Really Forgiving

Q. Your website is wonderful and I believe Holy Spirit led! You have helped me tremendously with 2 other questions I had and I have another one today that is weighing on my mind. I know we must forgive others. I have worked hard and work hard daily to forgive others as I am so graciously and wonderfully forgiven by Jesus Christ my GOD.

What is bothering me though is forgiving on behalf of others. For instance one circumstance I am having difficulty with is forgiving a step-mother who is divorcing my Dad and being very selfish and greedy about it in my humble opinion. Another instance is forgiving my father-in-law who we recently found out molested at least 2 of our nieces.

My guilt about not forgiving and the anger I feel in these situations is driving me to seek the counsel of someone like you who may be able to shed some light on how Jesus wants us to handle the situation.

I would like scripture to back up your answer; if you have an answer or some guidance for me.
If you feel led to help me with my questions I would be very grateful. Of course I know to pray for all parties and I know how to say I forgive; but I don’t know how to REALLY forgive or if the Lord even expects me to. Can you help?

A. Frequently the choice to forgive is a faith choice, which means it runs counter to our feelings. In the Parable of the Unmerciful Servant (Matt. 18:21-35), the Lord made it clear that He does expect us to forgive others, just as He’s forgiven us. When He sees that we’re sincere in our desire to forgive, He’ll align our feelings with our choices (2 Cor. 10:3-5).

This may take some time so keep praying. Every time you feel the anger, rebuke it and replace it by thinking instead about how the Lord has forgiven you. Then ask the Lord to forgive the other person for his sin and you for your anger. Paul called this being made new in the attitude of your mind in Ephes. 4:23 and being transformed by the renewing of your mind in Romans 12:2. We can’t control our feelings, but we can control our response to them. By making faith choices we’re responding in the way the Lord desires.

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