Friday, July 22, 2011

31 Days of Victory: {Day 22} Forgiveness

"For if you forgive people their trespasses, 
your Heavenly Father will also forgive you." 
Matthew 6:14

Hurt feelings are no fun. They can bring on a range of emotions from sadness to rage. An offense can prick our pride or worse, wound our soul. One of the easiest things to do in response to this is develop bitterness and even hatred. It's imperative to remember that offense is the bait of satan. As long as an offense is festering in our hearts and minds, we are not able to walk freely in God’s will for us.

“Forgiveness is to set a captive free, then realize that you were the captive.” – Corrie Ten boom 

It would be unfortunate for me to write on victory for 31 days and not include the need for forgiveness. This is a major piece to our puzzle. When we understand our need to receive forgiveness from God and extend it to others, our life becomes an incredible display of freedom. Choosing to forgive is not easy, but it’s absolutely necessary for true victory. When we choose bitterness over forgiveness, it’s like drinking poison, hoping the other person dies. Our negative thoughts and feelings hurt us more than anything else. We can even spiral into a destructive pattern of hurting others because of our pain. 

Being in ministry, I’ve heard this question a lot: “How do you know you’ve forgiven someone?” It’s a great question. The thing about forgiveness, or the absence of it, is that you carry it around in your heart, so it’s not always easy for others to identify. Offense can hide behind a smiling face.

My friend, and fellow blogger, Sheryl Griffin once tweeted, “Forgiveness doesn’t mean that what you did is okay. It means that I’m okay.” Forgiveness doesn’t mean that you forget. It simply means that you are no longer bitter; you no longer need to give them a piece of your mind or fantasize about how they can be repaid. When you desire God's mercy for them and can genuinely pray for blessings over that person, I think it’s safe to say that you’ve forgiven. 

Forgiveness becomes a reality when we fully understand that hurt people hurt others and healed people heal others. When our hearts are healed through forgiveness, we can wish healing upon those who have wounded us. When we walk in the light of God’s love, healing becomes our hearts desire, as oppose to revenge. Revenge can be as small as spitefully proving them wrong or as great as wishing them dead.

"But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you." - Matthew 5:44

"He who covers and forgives an offense seeks love, but he who repeats or harps on a matter separates even close friends."- Proverbs 17:9 

Forgiveness is a choice. If you wait until you feel like forgiving, it will probably never happen. Until you choose forgiveness, that person's offense has control over you, but you don't have to be chained to the past or your bitterness any longer. Allow God to deal with them justly, so that you can walk freely.

Is there anyone you need to forgive? Will you choose life by forgiving today?

If so, here's a prayer you can use...

“Dear Heavenly Father, I thank you for the riches of Your kindness, forbearance and patience toward me, knowing that Your kindness has led me to repentance. I confess that I have not shown that same kindness and patience toward those who have hurt or offended me. Instead, I have held on to my anger, bitterness and resentment toward them. Please bring to my mind all the people I need to forgive in order that I may now do so… Lord, I choose to forgive [name the person] for [what he or she did or failed to do] because it made me feel [share you feelings; i.e., rejected, dirty, worthless, inferior, etc.]. I choose not to hold on to my resentment. I relinquish my right to seek revenge and ask You to heal my damaged emotions. Thank You for setting me free from the bondage of my bitterness. I now ask You to bless those who have hurt me. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen”

If you prayed that prayer, I'm so thankful for your freedom today! Stay alert. The enemy is crafty and may try to replay those haunting memories of offense in your mind. Don't take the bait. Continue to walk in forgiveness; God will help you do that. 

P.S. Before you go, here's a short, sweet music video from my friend Beckah Shae. She calls these "Scripture Snacks" and this one is all about blessing those who curse you! Click here for the video. Hope you're blessed! 

Victory is real. 

Monique Zackery
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[Prayer: The Steps to Freedom in Christ]


  1. "Offense is a bait of satan" I love that statement! A great reminder....and thanks for quoting me :) God has been so faithful to tie all of our topics together

  2. Thanks, Lonnie! And thanks for stopping by the blog again. xoxo

  3. Sheryl, so true! God has really been weaving our thoughts together! Good stuff. :)

  4. Hurt people hurt others. Healed people heal others. Monique, because you've been healed, God is healing others through you, Sister. Love you.

  5. Awe. Thank you, Carla. Love you too!

  6. So powerful and anointed. Thanks Monique


"Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones." - Proverbs 16:24