The need to forgive is inevitable – all of us will be hurt by others or we will hurt others – this is the reality of the fallen world that we live in. These hurts can be minor to major with deep wounds and sometimes lifelong consequences. Sometimes, it is hard to forgive ourselves. But life is not possible without forgiveness. Unforgiveness is costly – relational “gridlocks”, compromised health, lack of freedom and hardness of heart.
While the secular world in recent decades has been discovering the importance and power of forgiveness, over two thousand years ago Jesus taught much about forgiveness, even making it a central part of one’s daily prayer (Matt. 6:12-15; 18:35; Mark 11:25; Luke 23:34; Col. 3:13). Indeed, if we do not forgive others then our heavenly Father will not forgive us – a sobering realization. We forgive others as Christ forgave our sins. Forgiveness, then, is part of discipleship as followers of Jesus.
While forgiveness is necessary for our health and the safety of our souls, it is not always easy. This is especially true when we experience betrayal or abuse within a faith community. In my years of ministering healing and transforming prayer I have realized that some people find forgiveness difficult because they have a misunderstanding about forgiveness. For example, they perceive that forgiveness is reconciliation or forgetting or minimizing the hurt(s). Are you finding it hard to truly forgive someone or maybe you cannot forgive yourself?
In this teaching video, I discuss the nature and need for forgiveness, the costs of unforgiveness and the misunderstandings that can stop someone from extending forgiveness. Since betrayal is often the hardest to forgive, I end this video with a short exposition of Psalm 55.
This video is an excerpt from a teaching and training Zoom conference conducted over the fall of 2020 for Immanuel Baptist Church in Toronto. I begin this session with a preamble on the central and strategic importance of the ministry of healing and transforming prayer in the life of every church. I trust you will be edified and encouraged through this video!