Forgiveness a Fresh Approach!

Question: After we have forgiven someone that has hurt us, do we need to ask God to forgive them?

Answer: We do not need to, but we should. You see Jesus taught us to love our enemies.

"But I tell you who hear me: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.” (NIV) Luke 6:27-28

If someone does us wrong, we are supposed to forgive them and pray for them, pray that God forgives them and that He is able to bless them. You see, that is the ultimate test for us to see if we have really forgiven them. Doing so is an act of love. It is not that God is not going to forgive them if we do not ask that. It is just that we should do it. It is an act of love! It is a quality that Jesus had. You see, Jesus set the example on the cross and He said, “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.” We must live by Jesus example. Pure and simple, it is a test for us to see if we can do it with the right intentions of the heart.

The man who says, "I know him," but does not do what He commands is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But if anyone obeys his word, God's love is truly made complete in him. This is how we know we are in him: Whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did.” (NIV) 1 John 2:4-6

Question: If a person knows that they have committed a sin against another, and they know that the person that they hurt has a problem in that area. If they do not go to the person who they hurt and ask them to forgive them. Does the offended party have to forgive them before they come and apologize?

Answer: YES! Whether you are feeling anger or you are feeling hurt (where there is hurt, there is anger), we must forgive ASAP, because the written Word tells us to. Satan can get many an inroad into your life with unresolved anger. Un-forgiveness causes separation from the Father because it is not part of His character and nature. We must be ready and willing to forgive.

"In your anger do not sin": Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold. (NIV) Ephesians 4:26-27

The Jewish New Testament puts things this way.

And, I tell you that anyone who even nurses anger against his brother will be subject to judgement; that whoever calls his brother, “You good-for-nothing!” will be brought before the Sanhedrin: that whoever says, “Fool!” incurs the penalty of burning in the fire of Gey-Hinnom!” (JNT) Matthew 5:22