7 Steps to Freedom Through Forgiveness
Do you long for freedom? Freedom isn’t a given in life. If you don’t take active steps to overcome your chains, you will remain a slave to the past. Let’s look at 7 steps to freedom through forgiveness.
When You Bury the Past
“You stupid idiot. Can’t you do anything right?”
Have you heard words like that? If so, they are imprinted on your brain; they shape your self-talk and hold influence over what you believe about yourself.
Life is painful.
We’ve each heard hateful words and experienced at least one person who hurt us, cheated us, manipulated or lied to us, or abused us.
Especially during childhood, what they said or did established a limiting belief, a lie we believed to be the truth.
Unfortunately, that lie became foundational to who we are today. Though we love Jesus and long to do what’s right, we perceive life through the grid of the lies we believe. Those lies lock us into passivity and a secret belief we are lacking and can never become who the Lord said we are.
I believed such lies.
Beaten for things I didn’t do or over which I had no control, I believed I was intrinsically bad and there was no help for someone like me.
When bad things happened, I believed God wanted me to suffer. I even believed it was His will when people deceived or betrayed me. Trying to be a good little Christian, I “turned the other cheek”, burning with resentment hidden deep inside.
It’s not God’s will for evil to happen.
God desires us to do good. It wasn’t His will for people to sin against me. He did not desire my spirit be crushed. That was the will and the desire of the enemy of my soul.
Have you ever thought it pleased God when you were in pain? If so, behind that limiting belief is a lie that holds you captive to the deception of the kingdom of darkness and locks you into a negative mentality.
I’ve shared how burying the past means you’ve buried it alive. It has legal power to continue to wound and defraud you of your birthright.
How can you know if the past is still alive?
In the dead of night a scene will flash onto the screen of your imagination, causing you to feel ashamed, guilty, or like a failure. Thoughts churn as your imagination works to bring a different outcome. Know, it’s still alive.
I learned a wonderful secret.
As I allow the Holy Spirit to bring the past into the light before Jesus, He empowers me to triumph over it.
But first I had to let go of my right to judge. Jesus calls me to forgive, to release the debt owed me, and to remove the person from my hook of judgment and place him onto the Heavenly Father’s hook of judgment.
As I do, it’s like a key is turned in the lock and I am set me free to embrace life in a new dimension.
Call To Action: How to Find Freedom Through Forgiveness
- Make a list of each person who hurt you in the past.
If that feels overwhelming, choose just one person that hurt you. Make a beginning.
- Write what they said or did that hurt or angered you.
Name what happened. Then ask, “What did I believe as a result?” and “Is it true?”
You may say, “Of course it’s true!” But if that had happened to your best friend or loved one – would it still be true? If it isn’t true for them, then it isn’t true for you.
- Find a Bible verse with a truth that counters the lie you believe.
This is important. To supplant a lie, you have to find a truth greater than the belief you feel to be the truth.
Do you want to continue to live the lie or do you want to walk in freedom? If you choose freedom – you will have to reject the lie and replace the limiting belief with true truth!
- Decide, as a will-choice, to forgive that person.
No matter what, they can never repay the debt they owe you for no one can undo what they did.
You have the glorious choice to release them from the debt they owe you.
- Remove them from your hook of judgment and place them onto the Heavenly Father’s hook of judgment.
If we’re honest, judging others feels good.
But you and I don’t judge fairly. Why? Because we only see a part; we can’t see the person’ heart. And we are limited by perceptions and biases. Only God judges with complete fairness. His vision is totally clear.
- Bless that person. The Lord says, bless and do not curse!
As you bless them, make sure to ask the Lord to forgive you for your anger, fear, bitterness, or whatever negative thoughts you have engaged in.
- Once you bless the person, ask Jesus to break the ungodly soul ties.
- Command anything of the person to be returned to him or her in Jesus’ name.
- Command anything of yourself – stolen from you or which you wrongfully gave – to be returned to you through the blood of the Lamb.
- Command anything that remains to go to the Lord Jesus Christ for Him to deal with.
Forgiveness is the key to be set free from the wounds of the past. No matter what happened, the love of Jesus is greater. At Calvary He died to set you free from the law of sin and death; that means He also set you free from the evil caused by the person who wounded you.
You have a choice. You may continue to walk in defeat. OR you may choose life.
Do you want to be set free? You will have to choose to forgive. You may need someone to help you walk through the stages of forgiveness and healing. If you’re interested in spiritual mentoring, please contact me.
The path of forgiveness begins at Calvary. It is not easy, nor is it a one off thing. It’s a journey. It’s the choice to walk moment by moment, letting go of your need to be right, or justified, or paid back for what you lost.
But there’s good news! Forgiveness opens the door to intimacy with Christ. A glorious door that brings resurrection power as you step onto the path Jesus took and learn to forgive as God has forgiven you. (Eph 4:6)
So my dear heart. Let go of the past. Even of ten seconds ago. Choose to reject the lie and limiting belief that traps you into passivity, anger, or bitterness.
It’s worth it! Forgiveness is the path to freedom and joy in Jesus.
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Thank you for these incredibly helpful steps to guide us along the journey of forgiveness to freedom! It’s shocking what lies are lurking below the surface, shaping my perception and dictating my actions, that I’m not even aware about! In a culture obsessed with personal autonomy and individual liberties, it’s amazing how blind we are to how our past locks us up in a prison that only the Lord can truly set us free from. Thanks for being a voice speaking up about true freedom on this Independence Day!
You are welcome Joy.
Yes, it is amazing the lies we believe and have no inkling they are part of our belief system. But praise Jesus for the wonderful work of the Holy Spirit – that as we invite Him to shine His light into our darkness – He takes us at our word. As He does, He allows us to face adversity to expose the hidden things of darkness. The Lord is good. But there can only be true freedom where we accept responsibility for our choices.
Have a blessed day and I pray you choose life. It’s the harder path, but it’s the only path where we experience the wonder of His yoke resting upon our shoulders.