Christian Relationships – Forgiveness and Inner Healing
Jesus clearly taught us to forgive all who have offended us, but how do we do it? Learn why forgiveness is essential for our own freedom.
This forgiveness needs to be unconditional and unending just as is our heavenly Father’s forgiveness. In fact, this is required of us because, as disciples, we have already experienced forgiveness (Matthew 6:14-15, Matthew 18:22).
Jesus extended forgiveness while He was still in pain on the cross. He pleaded with the Father to forgive those who were crucifying him. This includes the entire human race for we all were found to be guilty with hardened hearts.
God’s Forgiveness, Kindness And Mercy
Jesus chose to pray for them so that God would forgive them. He showed His kindness, mercy, and love for them and for us.
So, if Jesus forgave all those who crucified Him, what right do we have not to forgive those who hurt us?
In Matthew 18:21-35, Peter asked Jesus how many times to extend forgiveness to someone who hurts us. He asked, “Up to seven times?” Jesus responded with a parable of two slaves who both owed money. The first owed a large amount of debt to the king. And the second owed a much smaller debt to the first slave. When the first slave begged for mercy, the king forgave the entire debt, leaving the slave owing nothing. However, when the second slave begged for mercy, the first slave did not forgive the debt. He had the slave thrown into prison.
Consequently, when this became known to the king, the first slave was rebuked, sent to prison, and tortured. In this passage, Jesus expressed the seriousness of forgiveness— those who do not forgive others will suffer for it. This suffering refers to all of the side effect. Relational, physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual elements, that come from holding on to bitterness and anger (Matthew 5:23-24). That is why Jesus commanded us to make forgiveness a part of our daily life. He does not want us toexperience these effects.
Forgiveness of self
Forgiveness is being obedient to Jesus’ instruction to “love your enemies.” In many cases, enemy number one is one’s self.
Self-forgiveness is essential to self-healing. Each time we forgive someone, our own sense of self-forgiveness and self-worth will grow. It is the true way to improve our own self-image.
Creative imagination makes all things possible in a forgiving state of mind. To the degree that we are healed, that same healing is made available to all those in our lives who have bound us.
Forgiveness of others
The choice to forgive frees us and allows God to mend and restore our broken hearts.
Joseph was imprisoned for many years because of the false accusation of Potiphar’s wife (Genesis 39). Now, imagine yourself in his shoes. Can you imagine being falsely accused, losing the reputation you had, losing your job and being put in prison. We can imagine how it feels to have our friends gossiping because of something which is not true. It is painful, and stealing someone’s good name is a very serious sin before God (Exodus 20:16). Yet when we look from God’s perspective, God can restore our reputation as He did with Joseph. Remember that God is the One who will bring the truth to light. We need to remember that God is the one who has the right to revenge, not us (Romans 12:19). Don’t fight for your reputation—leave that to God!
The Future Can Be Different
Friend, the only key to healing the wound left behind is to forgive. Joseph is an impressive example of this (Genesis 45:4-5; Genesis 50:15-21). No one can erase what happened in the past. But the future can be different because God has the power to heal a broken heart through.
Holding onto offense, refusing to forgive those who wounded us, will block the healing power of the Holy Spirit. Bitterness is a deadly poison that inhibits us from receiving God’s forgiveness and gives us over to torment. The only solution is to release those feelings that we have against others. Allow the Holy Spirit’s forgiving power to restore your soul.
Allow The Lord To Heal Our Wounds
It is very important to open ourselves and allow the Lord to heal our inner wounds as is described in Luke 4:18: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me … He has sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and … to set at liberty those who are oppressed.”
It is very important to respond to Jesus’ calling to receive the inner healing that He has provided to us (Matthew 11:28-29). Let us release our heavy burden to Jesus, take His yoke which is easy, and learn from Him who has forgiven us and welcomed us to be children of God (Ephesians 4:32).
Is there any broken relationship that you are aware of that needs to be restored?
How quick are you to forgive yourself and others without holding a grudge?
How often do you reflect the forgiveness of God in your relationship with your parents, spouse, children, church family, and neighbors?
 Ruth Carter Stapleton, The Gift of Inner Healing, 1976.
Global Disciples Canada is a Christian mission organization that trains local leaders living near least-reached communities to multiply disciples for Christ. One-third of our world hasn’t heard the Good News of Jesus. Yet. Global Disciples refers to these as “least-reached” people, and fewer than 10% of all missionaries work among these groups. We live in a time where many of these people are within reach of a local church. Through our simple and effective strategy of training and coaching, believers share the Gospel in their own nations and cultures. Jesus said, “Go and make disciples of all nations,” and we’re committed to doing just that. If you are looking for a Christian mission organization to partner with to become a better disciple and help make disciples, connect with us today!
Give monthly, reach the world.
Join our community of monthly donors bringing the hope of Jesus to least-reached people groups around the world.