5 Powerful Motivations for Forgiving
Including the Ones God Uses!
This article on 5 powerful motivations for forgiving is an introduction to "Matters of the Heart," our free eCourse for spiritual growth and emotional transformation. The 24 Main Healing Lessons from the course can be found in the downloads section in PDF and MP3 formats. They are also available in our Store as an ebook, a 176 page workbook and as CD and DVD sets of 24, 1/2 hour teachings.
We Need Powerful Motivations to Do This!
Anytime we have a hard job it helps if we have sufficient motivation to work at it until it is finished. Forgiveness is like that. Our bitter feelings can stick to us like glue. It hurts to remember past wrongs. It takes time and energy to get free. We cry out, "Why should I forgive?"
Let these 5 powerful motivations for forgiving come to your rescue!
1) Your Own Freedom. Holding on to unforgiveness guarantees that we will stay a victim of the pain of the past! We imprison our heart behind walls of anger and hard feelings, then say to our enemy, "You did this to me!" The truth is that no one can lock your heart up but you. No one can put pain in and keep it there. No one can inflict damage that your God cannot redeem, making "all things" work for your good.
If we choose to embrace the freedom God offers, then we will do the hard work of giving to God all of the injustice and pain that people have caused us. That is what He wants us to do for the sake of our inner healing. That is what He did for us.
2) Their Ignorance Of The Truth. Have you ever "heard" yourself thinking, "How could they do that? They knew perfectly well what they were doing!" That's not how the Lord sees it. While He was being put to death by His enemies Jesus declared, "Father, forgive them. They don't know what they are doing." Surely, if this motivation worked for Jesus, then it is based on truth and it will work for us as well.
According to scripture the person who sins has been deceived by an invisible enemy. No one who sins is seeing what they are doing in the full light of heaven's perspective or the full awareness of how they are being used by their own enemy!
3) Your Ignorance Of The Truth. When we rise up in righteous indignation, we become blinded by pride and fail to see the magnitude of our own wrong doing. We say, "I would never have done that!" This makes it very hard to forgive. Jesus has a "way of escape" from these hard judgments. He reminds us that we can do nothing good without Him and that it is only by His grace that we are being saved.
Just let the sight of your own sins (of thought, word and deed) restore your sense of perspective. We are all sinners in great need of grace and mercy. Then take it one step further. Jesus compares the hard judgment in our eye to a beam and the offender's sin to a splinter. In our eyes we readily excuse our own hard-heartedness, but in Jesus' eyes our unforgiveness is the larger sin.
4) Compassion For Them. Here is an unassailable truth: The person who hurt you or your loved one didn't come into the world with that in mind. That person came to earth as a baby desiring only to be cuddled, loved and fed. Something went wrong. An attack from an invisible enemy broke through their God-given innocence and began carrying that person down the darkened, twisted corridors of self survival. They are "acting out" of their own pain and brokenness. Haven't you at times?
Yes, they are accountable for their wrong reactions. However, the Lord always sees their wounds and holds pity in His great heart for them, even as He works to bring correction. Aren't you glad He is that way with you?
5) The Inheritance Of The Lamb. Let's "take the gloves off" for this one. That person you hate and blame is someone for whom Jesus died a horrible death to atone for his or her sins. He wants that person in heaven with Him!
Our bitterness is the exact opposite of what Jesus did in going to the cross. It is actually the nature of the evil one in us, not the nature of our new life in Christ. If we have been deeply wronged, then we are in the best possible position to pray with real authority for the release of that person from a snare of the evil one--their enemy and ours. We join Jesus on the mercy seat interceding with Him!
Why should you forgive? Take back your spiritual health, inner peace and freedom with these five motivations. They come to us from heaven's perspective which is always liberating. Let them power you up to give the offense, the pain and the person to God and to trust Him with it all.
That's what forgiveness is—
that and the sweet feeling of freedom and a restored life!
Interested in Going Deeper?
Consider taking our free eCourse for Healing.We have designed a complete series for personal transformation, "Matters of the Heart," to help Christians gain emotional freedom and inner healing. In all there are 24 Main Healing Lessons and 24 Head to Heart Guides to help you bring your heart to God and receive His Great Heart for you in return!