How to Forgive, Forget and Let Go!

  • How to forgive:  Acknowledge that forgiveness is a deliberate act of will, and it’s not easy. It’s a process that takes time and effort. You have to be intentional about forgiving others and yourself.

  • Key Scripture: The Bible verse Matthew 18:21-22 (NKJV) says: Then Peter came to Him and said, "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."  This scripture emphasizes that forgiveness is a continual process.

  • Why Forgive? Forgiveness is a commandment from God according to the Bible.  Micah 7:18 says  “He does not retain His anger forever, because He delights in mercy.”

  • Four Steps to Forgive, Forget and Let Go

    • Step 1: Process the Offense (Ecclesiastes 12:13) - Write down how you were hurt and decide if you want to forgive and forget.  You can’t change the past but you can change how you let it affect you.  Your response is the only thing you can control.

*Write this down in a journal and reread it out loud. Wait 24-48 hours and repeat this process until you can think about it without strong emotions.

  • Step 2: Choose to Forgive and Forget (Ephesians 4:32) - This step is about forgiving yourself first. If you are struggling to forgive yourself, go back to step 1 and rewrite your story in a more positive light.

  • Step 3: Release the Anger (Romans 8:1) - Holding onto anger is unhealthy. You’re not hurting the person you’re mad at, you’re hurting yourself.

  • Step 4: Renew Your Mind (Philippians 4:8) - Focus on positive thoughts and things that make you happy.  Replace negative thoughts with positive affirmations.

Here are some additional tips that can help if you are feeling stuck. 

  • Seek professional help if you are struggling to forgive someone.
  • Practice empathy and try to see things from the other person’s point of view.
  • Focus on the present and future and don’t dwell on the past.

Forgiving someone doesn’t mean condoning their actions. It simply means letting go of the anger and resentment holding you back. Forgiveness is a gift that you give to yourself.

Originally published in Pentecostal Life