When you see red, it is an alarm that “Danger Is Ahead!” Everyone feels angry sometimes. It is what you do with your anger that counts. Use these steps below to help you forgive yourself and others, let go of your anger and put the past behind you.
- Describe the offense and how you feel about it.
- List everyone you blame (this list may include yourself).
|Describe the Offense – The Specific
Action(s) That Made (Make) You Angry
|How You Feel
About the Offense
|First Names of
|Now Forgive Each
- Forgive! One key to being able to forgive is recognizing how much God, your Heavenly Father, has forgiven you. Every time you feel anger or bitterness, ask God to help you forgive. You may find the following prayer helpful.
Whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone,
so that your Father who is in heaven will also forgive you your transgressions.” Mark 11:25
How to Forgive
Let me share from the book Bondage Breaker by Neil T Andersen, which I have found helpful over the years.
- Acknowledge the hurt and hate. If your forgiveness doesn’t visit the emotional core, it will be incomplete. Let God bring the pain to the surface so He can deal with it.
- Ask God to bring to your mind those you need to forgive using the following prayer: “Dear heavenly Father, I thank you for the riches of Your kindness, forbearance, and patience knowing that your kindness has led me to repentance. I confess that I have not extended to others that same patience and kindness toward others who have offended me, but instead I have harbored bitterness and resentment. I pray that during this time of self-examination, You would bring to mind only those people I have not forgiven in order that I may do so. I also pray that if I have offended others. You would bring to mind only those people from whom I need to seek forgiveness and the extent to which I need to seek it. I ask this in the precious name of Jesus.”
- Be prepared for surprises. The Lord may bring to mind your father, mother or yourself. Make a list of everyone who has offended you. Since God forgave them, you can too.
- Decide that you will bear the burden of their offenses by not using the information about their offenses against them in the future.
- Don’t wait to forgive until you FEEL like forgiving, you will never get there. Feelings take time to hear after the choice to forgive is made.
- For each person on your list, say: “Lord, I forgive (name) for (offenses). Don’t say “Help me to forgive,” because He is helping. Don’t say “I want or will try to forgive,” because then you are bypassing the hard-core choice to forgive. Don’ t try to rationalize or explain the offender’s behavior; forgiveness deals with your pain, not their behavior.
- Forgiveness is a continuous exercise, not a one-time event. Practice every day as needed. Whenever you feel angry – forgive.
Exercise forgiveness. Let go of the past, so the past will let go of you, and you can move on to the future.