Barriers to Forgiving Others

A huge barrier to forgiving others is the misconception about forgiveness, reconciliation, and restoration. Many people believe that by forgiving they will continue to live as doormats allowing sinful behavior when nothing has changed. This couldn’t be further from the truth.

Forgiveness focuses on the offense. It only involves one person and has nothing to do with what the other person chooses to do. Reconciliation focuses on the relationship. It requires two people engaged in the process.
Forgiveness is the choice to release the offender. Reconciliation is the choice to rejoin the offender. It’s being brought back into a relationship where there has been a wall of separation erected. Restoration is the process that makes that possible. Restoration of a relationship takes far more than forgiveness. It requires confession, repentance, and a strong commitment on both sides to work on the relationship and rebuild trust. And it often takes a much longer time.

For example, if a loved one is engaged in drugs, alcohol, abuse or some other harmful behavior they may ask us to forgive them. Of course, God’s heart is always that we forgive but if they ask that we go back to the way it was the answer is a resounding NO! That’s not what we do at all. Love holds people accountable. Love protects. We do not have to allow harmful behavior that hurt us and our families. Thus, there may be extremely toxic, unhealthy people who may need to be removed from our lives.

An example of this would be a relative who sexually molested us as a child. We can forgive them as God has called us to but having a relationship with them may endanger ourselves and others. So forgiveness does not mean we have to have any kind of relationship with the offender ever again. Forgiveness is an act of obedience that blesses the heart of our Father in Heaven and sets us free. It’s been said that sometimes you just gotta love people from a distance.” There is great wisdom in that.

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Prayer for Healing Wounds From the Past


Heavenly Father,

You know the wounds that are in my heart….the lies, the faulty thinking, the fear, the sorrow left over from the hurts of my past.

I give them all to you and ask that you would heal me and release me from all emotional strongholds hindering me from experiencing the fullness of your love and grace.

I choose to live in Hope even when I feel hopeless. I will not harbor hate even when I am ignored. I will live with Your peace even when I am rejected.

I will love with Your love even when I am scorned. I will pray with Your heart even for those who hurt me. I will forgive with Your grace even when I’m betrayed.

I won’t focus on fear, for I know You are faithful. I won’t let heartache reign; I’ll move forward with faith.

I will stand on your Truth no matter the circumstances because I know that Your love never fails.

“I will give you back your health and heal your wounds,” says the Lord.
Jeremiah 30:17

“The Lord nurses them when they are sick and restores them to health.”
Psalm 41:3

“Lord, help!’ they cried in their trouble, and He saved them from their distress. He sent out his word and healed them. snatching them from the door of death.”
Psalm 107:19-20

“And He said to her, ‘Daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace, and be healed of your affliction.’ “
Mark 5:34


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