There is power in forgiveness. Have you ever struggled to forgive someone? Held a grudge longer than you wanted to? Have you ever felt shame or guilt about hurting someone else and not knowing how to ask for forgiveness? The power in forgiveness is essential in maintaining a powerful Christian life.
Forgiveness is important to maintaining and repairing relationships – but that does not make it easy. Many of us struggle to forgive ourselves and others, or to get the forgiveness we want. In this article, I’ll talk about the power in forgiveness, and how to give and get it, and why it’s important.
Forgiveness is an essential part of the Christian faith. The freedom that you can experience is worth it.
So, we are going to dive into some Bible verses about forgiveness and then look at some practical lessons we can apply to our life. There is power in forgiveness. One of the most powerful responses that we could ever have, yet the steps in forgiving others may be difficult.
The Bible teaches that God forgives sin and that we should forgive others. But finding the strength and courage to forgive ourselves or those who have wronged us can be difficult. Why is that, because we fill that the damage of hurt has gone far beyond repair.
However, understanding the Biblical meaning of forgiveness and the heart of God equips us with that strength and courage. It helps us to understand the importance of forgiveness and the power it has to experience the fullness of God’s love.
I have heard people talk about the hurt they have been carrying for years. “Forgiving a person who has wronged you is never easy. “It’s not that men can’t forgive, but for some it is more of a struggle.” But always remember, there’s Power in forgiveness.
Many relationships are in crisis because one party was unable or unwilling to forgive the other person. I understand the wound wasn’t fair or right; you didn’t deserve it or ask for it, yet it happened.
Perhaps it has affected your relationships with the other person and your ability to trust others. Guess what, we sometimes think we are hurting someone who hurt us, by not letting go, but in all actuality, we are actually self- destructing.
We feel angry and vengeful and assume the offender feels it too, but he is oblivious. Oh, what needless pain we bear! The enemy knows, there is power in forgiveness.
When we let offense eat away at us, we give the other person permission to have power over us and keep injuring us. No wonder Jesus commanded us to forgive (Matthew 6:14) and place the matter in his hands.
We sin and deserve death and get life. I have heard it said like this: Grace is God giving us what we don’t deserve, and mercy is God not giving us what we deserve. God always takes the high road. When we follow in his footsteps, they lead home.
Jesus said, “Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse” (Romans 12:14).
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What Is Forgiveness?
Let’s start by defining exactly what forgiveness is.
Forgiveness is letting go of anger, hurt, shame, feelings, and thoughts toward somebody who hurt you and replacing them with positive feelings and thoughts.
When we forgive, we accept that something bad happened to us and say that we want to move on. We become willing to see the other person for more than what they did that hurt us.
Embracing what Jesus has done for us and extending that in thought, word, and deed to others is the essence of forgiveness. So, what does the Bible say about forgiveness? Forgiveness is releasing the other from the penalty of sin so the relationship can be restored.
What the Bible Says About Forgiveness and Letting Go?
The Bible has a lot to say about forgiveness and letting go. In the book of Matthew, Jesus tells us to “forgive and you will be forgiven” (Matthew 6:14). He also teaches us to “forgive others, even if they have wronged us” (Luke 6:37).
In the book of Ephesians, Paul encourages us to “forgive one another as God has forgiven us” (Ephesians 4:32). In the Old Testament, there are several references to the importance of forgiveness, such as in Isaiah 43:25, which says “I, even I, am he who blots out your transgressions, for my own sake, and remembers your sins no more.”
As believers, we are called to forgive as God forgives us, and to trust in Him as He gives us strength to let go of the past, and the hurts, and look to the future. Forgiveness and letting go allow us to experience healing and freedom in our lives, and the Bible provides us with the wisdom and comfort to do so.
Forgiveness and letting go are often difficult to understand, yet they are crucial for living a meaningful and fulfilling life. We will discover the importance of forgiving and letting go, and what God says about it and how it can be applied in our lives.
We will also look at how Jesus taught us to forgive and let go. The Bible contains many teachings on forgiveness and letting go, as well as examples of how it can be done.
God used Paul, a Christian-killing hypocrite, to write most of the New Testament. Kind David had murder and adultery in his list of sins but was eventually called a “man after God’s own heart.” What’s important is Paul and David did not look back once they were forgiven.
Instead of mobbing through life never feeling adequate or worthy for their callings, they used the knowledge of who they were, and what God had forgiven them for, to embolden their messages and live in gratefulness.
Jesus forgave the very men nailing him to the cross, and I think there’s a reason that detail remained in God’s Word. He knows the damage unforgiveness can bring, and he wants the world to see his power and mercy when we do let go and forgive.
Is there someone who has wounded, or offended you? Are you able to let go of the person in forgiveness? God gives us divine power to forgive. The story of the Prodigal son is a parable of how God views us and how we can choose to repent, ask for forgiveness, and turn to God.
You will learn of a father and two sons in this Bible story. While the older son stayed home and worked hard for his father, the younger son ran away with his inheritance and spent it on foolish things.
Finding himself alone, working like a slave for food, and living with pigs, the younger son returns home begging to work for his father.
The father welcomes home his son with open arms and great compassion. The oldest son becomes very angry with his brother for coming back home and his father for accepting him home. Nothing can defeat the power of forgiveness.
Why is the Power of Forgiveness Important?
Why is the power of forgiveness important? Forgiving people is a powerful action that can release us from negative emotions and allow us to move forward. It can help us let go of grudges and resentments and create space for healing and growth.
Forgiveness is important for everyone concerned. There is nothing like forgiving someone and releasing them from the bond and chains that can keep you and hold you hostage day after day, week after week, month after month, and year after year.
As Christians, need to take the higher road. We should follow Christ’s example and choose not to harbor resentment and negative feelings.
Colossians 3:13 tells us: “Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.”
Many relationships here and everywhere are in crisis because one party was unable or unwilling to forgive and let go of the other person that are held bound. Most of us think forgiveness is a good idea until we have to give it.
Forgiveness does not mean approving a wrong or excusing an evil. Forgiveness isn’t necessarily the reconciliation of a relationship.
The Greek word translated forgiveness literally means “to release.” Forgiveness is our choice to release a person from an obligation for a wrong committed against us. In the New Testament times, the word was used when canceling a debt.
This is God’s Word and He says, “Having given yourself properly to Me, to yourself, and to other believers, I now want you to give something good even to those who have harmed you or are trying to harm you. I want you to return their evil with good.”
What we’re talking about here is forgiveness. So let me tell you what forgiveness is, and what it isn’t. Forgiveness is not pretending like the wound didn’t happen, or that it didn’t really hurt.
That’s called lying. If it happened, it happened, and if it hurt, it hurt. Forgiveness does not mean just brushing off the offense as if it were nothing. So, forgiveness does not start with a feeling.
Instead, it is a decision of your will to no longer charge the offense to the offender’s account. It is the decision to release the other person from a debt in spite of how you feel.
I admit, forgiveness doesn’t come easy for some. That’s why I need to regularly fill up on Matthew 6:15. “If you withhold forgiveness from you. Do you struggle to give or receive either from God, others, or yourself? What helps you most?
When you come to Jesus with a repentant heart or trust, he forgives your sins, past present, and future. Read Psalm 103:8-12 to see what happens to your sin when God forgives you.
Think of a time when you and someone you love offended each other. What godly steps did you take to make it right? What did you learn, and how did this process strengthen your forgiveness? Describe God’s heart on the matter.
Still holding offense? If so, don’t wait to free yourself with the gift of forgiveness. Ask God to remove that person’s sin from him. Lay it down at the foot of the cross and ask Jesus to bless them.
Let it go and set both you and your offender free. Since Christ did the same for you, you can always tap into his power which lives inside you through the Holy Spirit. You are never more like Christ than when you forgive.
The Power of Forgiveness of Others
Forgiveness means that with a sincere heart we cancel our offender’s debt against us. It is a personal decision that necessitates surrendering our bitterness and rage in an act of trust in God. It’s letting the other person’s sin be between them and the God you trust to work all things together for your good (Romans 8:28).
God’s forgiveness that is written about time and time again in the Bible provides the motivation and model for our forgiveness. As Christians, our goal is to be more like Christ each day.
We are imperfect and will never be like Christ. But it’s the direction in which we need to aim! God will equip us as we surrender in trust in Him. He will help us do what feels impossible.
Why do we forgive. We forgive someone to free ourselves of the roots of bitterness. Sometimes that forgiveness results in the complete restoration of a relationship. Often it does not. Often it means the relationship will need new sets of boundaries.
If we do not set boundaries, it usually means we enable behaviors. And if we enable behaviors, we risk getting in the way of the work only God can do within this person.
Ask God to help you. Don’t try to go this alone. The impossible is only possible with Christ so be sure to include Him in every step. Keep focused on His Word and the truth we find in there. The enemy will fill our minds with lies as we step into the power of forgiveness.
He doesn’t want us to experience that kind of freedom. He doesn’t like reconciliation. So be prepared to fight with the Word of God! In prayer, ask God to go before you. Ask Him to fight for you, reveal to you, and heal you every step of the way.
Benefits of Forgiveness:
When someone hurts us deeply, our first reaction is to lash back at them. Bitterness and grudges are a way that we try to do that. The problem is that those grudges and that bitterness don’t hurt the person who wronged us. They hurt us, slowly poisoning our thoughts, feelings, and other relationships.
Forgiveness is not easy. It takes courage to forgive someone who has hurt you. But, in the final analysis it is worth it. Forgiveness has many benefits and here are 12 benefits of forgiveness.
- Reading the Bible and being in the present of the Lord brings forgiveness.
- Forgiveness sets you free.
- Forgiveness can help you move on from the hurt. It can free you from anger and resentment.
- Forgiveness shows spiritual strength.
- Forgiveness can help improve your relationships. It can make them stronger and closer.
- Forgiveness can help you forgive yourself. It can lead to a sense of peace and self-acceptance.
- Forgiveness can make you happier by giving it to God. This allows Him to take all that hinders us so we can run “the race marked for us.”
- Forgiveness can help you feel more positive about yourself. It can increase your self-esteem and self-confidence.
- Forgiveness can help reduce conflict. It can make it easier to resolve disagreements without resorting to anger or violence.
- Forgiveness can help create a more compassionate world. It can inspire others to be more forgiving and understanding.
- Forgiveness can help you live in the present. It can prevent you from dwelling on the past and worrying about the future.
- Forgiveness is a personal choice. It is a decision that you make for yourself. Forgiving someone does not mean that you condone their actions. It means that you are willing to let go of the hurt and move on.
When we struggle with forgiving someone it is good to go through this list of the benefits of forgiveness to help encourage us. Make the Decision to Forgive.
Related: 30 Bible Verses on Forgiveness
Maybe you’re struggling to forgive someone.
- Pray, ask the Lord to help you, and pray for them (Matthew 5:44–48).
- Remember how much God has forgiven you, this frees us to forgive others (Matthew 18:23–35).
- Seek to do them good, refrain from gossiping or using any position you have over them (1 Peter 3:8–9).
- Know the Lord can bring good from this terrible situation, even if they haven’t asked for forgiveness. Joseph forgave his brothers long before he saw them again.
Bible Verses About Forgiveness
Here are some Bible verses about forgiveness. Forgiveness, though not easy, is necessary. Without being able to forgive, we cut off our ability to be forgiven.
God himself even cuts off the avenue of forgiveness if we cut it off from someone else. If you want to be everything that God has created you to be, then you need to be willing to enter into the dialog that bring forgiveness. In Isaiah, it describes our sin as a bright red stain and God’s forgiveness as washing us white as snow. (Isaiah 1:18)
- In Isaiah, it describes our sin as a bright red stain and God’s forgiveness as washing us white as snow. (Isaiah 1:18)
- Jeremiah carries a similar message about God’s forgiveness. (Jeremiah 31:34)
- David writes extensively in the book of Psalms praising God for his forgiveness. (Psalm 32:5, 38:3-4, 51:2-5, 86:5, 103:10-14, 130:4)
- Solomon talks about the wisdom and benefits in forgiving others. (Proverbs 17:9)
- Jesus embodies God’s forgiveness of us. (Matthew 26:28)
- Jesus builds on this by saying we are not only to receive forgiveness but to give it. (Matthew 6:14-15)
- Jesus challenges us to take forgiveness beyond the point of fairness. We don’t stop forgiving. (Matthew 18:21-22).
- Later in the New Testament Paul continually mentions the importance of forgiving others in his letters to the early church. (Ephesians 4:32, Colossians 3:13, Romans 12:17)
- And James offers practical wisdom on loving our neighbor through forgiveness. (James 2:8)
Power of Forgiveness Quotes
It’s one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself, to forgive. Forgive everybody.
― Maya Angelou
We must develop and maintain the capacity to forgive. He who is devoid of the power to forgive is devoid of the power to love. There is some good in the worst of us and some evil in the best of us. When we discover this, we are less prone to hate our enemies.
― Martin Luther King Jr.
Forgiving isn’t something you do for someone else. It’s something you do for yourself. It’s saying, ‘You’re not important enough to have a stranglehold on me.’ It’s saying, ‘You don’t get to trap me in the past. I am worthy of a future.’
― Jodi Picoult
“Grudges are for those who insist that they are owed something; forgiveness, however, is for those who are substantial enough to move on.”
― Criss Jami
“Letting go gives us freedom, and freedom is the only condition for happiness. If, in our heart, we still cling to anything – anger, anxiety, or possessions – we cannot be free.”
― Thich Nhat Hanh
“The practice of forgiveness is our most important contribution to the healing of the world.”
― Marianne Williamson
“Grudges are for those who insist that they are owed something; forgiveness, however, is for those who are substantial enough to move on.”
― Criss Jami
“To err is human, to forgive, divine.”
― Alexander Pope
“The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.”
― Mahatma Gandhi
“Forgiveness is an act of the will, and the will can function regardless of the temperature of the heart.”
― Corrie Ten Boom
“Forgiveness is not an occasional act; it is a constant attitude.”
― Martin Luther King Jr.
“Resentment is like drinking poison and then hoping it will kill your enemies.”
― Nelson Mandela
“To be wronged is nothing unless you continue to remember it.”
“Forgiveness has nothing to do with absolving a criminal of his crime. It has everything to do with relieving oneself of the burden of being a victim–letting go of the pain and transforming oneself from victim to survivor.”
― C.R. Strahan
“Be the one who nurtures and builds. Be the one who has an understanding and a forgiving heart, one who looks for the best in people. Leave people better than you found them.”
― Marvin J. Ashton
“As I walked out the door toward the gate that would lead to my freedom, I knew if I didn’t leave my bitterness and hatred behind, I’d still be in prison.”
― Nelson Mandela
“To forgive is wisdom, to forget is genius. And easier. Because it’s true. It’s a new world every heartbeat.”
― Joyce Cary
“But we can’t go back. We can only go forward.”
― Libba Bray
“Forgiveness in no way requires that you trust the one you forgive.”
― Wm. Paul Young
” For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins”
(MATTHEW 6:14-15 NIV)
Are you Convinced of the Importance of Forgiveness, Yet?
By choosing to forgive you are mirroring the forgiveness offered through Christ. Additionally, it’s choosing obedience to God’s Word and uninterrupted fellowship with Him. Thriving relationships, freedom from the past and better health, make forgiveness the obvious choice!
Prayer on Forgiveness
“Father, in the Name of Jesus, I ask that you search my heart. Reveal to me any hurts or unconfessed sins in my life, I lay them at your feet. I pray You will cover these hurts in Your healing grace, and through Your strength, empower me to forgive others as wholly and completely as You first forgave me. Today, I receive that gift of forgiveness You hold out to me. Thank you for doing a healing work inside of me that I cannot do on my own. Thank you for a new day, a new chapter, and a new beginning. In Jesus Name. Amen.
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