Releasing Blessing By Blocking Curses Chapter 16 of 24

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Steps to Granting Forgiveness


That is the one side of the scale; the asking for forgiveness side. That part is tough enough but you can do it. Now there needs to come a response from the other person, and the other person has to grant forgiveness.

We can turn the tables again. Let's suppose you are on the other end of the stick, and the person is coming to you and saying,

"I was wrong. Please will you forgive me?"

You might be tempted to take a crowbar and put it down the middle of his head. You might say,

"You're jolly right you were wrong! You shouldn't have done that. You shouldn't have said that. You know you've done it again and again. I've spoken to you about this before. When on earth are you going to come right?"

Have you been there?

You say, "You're right, I was wrong. Please will you forgive me?"

"How many times must I speak to you about this? Is it never going to stop? It's been like this all our married life. We've been through this situation before and I've spoken to you about it.

We've prayed about it and God's dealt with it. You're just never going to deal with this. When will you stop?"

"You're right, I was wrong. Please will you forgive me?"

You might look at this person and say,

"She doesn't mean it. She's said this before. What if she doesn't mean business?"

The Scripture says,

"If somebody asks for forgiveness and they really mean it in their heart, you will forgive them - occasionally."

Is that what Jesus said? No He said,

"If your brother comes to you 70 times seven a day and says, I repent. Forgive me, you will grant forgiveness."

If a person offended you 70 times in a day, or 70 times seven which if 490, I think you would get the impression that they really did not mean it when they came and said, "Forgive me."

Would you get that impression? You are probably right. But Jesus did not give any exceptions to the rule. He said,

"If they ask for it you are obligated to grant it."

That is not fair is it? That just gives them license to go and do it again. How can I forgive them? You do not have much choice. The Lord did not ask you for your opinion. He gave you a commandment.

How do you forgive them? It is quite simple. You open your mouth and say,

"Yes, I forgive you."

You don't say,

"Oh forget about it. Don't worry about it. We'll talk about it another time."

No, the person has said,

"I was wrong. Please will you forgive me?"

Your response must now be,

"Yes I forgive you."

Forgetting

Here is the difficult part of the process. You might say,

"I can forgive but I can't forget. They have hurt me before so many times and they have asked for forgiveness. And yes I know I must forgive and so I have done so, but I can't forget what they did. It still hurts."

It happens this way. A man once said,

"Every time my wife and I have a fight she gets historical."

The person speaking to him said,

"You mean she gets hysterical?"

He said, "No, she gets historical. She drags up the past and reminds me of all my failures. We get historical every time we have a fight."

Some people can remember what you did five years ago on the 6th of January in a particular year. They say,

"I remember, it was in the afternoon and we were in that house. We were riding down the street in the car and we were here."

They can give you all the details. Some people have a photographic memory when it comes to things like that.

How do you come to a place of forgetting? Do you know how difficult it is to forget when you have been offended?

Perhaps your partner has cheated on you. Perhaps he or she has been involved in an extra-marital affair with someone, and you lie there and think about your partner sleeping with somebody else. It gnaws at you and it eats at you.

You cannot resolve it until firstly forgiveness has been requested, and then it has been granted. That is each person's part. One person must request forgiveness and the other must grant.

Then the Lord comes into the picture, and He does the third part. But you must make a commitment when you speak forgiveness. When you forgive a person, by an act of your will you must make a choice and say,

"I choose to forgive you, and I will never bring this up again ever."

That is a hard one isn't it? But that is true forgiveness. You know the Bible says concerning our sins, that God has buried them in the deepest sea. It says,

As far as the East is from the West, so far has He removed our transgressions from us.

God will never bring them up again. If you were to pull out your file in heaven, you will find that your sins were never recorded. They were blotted out; no records kept. It is gone. The Lord remembers your iniquities and your sins no more.

Letting It Go

If you are to forgive somebody else you will have do the same. You will have to let it go. You might say,

"Okay, I won't bring it up again."

Then when you are sitting there by yourself, the memory comes up again and it hurts. You start to wallow. You moan, groan and cry and say,

"What am I going to do?"

Well you said you would not bring it up again, not only to other people but to yourself also.

You say, "But it's hard."

One counselor that I read had what I think was a good solution. He said,

"Okay, take out your watch, lay it out in front of you and give yourself a minute. Time it. Allow yourself a whole minute of wallowing.

Take your minute and enjoy it. Think about it and wallow, moan, groan and cry. Enjoy your little time of wallowing. Then when the minute is up, just cut it out and go and do something else."

Do not allow it to come back. If you take that stand you are going to permit God to reach in by His Holy Spirit into the past hurts and to heal them.

There is likely to be a lot more involved here. Because you see a lot of the anger, bitterness and much of the hurts that we have are caused by experiences we have had in the past.

Basically all that has happened is when a person offends us in this way it simply triggers off a template from the past.

We have dealt with templates elsewhere so I am not going to cover it now, but it triggers off a template of the past. All that has actually happened is a hurt from the past begins to surface and get dealt with.

You need to allow the Lord to reach in. Sometimes you also need to receive a ministry of inner healing from someone. You need the Holy Spirit to reach in by His power, and for God to cut deep, to shine His light into those dark recesses and to remove it.

Dealing With Past Hurts

You need to deal with the hurts of the past, and I am going to give you a project in closing. If you have a problem in your spiritual life, I don't care what your problem is.

I do not care if it is an emotional problem, if it is depression or whatever it is. I don't care if you have been diagnosed as bipolar or something else. Your problem can be traced down to three roots, and the greatest root is the root of bitterness.

I will guarantee that if you look down, you will find there is bitterness in your heart that has given rise to the majority of the problems that you have.

I would like to suggest that you sit down with pen and paper and let your mind go back as far back as you can remember. Let the Lord drop those memories back into your mind, and let memories and images come up into it.

Think of events of the past. Think also of people that you have known in your past who have hurt you and have done things to offend you.

Somebody may come up into your mind and your immediate reaction may be negative. You might think to yourself,

"Oh no I didn't like him."

"Oh she was horrible."

If this happens then stop right there. What was it about that person that you could not stand? Well maybe they were just ugly to you. They may have been nasty to you.

In your memory you now go back and think of that person and you are still thinking in negative terms. You are still hurting and are still angry with them after all this time. If this is how you feel then you have a root of bitterness right there.

Write it down. You will amazed what will come out and what people you forgot about. You did not forget though, because it is still there sitting in your memory.

The template was formed right back there and that hurt is still being carried around. There are still little roots of bitterness that are being spread out all over that have never been resolved.

Here is what you do now. Take that list and begin to deal with them one at a time. Deal with each one, until you can come to the place where you can think about that person and honestly say,

"That thing won't bother me anymore."

In fact you should not be satisfied until you can come to the place where you can say,

"Father I'm concerned about that person. I care about them. Lord, you love them and I love them."

You should be able to say to anybody,

"Jesus loves you and I also love you."

If you cannot do that you are bitter. And you thought you did not have bitterness didn't you?

Resolving the Bitterness

You will need to resolve that bitterness. An offense may have been created way back there. You may have offended a person and you know that the person is still mad at you after all this time.

This being the case you might have to contact them. You might have to write a letter, phone them or send an email to say,

"Remember what happened back there? I was wrong. Please will you forgive me?"

It is quite simple really. It will probably kill you, but it is quite simple and it can be done.

Before I continue though I want to give you a couple of warnings here. It is not necessary to do this if the person is not mad anymore.

Do not go and dig up dead donkeys that are long forgotten and have been resolved, where the person has already forgiven you. Let it go. Do not contact the person and say,

"You know I was so mad at you I hated you."

The person will say,

"Huh? Why? That's the first time I heard of it."

You will cause a problem that did not exist. I am talking about an actual conflict situation where both of you are aware of it and it was never resolved. Do not go touching it if the person does not know about the offense.

Dealing with Deceased People

How about if the person is no longer alive? What if you do not even know where they are or whether they are still alive? The person may have gone on to be with the Lord because they died.

I want to tell you something. That person is not dead. They are still alive in your mind and very much alive in your memory.

You will need to speak to that person who is still alive in your memory. You will have to speak it out loud, and you will have to confront the issue, resolve it and let go of the bitterness.

This is so powerful, but so many people miss it. You can come in prayer, inviting the Lord to be your witness, and you can ask the Lord for His forgiveness in your part in this failure.

Then you can speak to that memory. You can speak to the person in that memory as though they are standing before you and say,

"John, I want to tell you that you made me mad, but I forgive you."

Perhaps you could never face your mother. You never had the courage to tell her what you really thought. Now is the time to tell her. She is still alive in your memory. She is standing in front of you and you can say to her,

"Mom, you treated me like dirt. You were horrible to me. But I want to tell you something. I am forgiving you now, in Christ Jesus, and I'm letting it go."

It is powerful. It will set you free. There is something about spoken words that are like signing on the dotted line. It will release you.

Jesus the Mediator

There is another marvelous one that you can do, and that is if you know that that person has died and gone to be with the Lord.

They are still alive up there. They are in the presence of Jesus. And you know what? You can talk to Jesus, and Jesus can talk to them. You can say,

"Lord, can you do me a favor? Can you take a message to John for me? I know he's up in heaven. I know he's there with you. Lord, I want you to tell him this for me."

Bring it to the Lord and speak it out, and you speak to that person in Christ. You speak to them through the Lord Jesus, and the Lord will take the message for you, and you will deliver your heart.

You will balance the scale out. You will say,

"Tell him that I forgive him. Tell him that I'm sorry, that I was wrong, and ask him to forgive me."

You can be set free instantly. You will not believe the power that there is in this. You will not believe the things that you thought were unrelated problems that will suddenly disappear from your life as you dig down.

Look at your relationship with your father or your mother that has never been resolved. Begin to deal with those issues. Speak out forgiveness, ask for forgiveness and receive it.

You will not believe the power that will be set free in your life. You will not believe the victory that you will begin to experience as you just let those things go and put them to sleep.

Load Lifted

Take your list and tick it off one at a time. Do you know what it will be like?

I want you to imagine you are carrying a big load, like Jesus had to carry His cross. The difference is you have a heavy load and everybody has been putting weights on top of it.

As you deal with each one of those guilts, bitternesses and hurts of the past; all the things that have been gnawing and eating away at you for years, it will be as though someone pulled another weight off.

It gets lighter and lighter and you begin to stand up. You begin to put your shoulders out, the load begins to lift and you become as light as a feather. You feel like you can fly.

You wonder how you lived all these years under that heavy load. The Spirit of God begins to come upon you and within you and your cares begin to fly away. Your whole life becomes transformed.

You will look at all the heavy problems that you have had that you thought needed professional counsel; the things you thought needed to be dealt with, that you thought could not be solved and you had given up hope on.

You will find that they suddenly vanish instantly. They just disappear as though they were never there. Why? Because you sat down and dealt with the taproot.

When you cut off that taproot the plant starts to shrivel away and die. Then the life of the Spirit comes forth from within instead.

The root of bitterness is dried up. It is no longer spewing forth. It is like that abscess where all the muck that is in it has come out.

It has dried up and formed a scab. Then it falls off, and new wonderful flesh comes forth, and you are restored completely to health.




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