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25 March 2023 ‘Forgive, and you will be forgiven.’ Luke 6:37 NIV

Here are three more steps to forgiveness: 1) Accept people as they are and don’t try to change them. We might be tempted to say, ‘I’ll only forgive them if they change.’ That just keeps us tied to them, obsessing over what they did and demanding they act in ways that we approve of. Nothing makes people less willing to change than when we try to control them and demand that they meet our requirements. Changing people isn’t our job – it’s God’s job! Our job is to choose to forgive, then leave the rest in God’s hands. The formula for healing is this: forgive, let go, and let God. 2) See if you can turn the hurt to good or use it for growth. For example, when we’ve been betrayed, it puts us in a great position to use our experiences to help someone else who’s experiencing betrayal. The life of Joseph demonstrates how we can use our experiences for growth. The path that led him from the pit to the palace was paved by injustice, disappointment, and betrayal. But God used each painful circumstance to get him to his destiny. And God can do the same for us. 3) If you can, try reconciling with your offender. This isn’t always possible, and depending on the type of hurt we’ve been through, it might end up causing more pain. But if it’s appropriate, we should try to reconcile. Reconciliation is God’s nature. ‘When we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son’ (Romans 5:10 KJV). And what God did for us, He wants us to do for whoever we’ve been in conflict with. Jesus made reconciliation a top priority by saying, ‘Leave your gift there before the altar…First be reconciled…then come and offer your gift’ (Matthew 5:24 NKJV). It takes selflessness and humility, but it is worth it.


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