Did You Really?
Today I want to write only a short post on the topic of how to know whether or not you have forgiven people of offenses they may have committed against you and I have a personal story about this that you may find quite interesting. It’s a very common thing for a person to say “oh, I forgave (name) for that a long time ago”, but in reality, they have not totally forgiven them. There’s a really good and simple way to know whether or not you have actually forgiven the person(s) you said you did. Imagine yourself walking into a room and suddenly you see that person right there in the room also. What happens? Do you want to run right back out of the room? Do you get an immediate inner negative reaction where you feel something comes up and makes you want to turn away from them? Or, do you feel like going over to that person and with 100% sincerity and shake their hand, hug them, start up a conversation without any feeling of resistance? The answer to those questions reveals whether or not you have actually forgiven them.
Let me say now that there is the very common and reasonable follow up question concerning forgiveness versus trust. Just because you forgive someone, do you need to trust them? No, of course not! Trust is a character issue which is not formed in one day. Yes, it is possible to forgive someone and not trust them; this is perfectly reasonable and the distinction needs to be articulated here because this also seems to be a common misunderstanding which I believe, can actually block a person from forgiving an offender. So then, how can we really just forgive a person and get it over with? Great question! I have learned a simple model that I have used myself and received very measurable results which I will describe in a minute.
How to Actually Forgive
What I am going to describe is being taken right from the book by Joan Hunter, Healing the Whole Man Handbook. I have found this book to be one of the best practical resources in existence. I’ll paraphrase slightly what Joan teaches here:
“God, I choose to forgive (name). What they did to me is sin and it caused me alot of problems. Separate that sin from them and put it on the cross of Jesus. On the day of judgment, when I stand before You, I will hold no accusation against them. God, I ask you to bless (name) in Jesus name.”
If you do this for every person that may have committed an offense against you, and you do it sincerely, you will have forgiven them. Now, as I said at the top, the way to know if you really did forgive them is to answer the above questions again. Joan does a great job in her book but also in her CD or DVD teaching in telling what unforgiveness does to people over the years. She has observed how holding onto grudges, bitterness and anger against people (aka: “unforgiveness”) will actually open the door to alot of serious medical problems including arthritis, food allergies, fibromyalgia, intestinal disorders, cancer and much more.
Personal Story: This Is True
I have a recent personal story of how unforgiveness is absolutely a root cause for food allergies. I have spent probably a couple thousand dollars on trying to get two decades of food allergies cured. Using alternative medicine techniques, I was able to only get a partial cure. My allergy reactions manifested in my skin breaking out in acne within 24 hours of eating certain foods. Most recently, I was having skin reactions to eating ginger. At a recent event with Joan Hunter in Tennessee, I asked one of the ladies at her resource table about these food allergies and the reply was instant: “most of the time food allergies are caused by unforgiveness.” When I heard that, I was shocked! I really did not believe I had any unforgiveness toward anyone. Remember what I said above…like most people! Well, as I was listening to the CD teaching that you can find on Joan’s website, I followed along with the above prayer for forgiving several people that came to mind. I then decided to try eating ginger again. I ate it in the same quantity that I had before which had always (100% of the time) caused my skin to break out in very aggravating ways. Well, 24 hours after I did this, I noticed to my complete surprise that I had NO reaction from eating this ginger! But I like to really test out a thing like this so I repeated the test for the next three days, eating more ginger. Again, same results: no allergic reaction at all in my skin!
“ So My heavenly Father also will do to you if each of you, from his heart, does not forgive his brother his trespasses.”
(Matthew 18:35 NKJV)
“ For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.
But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
(Matthew 6:14-15 NKJV)
My food allergy situation was a twenty-year extremely aggravating problem which at one point, became nearly debilitating. Had I known years ago that unforgiveness was actually the root of my food allergies, I could have fixed this a long time ago and with a lot less money spent on partial, sporadic or temporary fixes, not to mention highly toxic medication (tetracycline) that caused me serious intestinal problems! Biblically speaking, forgiveness is a very serious matter. We are commanded to forgive so that we can be forgiven in return and that if we do not forgive, then neither will we be forgiven. From my own personal example here, I see now even more that these commands in the Bible are a lot more strict than I had ever imagined.
I strongly urge anyone reading this post to do two things: 1) pray that section above on forgiveness for every single person you think you may still be holding unforgiveness against, 2) go to Joan Hunter’s website and order the book and either CD or DVD teaching. You will absolutely see the results in your life, especially if you have a mysterious medical problem that has no cure. I hope this has clarified the seriousness of forgiveness and most importantly, how to actually forgive someone in a simple and very practical prayer model that absolutely works!