After a Conflict How to Keep Forgiving

To forgive when somebody wronged you in a conflict is one thing, but to keep forgiving is another!

Forgive3We may need to go through many bouts of forgiving. Forgiving again and again is just part of the process of forgiveness. As we consistently release each recurring thought of an offense, eventually the thoughts will stay away. The process will be complete.… The fight will be won. Jesus emphasized the “again and again” nature of forgiveness in Luke 17:4 when He said: “If he [your brother/sister] sins against you seven times in a day, and seven times comes back to you and says, ‘I repent,’ forgive him.”

How to Forgive…Again:

Forbid recurring thoughts of the wrongs to enter your mind. Stop them as soon as they occur. Boldly say to yourself, I refuse to keep a record of this.… I refuse to keep a file. “[Love] keeps no record of wrongs.” (1 Corinthians 13:5)

Overcome the temptation to bring up the matter again. After there has been honest confrontation with the offender and both sides of the situation have been dealt with or if the other person refuses to talk about the problem, let the Holy Spirit do His work of conviction. Ecclesiastes 3:7 says, “[There is] a time to be silent and a time to speak.” Pray this passage …“Set a guard over my mouth, O Lord; keep watch over the door of my lips.” (Psalm 141:3)

Repeat Scripture in your mind. Allow God’s perspective to change your perspective. Allow God’s heart to permeate your heart. At times of testing, repeat over and over, “Love covers this wrong. Lord, may I be an expression of Your love. May I show Your love that covers over all wrongs.” “Hatred stirs up dissension, but love covers over all wrongs.” (Proverbs 10:12)

Give the situation to God. Jesus understands how much you have been wronged. When He was being persecuted, Jesus knew that the heavenly Father would judge justly … in His way, and in His time. And you can know the same. Your trial will make you either bitter or better. Say to the Lord, “I put my heart into Your hands.…I entrust myself to You. I know You will judge this situation justly.” These words were said about Jesus …“When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly.” (1 Peter 2:23)

Intercede on behalf of your offender. God does not present prayer as an option to you.  When you have been wronged, pray, “Lord, give me eyes to see him through Your eyes.… May I care for her/him with Your care.…” “Bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.” (Luke 6:28)

Value what you can give and not what you can receive. Pray for God to help you understand the offender’s past and how his or her inner pain has contributed to the injury you are now experiencing. Focus on how you might meet some of these inner needs, for it is more blessed to give than to receive. “In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’ ” (Acts 20:35)

Extend God’s grace, mercy, and forgiveness. Forgiveness is a direct expression of both God’s grace and God’s mercy. Grace is getting what you don’t deserve (pardon). Mercy is not getting what you do deserve (punishment). Pray often, “Lord, may my life be an expression of Your grace and an extension of Your mercy.” “The Lord is full of compassion and mercy.” (James 5:11)