The Power Of Forgiveness

Michael Shahid, February 6, 2022

(Full Transcript and Activation Prayers Below)

The Power Of Forgiveness

Unforgiveness- Unforgiveness is when you are unwilling or unable to forgive someone for hurting, betraying, breaking your trust or causing you intense emotional pain.

Blocks to Holy Spirit

            -Forgiving Myself

            -Forgiving Others

            -Forgiving God

Reasons Why To Forgive (This list is NOT exhaustive)

1. Because I am forgiven (by Jesus)

Luke 23:33-34    “When they came to the place called The Skull, there they crucified Him and the criminals, one on the right and the other on the left. 34 But Jesus was saying, “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.” And they cast lots, dividing up His garments among themselves.”

Luke 23:39-43    “One of the criminals who were hanged there was hurling abuse at Him, saying, “Are You not the Christ? Save Yourself and us!” 40 But the other answered, and rebuking him said, “Do you not even fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? 41 And we indeed are suffering justly, for we are receiving [n]what we deserve for our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong.” 42 And he was saying, “Jesus, remember me when You come in Your kingdom!” 43 And He said to him, “Truly I say to you, today you shall be with Me in Paradise.”

Mark 11:25. And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive them, so that your father in heaven may forgive you your sins.

Psalm 65:3   “Wrongdoings prevail against me; As for our offenses, You forgive them.”

2. Increases intimacy with the Father

Matthew 5:23-24   “Therefore if you are presenting your offering at the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, 24 leave your offering there before the altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother, and then come and present your offering.”

1 John 1:9    “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

Matthew 6:14    “For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly father will also forgive you.”

3. All healing begins with forgiveness (spiritual, etc.)

Luke 7:37-50   “Now one of the Pharisees was requesting Him to eat with him, and He entered the Pharisee’s house and reclined at the table37 And there was a woman in the city who was a sinner; and when she learned that He was reclining at the table in the Pharisee’s house, she brought an alabaster vial of perfume, 38 and standing behind Him at His feet, weeping, she began to wet His feet with her tears, and she wiped them with the hair of her head, and began kissing His feet and anointing them with the perfume. 39 Now when the Pharisee who had invited Him saw this, he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet He would know who and what sort of person this woman is who is touching Him, that she is a sinner!”

40 And Jesus responded and said to him, “Simon, I have something to say to you.” And he replied, “Say it, Teacher.” 41 “A moneylender had two debtors: the one owed five hundred denarii, and the other, fifty. 42 When they were unable to repay, he canceled the debts of both. So which of them will love him more?” 43 Simon answered and said, “I assume the one for whom he canceled the greater debt.” And He said to him, “You have judged correctly.” 44 And turning toward the woman, He said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I entered your house; you gave Me no water for My feet, but she has wet My feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. 45 You gave Me no kiss; but she has not stopped kissing My feet since the time I came in. 46 You did not anoint My head with oil, but she anointed My feet with perfume. 47 For this reason I say to you, her sins, which are many, have been forgiven, for she loved much; but the one who is forgiven little, loves little.” 48 And He said to her, “Your sins have been forgiven.” 49 And then those who were reclining at the table with Him began saying to themselves, “Who is this man who even forgives sins?” 50 And He said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.”

4. Forgiving gets you out of a victim mode and mentality

-Forgiveness frees you

                        -You are in a self-imposed prison that without a lock… You are choosing to stay there

            -Unlocks love in our hearts

-Greatest form of love is loving an enemy (someone who hurt you… even if that is yourself)

1 John 4:16-19   “We have come to know and have believed the love which God has for us. God is love, and the one who remains in love remains in God, and God remains in him. 17 By this, love is perfected with us, so that we may have confidence in the day of judgment; because as He is, we also are in this world. 18 There is no fear in love, but perfect love drives out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love. 19 We love, because He first loved us.”

5. Forgiving helps you move forward (Life, emotionally, mentally, spiritually, etc.)

            -Unforgiveness keeps me stuck in the same place.

                        -I become stunted

                                    -emotionally, spiritually, relationally

                        -Keeps me in a state of fear and caution regarding relationships

                                    -I resist intimate and close relationships

                                    -Keeps people at bay

                        -Keeps me being an “orphan” verses a son/daughter

                                    -refusing to get close to others and GOD

                                    -Never fully part of a family

                        -Impacts the great commission on my life

                                    -People need real, authentic relationship

                                    -I stay superficial

                            **I can only take others as far as I have gone**

6. Helps repair and heal relationships

Matthew 18;21-22    “Then Peter came and said to Him, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me and I forgive him? Up to seven times?” 22 Jesus *said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.”

            -Referring to an un-countable number of times.

Proverbs 17:9   “The one who forgives (conceals) an offense seeks love, but whoever repeats a matter separates close friends.”

Philemon– Story of Onesimus

7. Strengthens my character in Christ (because I choose to forgive)

Ephesians 4:32    “Be kind to one another, compassionate, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.”

            -I begin to show the heart of God.  His character qualities in me begin to come forth

Matthew 6:12     “And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.”

            -becoming more Christ-like in character

8. Forgiveness improves your health (physical, mental, and emotional)

            (2016 Study)

            1. Forgiveness Helps You Manage Stress

Not being able to forgive fosters feelings of anger, hostility, and stress, which are well documented to impact mental and physical health, past research shows.

study published in April 2016 in the journal Annals of Behavioral Medicineincluded more than 330 people ages 16 to 79. The researchers found that regardless of age, people who were able to forgive experienced a decrease in their perception of their own stress. And this decrease led to a decrease in psychological distress.

            -Stress impacts 85% of all illnesses

2. Forgiveness Activates the Parasympathetic Nervous System, Which Is Good News for Your Heart

Forgiveness affects the parasympathetic nervous system, too, which slows breathing and heart rate and increases digestion. It’s also known as “rest and digest” response (controlling ordinary bodily functions) — or the opposite of the stress fight-or-flight response (which prepares the body for more strenuous physical activity).

The sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems work together, so that your body can regulate things like blood pressure and heart rate, and function the way it should both in stressful situations and nonstressful moments. But when a person is under chronic stress — which can occur when someone is holding onto anger — the body may stay in the fight-or-flight response for too long.

“The parasympathetic nervous system is the calming part of the nervous system, so it turns off the hyperarousal of the specific areas,” says Worthington. Anything a person can do to calm themselves when carrying around a lot of stress activates the parasympathetic nervous system in this way (including practicing forgiveness), and can be helpful to the mind and body because it brings the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems more in balance.

There’s research to suggest indeed these effects may be significant in terms of affecting health outcomes, like cardiovascular function.

3. Forgiveness Helps Your Ruminate Less (Which Can Help Lower Risk of Psychological Disorders)

The act of not forgiving someone or refusing to forgive someone is almost always characterized by rumination, or playing something over and over in the mind. 

“We all ruminate, but the way that we ruminate is kind of individual. Some people do it angrily, some people ruminate hopelessly or feel depressed. Others do it anxiously,” Worthington says. And if rumination becomes habitual, it can lead to psychological disorders.

“Rumination is the universal bad boy of mental health,” Worthington adds.

Depending on your brand of rumination (whether you do it in a way that breeds hopelessness, depression, anxiety, or other feelings), these invasive, repetitive thoughts can eventually cause anger disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)anxietydepression, or psychosomatic disorders, in which stress and anxiety cause physical ailments like stomach pain or migraines

Activation Prayers:

Forgiving Others-

            Father, as an act of my own free will, I choose to forgive and release ______________ for __________ (or all the things that they/he/she have done to me) whether it was done willingly or unwillingly.  I stand on Your Word that I am to forgive others as You have forgiven me.  I willingly choose to give up my right to hold any grudges for any wrongdoings.  I no longer choose to judge their actions and motives.  I release my right to hold judgment to You.  I release my hurt, bitterness, anger, frustration, memories, and pain to You.  Knowing that Jesus, you took all these things upon yourself for my sake at the cross.  And now, I receive the blessing of your blood and love that covers a multitude of sins and frees me from these shackles.

Forgiving Myself-

            Father, as an act of my own free will, I choose to forgive and release myself for __________ , whether I did it willingly or unwillingly.  I stand on Your Word that I am no longer bound in self judgement and condemnation in You, as I declare Romans 8:1 over myself;

“There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.”

 I willingly choose give up my right to hold any grudges, blame, and shame, for any of my perceived wrongdoings.  I release my hurt, bitterness, anger, frustration, thoughts, memories and pain to You.  Knowing that Jesus, you took all these things upon yourself for my sake at the cross.  And now, I receive the blessing of your blood and love that covers all my of sins, and releases me any and all self-imposed shackles.

Forgiving God –

            Father, as an act of my own free will, I choose to forgive and release You for any perceived harm I believed You have done to me, or neglected to save me from.  I choose to renew my mind and declare that You are Good.  And I know that “You work all things work together for good to those who love You, and are the called according to Your purpose (Romans 8:28).  I release my perceived right to hold judgment against You.  I release all my hurt, bitterness, anger, frustration, and pain to You.  Knowing that Jesus, you took all these things upon yourself for my sake at the cross.  And now, I receive the blessing of your blood and love that covers a multitude of sins.  I repent for allowing those thoughts and emotions to affect my relationship with YOU.  And I thank You that in place of those things, You are blessing me with Your truth, Your love, and new revelation and understanding of Your goodness and grace.

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