go means—release the intent of the offense, release that which holds you hostage, and release the impact of the offense. Say, “I will release the impact of the fear—I will not be held hostage to fear. What they did wasn’t right, but I won’t be in fear anymore—I will let it go. I will supernaturally choose to forgive.”
Forgiveness is always going to be on the test. Our God is a great God—He doesn’t leave anything half done. Sometimes the cares of life create folds and wrinkles in our hearts and some of us blame God for it. Sometimes people come and they create folds and wrinkles in our hearts and we blame them for it and we hold onto unforgiveness, still trying to do the work that God has asked us to do. Our work isn’t always symmetrical or the best that it could be because of the difficulty of trying to work through the humps, bumps, and waves that unforgiveness causes. However, if we let it go—we can create something along with God and He can allow us to continue to work for Him with a little bit more ease, grace, and beauty.
Check your heart because maybe you don’t think you have unforgiveness in your heart.
- Do you feel that you need to be separated from this person?
- You intentionally avoid them when possible.
- You have trouble looking them in the eyes when talking to them.
- Do you pretend to not be available when you know they need help?
- You complain to others about them.
- You blame the other person for the hurt and pain rather than taking personal responsibility.
- You don’t want them to touch you.
- You blame God and say—why did you allow this to happen to me.
- You find it hard to pray.
- You don’t want to hear about what the Word of God says about the situation.
Where does your heart fall? Perhaps you have fallen on one of more areas when talking about the consequences. Unforgiveness is the state of emotional and mental distress that results from a delayed response in forgiveness of the offender. It’s characterized by indignation, bitterness, the demand for punishment or restitution.
Unforgiveness creates a domino effect that negatively affects every part of your life. Anxiety, depression, and health problems can be the result of unforgiveness. Time can only worsen unforgiveness—it doesn’t heal it. Ultimately, you cannot do what God asked you to do. You cannot hear Him. You cannot follow Him with unforgiveness in your heart.
How do I forgive? God is not going to ask you to do something that He doesn’t equip you to do—the biggest equipper is the Holy Spirit.
- Do not avenge yourselves. Romans 12:19
- Give to him/her. Romans 12:20.
- Overcome evil with good. Romans 12:21, Genesis 4:4-7
Romans 12:19-2, 19 “Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,”[a] says the Lord. 20 Therefore
“If your enemy is hungry, feed him; If he is thirsty, give him a drink;
For in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head.” 21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” (NKJV).