Follow these guidelines regarding biblical forgiveness:
· Acknowledge your feelings, to God (lament)
· Refuse to tell anyone other than one trusted person. Telling can be a way we seek to punish others.
· Ask God to help you forgive.
· Let the person off your hook and put them on God’s hook. Leave room for God’s justice.
· Confess any contribution to the problem to the other person and to God.
· Do not bring it up again or use it against them in the future.
· Give the other person the opportunity to treat you better in the future. (see note below)
· Give up the desire to place blame and work through any resentment or negative feelings toward the other person.
· Communicate forgiveness to the other person. (see note below)
· Work toward reconciliation only when it is safe to do so. (see note below) Be clear about expectations and limits.
· Pray for God to work on them and that they may also experience God’s blessing.
· Forgive yourself. Allow God’s grace to help you to heal. This takes time and intentionality.
Note: Sometimes it isn’t possible or safe to communicate or reconcile with the other person, but the act of forgiveness will set you free from bitterness and resentment. I can live in peace knowing God will take what is wrong and make it right.