by John and Ruth Greene
Do you keep your promises? You do damage to yourself and others when you fail to keep your word. Repentance and forgiveness operate in the same way. When you turn aside from something that harms yourself and others, returning to the old lifestyle magnifies harm of the past. Forgiveness is no less important and very much the same. Are you willing to forgive yourself? Are you willing to forgive others? Are you willing to turn aside from the past?
“For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But, if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.” Matthew 6:14-15, NKJV
When you have been abused, hurt or insulted, the temptation is to strike back, to plot revenge, or to simmer in bitterness. Yet, YHWH requires forgiveness, or else He will NOT forgive you or I. If you are unwilling or unable to forgive, then there is no use to ask YHWH for what He told you He will not give. Dealing with any lack of forgiveness in your heart and mind is the first priority for a disciple. (“Temptations & Tough Choices“; “Discernment: Having an Ear to Deeper Understanding“; “Renewing Your Mind“)
Perhaps as a child you were forced by an adult or parent to “forgive” someone who was first forced to “say sorry” to you. Was this really repentance by the perpetrator or forgiveness by the victim? That may be. More typically, this charade by children is a temporary ceasefire of hostilities forced by someone else, with the intent to do more of the same later when watchful eyes aren’t present. In this way, children learn to indulge in acting or pretending. Adults often act the same way, simply adopting behaviors of the past. Instead, YHWH aims at truth from the inside out. (“Discernment the World Doesn’t Have“; “The Stronghold of Anger“)
This charade of “forgiveness” is often carried into adulthood, a superficial substitute for the real thing. You may profess forgiveness by “saying so”, while holding vengeance, bitterness and hatefulness in hidden within your heart. If so, you have missed the point of Yahshua [Jesus] in scripture and bypassed entirely what your Heavenly Father [YHWH, ‘God’] expects from you. YHWH sees the harmful feelings held deep in your heart as the reality of your heart eats away at your soul like disease. If a man isn’t impressed by hiding deep feelings, why would YHWH by impressed by pretense?
“He [Yahshua, Jesus] replied, “Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you hypocrites; as it is written: ‘These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me.’” – Matthew 15:8, NKJV
The refusal to forgive is often due to a false concept that “forgetting is forgiving”. Certainly, when you forgive, the memory of hurt will dim as a result. This is because your heart is not full of strife. You are willing to let go of hurt which allows hurt to let go of you. Forgetting is not forgiving. This is denial.
“Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.” Proverbs 4:23, NKJV
When you pretend forgiveness by deliberately putting the offense out of your mind, you may fool yourself and others that you have forgiven. The emotions are still locked up in your heart and mind, waiting to get out at any moment of opportunity. Denial can fool the mind. When a similar situation arises or an offending person is in your vicinity, the bitterness and pain rise up again. The fire of pain in your soul is never quenched until you truly forgive. When you bend your mind with denial, your mind has a nasty habit of reliving that denial in the heat of the moment. To continue to deny is your personal delusion. Forgiveness is solid, deep and meaningful. Forgiveness does not avoid the truth, but deals with the pain head on. (“YHWH’s Prayer Shawl of Protection“; “Delusion & the Tightening Noose of the Beast System“; “The Abomination That Causes Desolation“; “Strongholds & the Armor of YHWH“)
“Anyone who claims to be in the light but hates his brother is still in the darkness.” – 1 John 2:9, NKJV
Remember that nothing is hidden from YHWH, not even your personal delusion of denial. Forgetting about an offense does not come first. Forgiveness must come first and then you forget. Otherwise, you will continue to hang on to old hurts and traumas. If and when you enter into true forgiveness, you can regard the person without the “offense” looming first and foremost between you. (“Breaking the Strongholds of Egypt and Canaan in Your Heart“; “Breakthrough Prayer: Strongholds“)
“Because this is the covenant which I will covenant with the house of Israel after those days, says YAHWEH, I will give My Laws into their mind, and I will write them on their hearts, and I will be their Elohim, and they shall be My people. And they shall no more teach each one their neighbor, and each one his brother, saying, Know YAHWEH; because all shall know Me, from the least of them to their great ones. For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and I will not at all remember their sins and their lawless deeds.” – Hebrews 8:10-12, HRB
Another major block to forgiveness is bitterness, revenge, hatred. These qualities have a comfortable appeal to a misguided carnal heart. Undoubtedly you have felt the temptation of scorching retribution against another! Satan would love you to meditate on these thoughts. When you do, your ability to forgive is blocked. (“Hindered Prayer in Marriage“; “The Truth About Anger“)
Do not gloat when your enemy falls; when he stumbles, do not let your heart rejoice. – Proverbs 24:17, NKJV
“In your anger do not sin”: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold.” – Ephesians 4:26-27, NKJV
“Let not any evil word go out from your mouth, but words that are good and useful for edification that it may impart a blessing to those who hear them. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of YAHWEH, by whom you were sealed to the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, and anger, and wrath, and tumult, and evil speaking be put away from you, along with all malice.” – Ephesians 4:29-31, HRB
When you allow the roots of deception and denial in your life, you have allowed a stronghold of Satan into your heart that must be removed. Continuing to operate in mock forgiveness disowns the Messiah and His sacrifice for you. (“Deceptions of Ages: How People are Deceived“; “A Mind of Envy and Competition“)
Our book, “The Miracle of the New Man: Breaking Strongholds in God’s Perfect Will” is a primer that reveals the bitter harvest that Satan has planted in the hearts of the world and likely into your heart. If you have experienced hurts and trauma, you need to remove the roots of darkness from your life.
Our book, “Two Kingdoms: Genetics of Spiritual Warfare”, goes into details about how your life, your health and eternal well-being are affected by hurt and trauma that you experience in your life. Also covered is man’s science of epigenetics and 15 sample prayers that break strongholds of Satan and the dark kingdom.
John the Baptist warned of impending judgment by comparing those that have refused to live for YHWH to chaff, the useless husk of grain. (Luke 3:17) By contrast, sanctified disciples that turn aside from sin of the past and reform their lives are the nourishing seed of the wheat. (“Knowing Where You Stand on YHWH’s Threshing Floor“; “YHWH’s Threshing Floor“; “The Wheels of Ezekiel“)
So watch yourselves. “If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him. If he sins against you seven times in a day, and seven times comes back to you and says, ‘I repent,’ forgive him.” Luke 17:3-4, NKJV
Perhaps the greatest block to forgiveness is the idea that we could actually do it on our own, through human goodness and effort. Consider that you are as capable, and likely, to supernaturally heal someone in your own strength as to be able to forgive others. For which is easier? (Mark 2:7-11; “Abiding With YHWH in Quiet Places“; “Listening to the Holy Spirit“)
When Elohim says his disciples should do something that is reasonably within your power, then it is easy to mistake your personal efforts at Spirit-led obedience. But when you read that YHWH says to “be perfect” (actually complete; but equally just as difficult without Messiah; Matthew 5:48) don’t despair. The sacrifice of Yahshua [Jesus] and the grace (loving-kindness) of YHWH complete you. Your trust is what YHWH requires. With His power through the Holy Spirit [Sanctified, Set Apart Spirit] you can forgive.
“I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” – John 15:5, NKJV
True forgiveness is a consistent flood of joy and peace. Bitterness is removed. Conflict is quenched. Love completes you where hatred once dwelled. That is your Heavenly Father at work. You must forgive instead of pretending or acting. That is part of what abiding in the Messiah is about.
YHWH makes it all possible!