12 Practical Steps to Forgiveness
1. Recognize that forgiveness is first an act of the will, not the emotions. It is from the heart that forgiveness flows. Romans 6:17, But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you. Ephesians 6:6, “…doing the will of God from the heart.”
2. Remember that self needs daily forgiveness and receives it upon request. 1 John 1:9, If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
3. Renounce the fleshly attempts to forgive and call upon Christ in prayer. Romans 8:8, So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God. Philippians 4:13, I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.
4. Recommit the heart to exercising forgiveness because it the will of God. Ephesians 4:32, And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.
5. Remove any attempt of the enemy to supplant a righteous determination. The Enemy will come to tell the soul it has a right to hate, to be angry, and to retaliate. Romans 13:14, But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfill the lusts thereof.
6. Review the mighty sacrifice that Christ paid to secure the basis for God’s forgiveness of one’s own sin. No one has ever suffered liked Jesus, no one. His sufferings were unique, concentrated, multiplied, and magnified. 1 Peter 2:21, For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps: 22 Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth: 23 Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously: 24 Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.
7. Resign the heart to the fact that God wants His children to enter into the sufferings of Christ. Therefore, God will make sure there are unjust experiences in life in order to test the soul for the purpose of approval. Job 23:10, But he [God] knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold.
8. Rejoice when the time of temptation or testing comes to be reviled for there is joy in submitting to the known will of God. Matthew 5:11, Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.
9. Restudy the lives of the saints. Every single one knew the dark side of the heart and were victims of deceit and treachery. Matthew 5: 12, Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.
10. Reconstruct your thought life so there will be no predetermined response of retaliation. Have the mind of Christ in this matter. Philippians 2:5, Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:8, Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. 9 Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.
11. Repossess the high ground of spirituality. The Christian cannot be like the Gentiles or professing unbeliever but must be like the Father who is in heaven. Matthew 5:48, Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.
12. Reach for the prize. Philippians 3:14, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.