Stretch Yourself with Lesson 15
Freedom through Forgiving: Head to Heart Guide
Really go to work with these ten steps and they will work for you. Review what forgiveness is and is not, bring the five motivations in and power up! Set your will to agree with God and let His truth take your heart on a pilgrimage to new life (Psalm 84:5). Turn the key that sets captive hearts free!
1) Seek grace: Ask God to help you by the power of His Spirit to make a real commitment of your will to do His will. If you really want to obey Him, then He will empower you.
2) Acknowledge the pain: Sin hurts. Sin is injustice. It is wrong. It grieves God and us.
3) Ask God to forgive them: really mean it. He already does, but you need to express it.
4) Ask God to "catch the thief": Commit the real enemy (Satan) to God's vengeance.
5) Ask God to forgive you (for judging them): Believe He has and gratefully receive it.
6) Choose to forgive them: Pray it and say it by an act of your will; put your heart in it.
7) Choose to forgive yourself (for prolonging the pain): Accept it. Release the pain.
8) Choose to believe God's promise of redemption is for you (Ro 8:28). Rejoice in it.
9) Pray for them - all of the blessings you would like God to bestow on you (Job 42:10).
10) Thank God by faith for His wisdom and goodness in all He allows and re-surrender entirely to His leadership over your life.
That's a lot of steps - and some are as tough as nails! Are you ready for a short cut? Here it is if you can do it: Picture yourself letting the unforgiveness go out of your heart into God's Hands with this prayer:
Father, I'm giving the hurt, the offense, the sin, the injustice and this person to You and trusting You with it all. I trust You with why You allowed it and with what You will do to bring about redemption and restoration.
Still having a hard time letting go? That probably means that your heart has become a "fist" refusing to open to grace: Use the five motivations to pry your "spiritual fingers" free. There is one for each finger! Walk your heart once again through the truth of the motivations and descriptions (review Freedom through Forgiving), plus the affirmations (Prayer Focus).
As you take the steps, pray for God's grace to conquer all your resistance to giving grace. Don't give up and you will be surprised and delighted how God's grace comes to your rescue along the way!