The strongest person in the earth is the person who does not take ownership of someone’s irresponsibility. It is an irresponsible act when a person willfully hurts another person. However, it is also an irresponsible act when a person allows the hurt or pain to continue to live. When you allow hurt or pain to continue to live, it multiplies to the point where everyone is a victim you come in contact with. The responsible thing to do is to quickly disown the act so that it will not have access to you, your family, your friends, and society. You see, the outside you is controlled by the inside you.

Here’s a question for you: What do you think you look like internally when you give your heart and peace away because of forgiveness issues?
Looks can be deceiving! A person can appear to be one way while they have double standards. A person who has double standards, is a person who is battling with themselves. This person is unstable due to their inner battles.
The bible tells us in Proverbs 20:23 NLT, “The Lord detests double standards; He is not pleased by dishonest scales.

James 1:8 KJV; “A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.”
The spiritual side of a person is the side that wants to forgive, but the natural side of a person is the side that feeds on the hurt and pain. For this reason, many of us are out of shape internally even though we appear to be in shape externally. A person who runs from peace or freedom will never be fit. This run is meaningless since it takes you nowhere.

Your energy is of most importance. Protect it. You protect your energy by not allowing anyone or anything to steal it. It is very difficult to function as you are supposed to if your energy level is zapped.
A forgiveness issue is darkness. It is an offense that puts out your light. It zaps your energy. If your light is out, who benefits from you or your presence? Not even you will benefit from you or your presence if your light is out.

The very first thing God spoke into existence is light. Why? Because, “the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep.” {Genesis 1:2 KJV}.
Let us be honest with ourselves. The description of the earth, in the beginning, is the same description of a person who refuses to forgive. The earth was in a chaotic state in the beginning, and a person who is dealing with forgiveness issues is also in a chaotic state.
If you are the kind of person who just “LOVEs” chaos then you are in the right lane. Hold on tight like a pit bull to the hurt and pain. However, if you desire to be free from the imprisonment, please do what God did. Speak light into your situation by simply saying to yourself aloud…
“I Am not a victim of this situation. I will not take ownership of anything that does not serve me, my family, my friends, and society any good. I release myself and the person who has offended me from this unprofitable situation. I will be the responsible party at this point by not giving life to something that should be dead. I choose Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, Faithfulness, and Self-Control instead. I chose to feast on the Fruit of the Spirit {Galatians 5:22-23 NIV} instead of the unforbidden fruit.”
God is so mindful of forgiveness issues, and He addressed this poison all throughout the Bible. “You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also. And if anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, hand over your coat as well. If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles” {Matthew 5:38-41 NIV}.
Earlier I spoke about getting in shape. Well, these Scriptures are the best way to obtain emotional, financial, mental, physical, and spiritual health. Going the extra mile is the best way to deal with an offense. God knows it requires a level of fitness in order to forgive; therefore, He has given us the following instructions. I believe it is safe to say, God is into your overall health. The question is, are you?

It is proven that your overall health impacts the length and quality of your life. How long do you want to live and to what degree do you want to live?
So many of us are alive and yet dead. Why? Because, we are stuck in twenty years ago, ten years ago, last month, or last week – of un-forgiveness. Is that the way to live? Would you recommend this way of living to anyone?
Here’s the story of a person who was out of shape emotionally, mentally and spiritually. (Name removed for privacy reasons.)
I once was ruled by my emotions. I had serious anger issues. The Incredible Hulk and I had lots in common with the exception of me turning green. I was whipped into shape when a business deal went bad. I once owned a t-shirt company, and was mistreated by a client who God used to tame the beast within.

This customer ordered $8,000.00 worth of t-shirts only to back out of the deal and disregard our contractual agreement. I was so upset because of how she spoke to me and how she handled everything.
My first thought was to get even. I wanted to inflict multiplied pain to her. I wanted to take her to court, but for some reason, I had no peace concerning my roller coaster feelings. The inner battle was one of the worse that I have ever experienced. The resentment I had towards her controlled my life for weeks. I was literally in a dark place.

One day, God spoke to me. He stated, “How much longer are you going to remain in this place? Do you want to be healed? If so, forgive her.”
Forgiveness was the farthest thing on my mind, so I ignored His instructions and remained in the darkness for another week or so. I must confess to you, I was tired of being in that weak place. Therefore, I asked God to help me get over this issue. I did not know where to start or how to get it done.

God then instructed me to, “Pray for her aloud every time you think about her. Speak blessings over her life, her children’s lives, her household, and everything she places her hands to do every time you think of her. Say something good about her aloud every time you think of her.”
With tears streaming down my cheeks, I prayed for her aloud, spoke blessings, and repeatedly stated good things about her all day long as God had instructed. With time, the tears stopped, and the more I prayed and blessed her the more liberated I became. Wow! Talk about graduation. Talk about change. Talk about freedom.

The deal was sealed when I saw her and spoke nicely to her. Believe it or not, I did not have any bad feelings towards her at all. Actually, I felt bad for her, because I sensed how uncomfortable she was. Wrong doing, has an effect on the perpetrator. Do not allow it to have an effect on you. You are not a victim once you decide to be victorious by forgiving any and all offenses.

Renewing of the Mind
In order to accomplish what you desire, your mind must be renewed with God’s principles. We must be “washed clean” from negative, self-doubt and destructive thinking. When you are living with negative thinking in your mind, you will not be able to succeed in your life the way God intends for you to. All your efforts in life to do anything positive or effective will become very hard to achieve because of your mindset.

Romans 12:2 reads: And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
Negative thinking causes just about everything in your life to be unstable, including your spiritual life. The knowledge of God and His wisdom will be very hard to comprehend when you possess an unstable thinking pattern. God has bestowed upon you a sound mind, but negative thinking patterns corrupt the gift. Your thought process contributes to your choices and your choices make your life what it is. This truth is found in the bible. Proverbs 23:7 says “as a man thinketh in his heart so he is.”

Therefore it is imperative that you take a “truthful” look at what’s really on the inside of you and what your thought patterns are like.
First: Examine Your Heart – Have you inspected your heart lately? If not, it’s time to start. Ask yourself (and be prepared to accept and be honest with the answers), like what things are dwelling within your heart? For each thing you come up with, also ask yourself these questions:

• Why is it there?
• Is it helping me or holding me back?
• How is it helping me?
• How is it holding me back?

Examine Your Mind – How much “junk thinking” do you do? How about your life, is it going the way you want it to or need it to? If not, there is most likely a connection between your thoughts and the results you’re seeing.
If you live long enough, you are going to hurt someone by design or by mistake. How would you like to be dealt with? Would you want to be forgiven or would you like to be un-forgiven?

Here is a Scripture I “HIGHLY” recommend you meditate on:
“For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins” {Matthew 6:14-15 NIV}.

You might ask the question:
You: “Lord, why should I have to forgive for the same thing again?”
“Because I’ve forgiven you for repeated bad behavior on more than one occasion”, says the Lord.
You: “Oh, that’s right”
It’s not as difficult to forgive, when you know you’ve been forgiven for much.

If you are not a runner become one today. Run a marathon if you have to run one. Go the extra mile as God has instructed you. It will secure the real you. It will secure the healthy you. Run, I tell you. Run!
Forgiveness is unlocking the door to set someone free and
realizing you were the prisoner! – MaxLucado

God has so much for each and every one of us. By choosing not to forgive we put a padlock on the door to your intended blessings. It may appear open at times but it’s not. You may get blessed here and there. But in order to walk in the full abundance of what God has for you, forgiveness must completely take place in and through you. Not in mere words, but in actions.

And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you (Ephesians 4:32)
Did you know that the Greek word for forgiveness is: aphesis?

• Short Definition: deliverance, pardon, complete forgiveness
• Definition: a sending away, a letting go, a release, pardon, complete forgiveness.

One of the most important lessons that you can learn about forgiveness is, it is not for the other person, it’s for you!
“Many promising reconciliations have broken down because, while both parties came prepared to forgive, neither party came prepared to be forgiven.”
— Charles Williams

Forgiveness Test:
Answer the questions honestly. Take an assessment of where you are and do the work to become whole.

How do you respond when that person’s (who hurt you) name is mentioned?

Can you sincerely pray for them? Yes / No
If No, Why? _____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Would you feed them if needed? Yes / No
If No, Why? _____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Would you clothe them if needed? Yes / No
If No, Why? _____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Do you want them to hurt the way they hurt you? Yes/No
If Yes, Why?

If No, Why? _____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Would you give them a ride to YOUR church if needed? Yes / No
If No, Why? ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

If the Pastor told you to turn to your neighbor, hug them and tell them you love them, could you do it without being fake? Yes/ No
If No, Why? ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Forgiveness Scriptures:
1. Whoever would foster love covers over an offense, but whoever repeats the matter separates close friends. Proverbs 17:9 | NIV
2. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. Ephesians 4:32 | NIV
3. For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. Matthew 6:14 | NIV
4. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. Colossians 3:13 | NIV
5. If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land. 2 Chronicles 7:14 | NIV
6. Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. Luke 6:37 | NIV
7. Who is a God like you, who pardons sin and forgives the transgression of the remnant of his inheritance? You do not stay angry forever but delight to show mercy. Micah 7:18 | NIV
8. You, Lord, are forgiving and good, abounding in love to all who call to you. Psalm 86:5 | NIV
9. Therefore, my friends, I want you to know that through Jesus the forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you. Through him everyone who believes is set free from every sin, a justification you were not able to obtain under the law of Moses. Acts 13:38-39 | NIV
10. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace. Ephesians 1:7 | NIV
11. Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” Acts 2:38 | NIV
12. And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. Matthew 6:12 | NIV
13. Then I acknowledged my sin to you and did not cover up my iniquity. I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord.” And you forgave the guilt of my sin. Psalm 32:5 | NIV
14. Is anyone among you sick? Let them call the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up. If they have sinned, they will be forgiven. James 5:14-15 | NIV