How to Forgive and Walk in Mercy:
Christian Maturity
Through the Beatitudes – Lesson 4

Jesus was our perfect example of how to forgive

how to forgive Bible study two women arguingWhen the people were ready and anxious to stone the adulterous woman, He told the person without sin to throw the first rock at her. But, of course, none of them fit that description, but Jesus – The one she had truly sinned against.

When He was the last one left there standing, He told her to go and sin no more (John 8:4-11). He showed her His mercy that day. Much like He showed it to you the day that you accepted Him as your Lord.

Now, you have been forgiven.

But, are you like the servant who begged his king to forgive his huge debt, but refused to have mercy upon the one who owed him much less (Matthew 18:23-35).

Or, like your Father in heaven, do you know how to forgive?

Forgiven to Forgive

Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.-Matthew 5:7

Christian Forgiveness Bible Study We all want to obtain mercy from God. For Him to overlook our mistakes and cover our slip-ups in the blood of Jesus. But are we willing to do the same for others?

I once heard that when people look at others, they see the mistakes that they make. When they look at themselves, they see the good intentions that they had.

Have you ever fallen into that trap before? I know I have.

But, even when we read the Lord’s Prayer, we were told to pray for God to forgive our trespasses as we forgive those who have trespassed against us.

Notice that, just like in the Beatitudes, our own forgiveness here is conditional upon whether we are willing to forgive others.

How to Forgive the Unforgivable

But what about when someone does the unthinkable? Aren't some things just unforgivable?

I know a lot about harboring unforgiveness in your heart.

As a small child, I was sexually abused by a family member. I held the secret in silence for years because of the threats and shame. As I grew older and began reaping the emotional fruits of the seeds that were planted inside of me, my shame grew into anger.

how to forgive the unforgivable woman prayingI don't know if you have ever experienced a wrong so deep that, no matter how much you tried by yourself, you could not let go of the fury building inside of you.

But, the saying is true. Hate is like taking a poisonous drug, and hoping someone else will die.

In the end, it will only hurt you and your relationship with God.

If you do not forgive your offenders, then God tells us that He can not fully forgive you.

Being merciful will open up the door for God to work in every area of your life.

So, how do you forgive the unforgivable? You begin to pray. Not just for yourself. But for them.

But I say unto you, Love your enemies,
bless them that curse you,
do good to them that hate you,
and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you ...
- Matthew 5:44

Why? We talked about this a bit in the meekness lesson. But let's take it a few steps further.

Jesus Himself says being able to show true mercy to those who do not deserve it is the real sign that you are developing into a spiritually mature Christian.

But I tell you,
Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,
To show that you are the children of your Father Who is in heaven;
...For if you love those who love you, what reward can you have?
...what more than others are you doing?
Do not even the Gentiles (the heathen) do that?
You, therefore, must be perfect
[growing into complete maturity of godliness in mind and character,
having reached the proper height of virtue and integrity,
as your heavenly Father is perfect.
- Matthew 5:44-48 (AMP)

As I explain in our online class, Releasing Past Hurts: How to Forgive the Unforgivable, when you pray for your enemies, God begins to show you the pains in the offender's heart that led them to their actions. As He heals the pain inside of you, you begin to understand that this person is not really the enemy. They are just a pawn used by your Father's enemy, Satan, to hurt one of His children.

As you mature in Christ, you realize that the real battle is not of flesh and blood. And that the battle is not really your's to fight.

If you still feel bound by the pains of your past, I want to personally invite you to come on a special journey with me. It is a journey through God's Word, and straight to His heart. I want to share with you, how the Lord released me from a past of abuse and pain to true freedom, and all through Forgiveness. And, He wants to do the same thing for YOU. Join me in our life changing class, Releasing Past Hurts, and find out how to finally break free!

How to Forgive and Walk in Mercy Bible Study

Optional Activity

Have there been wrongs committed against you that you are still holding on to? Try this forgiveness activity.

How To Forgive in 5 Steps:
  1. Make a list of the actions, not the people, that have hurt you.
  2. Pray and ask God to heal those broken places that this has caused in your life and your relationship with Him.
  3. Ask God to forgive you for your unforgiveness and to help you to release any anger or resentment you have held in your heart. To truly show you how to forgive.
  4. Destroy the paper with the offenses on it once and for all!
  5. Write the names of the offender(s) on a separate sheet of paper without their actions. Start using this as your prayer list. Commit to praying for these people regularly.

Once you have done this, you may still feel like you have not fully forgiven the person. But, forgiveness is a conscious spiritual decision. And you have made it. Sometimes it just takes a second for your emotions to catch up with your spirit.

If you have angry feelings about the offender again, just take that thought captive (2Correnthains 10:5)! Confess aloud that you have forgiven that person. Then begin to pray for them. Over time, your emotions will come in line with your spirit.

Christian Forgiveness Bible Study

I pray that this Bible study on how to forgive has been a blessing to you.

Your next lesson on the Beatitudes will show you the final signs of spiritual maturity.

Christian Maturity Through the Beatitudes
Lesson 1: Jesus paints a picture of spiritual maturity
Lesson 2: The power in humility and meekness
Lesson 3: Receiving God's Forgiveness
Lesson 4: Learning How to Forgive
Lesson 5: Final Keys to Christian Spiritual Growth

Finished with How to Forgive
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