lesson 17 – forgiveness


Do you know the three kinds of forgiveness? To be completely free form your resentments, anger, fears, shame, and guilt, you need to give and accept forgiveness in all areas of your lives. If you do not, your recovery will be stalled and thus incomplete.

Have you accepted God’s forgiveness?

Have your really accepted Jesus’ work on the cross? By His death on the cross all your sins were canceled – paid in full! He exclaimed from the cross, “It is finished” (John 19:30)

“God puts people right though their faith in Jesus Christ. God does this to all who believe in Christ, because there is no difference at all; everyone has sinned and is far away from God’s saving presence. But by the free gift of God’s grace they are all put right with him through Jesus Christ, who sets them free. God offered him, so that by his sacrificial death he should become the means by which people’s sins are forgiven through their faith in him.” (Romans 3:22-25, GNB)

Have you forgiven others who have hurt you?

You must “let go” of the pain of the past harm and abuse caused by others. Until you are able to release it and forgive it, it will continue t0o hold you prisoner.

Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eye of everybody. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you live at peace with everyone.” (Romans 12:17-18)

You may owe God an amends! Remember the harm that others did to you was from their free will, not God’s will.

“After you have borne these sufferings a very little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to share his eternal splendor through Christ, will himself make you whole and secure and strong.” (1 Peter 5:10, PH)

NOTE: If you have been the victim of sexual abuse, physical abuse, or childhood emotional abuse or neglect I am truly sorry for the pain you have suffered. I hurt with you. But you will not find the peace and freedom from you perpetrator until you are able to forgive that person. Remember, forgiving him or her in no way excuses the harm done against you. Forgiveness will allow you, however, to be released from the power that the person has had over you. I have rewritten Principle 6 (Steps 8 and 9) for you.

Step 8. Make a list of all persons who have harmed us and become willing to seek God’s help in forgiving our perpetrators, as well as forgiving ourselves. Realize we’ve also harmed others and become willing to make amends to them.

Have you forgiven yourself?

You may feel that the guilt and shame of your past is just too much to forgive. This is what God wants you to do with the darkness of your past: “Come, let’s talk this over! Says the Lord; no matter how deep the stain of your sins, I can take it out and make you as clean as freshly fallen now. Even if you are stained as red as crimson, I can make you as white as wool. If you will only let me help you” (Isaiah 1:18-19, TLB).

Remember, “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1)

Principle 6: Evaluate all my relationships. Offer forgiveness to those who have hurt me and make amends for harm I’ve done to others, except when to do so would harm them or others.

“Happy are the merciful.” (Matthew 5:6) “Happy are the peacemakers.” (Matthew 5:9)

Step 8: We made a list of all persons we had harmed and became willing to make amends to them all.

“Do to others as you would have them do to you.” (Luke 6:31)

Step 9: We made direct amends to such people whenever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.

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