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Keywords: How To Forgive Other People Jesus Christ God Forgiveness Forgive Compassion Empathy Christian Christianity We Must Forgive If You Love Other People, We Must Forgive Them Anger Hatred Angry Resentment Hostility Revenge Getting Even Forgive And Forget

How To Forgive Other People
We Must Forgive Others, And Here Is How To Do It

By Rev. Bill McGinnis, Director - Internet Church Of Christ -

Jesus teaches that we must forgive other people if we expect God to forgive us. Here is a way to do that.


The most important thing for a Christian is love. If we love, we must forgive.

            "For all the law is fulfilled in one word,
             even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour 
             as thyself." (Galatians 5:14 KJV)
If we love them, we must forgive them. Just as God loves us and has forgiven us, we must also forgive them. If we will not forgive others, God will not forgive us! Simple as that. People who claim to be Christians but who will not forgive are merely deceiving themselves.
         "For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father
          will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their
          trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses."
          (Matthew 6:14-15 KJV)
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Jesus made this very clear in The Parable Of The Unforgiving Servant.

       MATTHEW 18:21-35 (RSV)
                         The Unforgiving Servant
               Then Peter came up and said to him, "Lord, how often shall
               my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as
               seven times?"
               Jesus said to him, "I do not say to you seven times, but
               seventy times seven.
               "Therefore the kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king
               who wished to settle accounts with his servants.
               When he began the reckoning, one was brought to him who
               owed him ten thousand talents;
               and as he could not pay, his lord ordered him to be sold,
               with his wife and children and all that he had, and
               payment to be made.
               So the servant fell on his knees, imploring him, 'Lord,
               have patience with me, and I will pay you everything.'
               And out of pity for him the lord of that servant released
               him and forgave him the debt.
               But that same servant, as he went out, came upon one of
               his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii; and
               seizing him by the throat he said, 'Pay what you owe.'
               So his fellow servant fell down and besought him, 'Have
               patience with me, and I will pay you.'
               He refused and went and put him in prison till he should
               pay the debt.
               When his fellow servants saw what had taken place, they
               were greatly distressed, and they went and reported to
               their lord all that had taken place.
               Then his lord summoned him and said to him, 'You wicked
               servant! I forgave you all that debt because you besought
               and should not you have had mercy on your fellow servant,
               as I had mercy on you?'
               And in anger his lord delivered him to the jailers, till
               he should pay all his debt.
               So also my heavenly Father will do to every one of you, if
               you do not forgive your brother from your heart."

Here are other Scriptures which emphasize the overwhelming importance of forgiveness.

                 Scriptures On Forgiveness (RSV)
   Matthew 6:14-15
   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 18:21-22
   Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, "Lord, how many times shall I
   forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?"
   Jesus said to him, "I do not say to you up to seven times, but 
   up to seventy times seven."
   Matthew 18:35
   "This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you
   forgive your brother from your heart."
   Mark 11:25-26
   And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone,
   forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.
   But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father who is in heaven
   forgive your sins.
   Luke 6:37
   "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 17:3
   So watch yourselves. "If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he
   repents, forgive him.
   Luke 17:4
   If he sins against you seven times in a day, and seven times comes
   back to you and says, `I repent,' forgive him."

Jesus, Himself, gives us the perfect example of forgiveness. Even as He was hanging on the cross, He forgave those who were responsible for his crucifixion, saying "Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do." (Luke 23:24 KJV)

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But you may say, "I know I should forgive them, but it is very hard to do. How can I do it? What should I do?"

Here is a good way to go about granting your forgiveness to others.

First, let me pray for you, to help you grant your forgiveness.

              "As You Forgive, So Shall You Be Forgiven"

            I pray that you will learn this teaching well,
            I pray that you engrave it on your heart.
            The Lord has spoken clearly as can be:
            "As you forgive, so shall you be forgiven."
                  *             *            *     
            So if someone has done you wrong, forgive!
            And if somebody steals from you, forgive!
            And if they lie and laugh at you, forgive!
            And if they beat you half to death, forgive!
                  *             *            *
            So when the day of judgment comes for you,
            And He reviews the life that you have led,
            I pray the record shows that you forgave,
            So He can say, "I likewise do forgive."
                       *                *
            In Jesus' name I pray for you, Amen.
                     by Rev.Bill McGinnis, Public Domain
Next, you make a list of everyone you can think of who has ever done you wrong or aroused anger in you. Call this your "Forgiveness List." On this list, write down the name of each offender, and a brief description of the thing(s) he did bad to you.

Then, say this prayer, asking the Lord to help you.

                  "To Grant Your Forgiveness"

   NOTE:  This is a prayer for you to grant your forgiveness
   to everyone who has hurt you or has aroused the emotion of 
   anger in you.  You need to make a list of these people,
   complete to the best of your ability.  If you don't know a 
   particular name, you may merely describe the situation, like
   "The man who ran my car off the road last year, then drove 
   away."  As you are praying, you refer to this "forgiveness
   list."  You may repeat this prayer whenever you need to.
   As a Christian, you never want to hold a grudge against
   anyone very long.

              *               *              *

             O Lord, I raise my humble prayer to you,
             That you might soothe my soul and grant me peace,
             For I have burned in anger, raged in wrath.
             I have a list where I have written down
             The names of those I want now to forgive.

             So Lord, I now declare that I forgive
             The people who are listed here today.
             For every wrong that they have done to me,
             I do forgive and blot out of my heart.
             For any anger they aroused in me,
             I do forgive them, each and every one.
             And any others, not upon this list,
             I also do forgive them, every one.
             I do sincerely promise this to you.

             And as I now forgive those listed here,
             I pray that you will likewise grant to me,
             Complete forgiveness for my many sins.
             In Jesus' name I pray to you, Amen.
                      by  Bill McGinnis, Public Domain

Finally, go down the list of people, one-by-one. Deliberately forgive each person, saying, "In the name of Jesus, I forgive you." Then write beside each name the words, "I forgive you," and scratch out the name and the offense(s).

If necessary in the future, make additional forgiveness lists, and repeat this procedure.

See more pages like this, at our Index of Pearls Of Faith, a treasury of Biblical truths.

Please also see our related pages . . .



May the Lord bless this presentation of His holy Word.

     Rev. Bill McGinnis  <><

Blessings to you. May God help us all.

       Rev. Bill McGinnis, Director -

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