Some people are slaves to their past and pain and burn with anger, resentment, even bitterness.  They just can’t seem to let go of past hurts. They Can’t Forgive!

Does this sound like you?

One thing I’ve learned in my personal walk with God is forgiveness is essential to my well being and the health of every relationship I have. Unforgiveness created a tomb that caused death to begin in many area’s of my heart. It effects our emotions and causes problems in our every day lives.

The following is a model to help you reach forgiveness that I have learned in my own desire to overcome unforgiveness.


Step 1~ Recall the Hurt.  

Many bulls surround me; strong bulls of Bashan encircle me. Roaring lions that tear their prey  open their mouths wide against me. I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint. My heart has turned to wax; it has melted within me. My mouth is dried up like a potsherd, and my tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth; you lay me in the dust of death. Dogs surround me, a pack of villains encircles me; they pierce my hands and my feet. All my bones are on display; people stare and gloat over me. They divide my clothes among them and cast lots for my garment. {Psalm 22:12-18}

Davids cries cause my thoughts to flashback to a time in my own life when I travailed before God in my anguish caused by the hands of another. Recalling the hurt can be painful but mourning the issue is important in this step to letting go and forgiving the one/ones that hurt you. Ecclesiastics 3:4 tells us there is a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance. 

Recall the experience and mourn the loss you faced. Though painful, joy will come in the morning.

Step 2~ Empathize with the person who hurt you.

“Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” Luke 23:34(NIV)

We have committed many sins against Jesus and yet He empathized with us.  He validated his empathy the day He died on the cross. Though we can rationalize the depth of the other persons sin to be so much greater than our own this doesn’t change the fact that our sin weighs the same. Recognize that they have been hurt in their past as well and responded to you out of their own pain.

Step 3~ Altruistic gift of Forgiveness.
Read Luke 23 as a whole, then come back.

Altruistic means having an unselfish concern for the well being of others. This thought went against everything my flesh was calling out for.. My pain was requiring a price to be paid by the one who hurt me, forgetting that Jesus had already paid the price for what they did. His payment on the cross is sufficient and covers my own requirement for justice. This truth alone should begin to break the strongholds that unforgivenss has bound you in.

Step 4: Commit To Forgiveness

The Holy Spirit told me this;  Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John are Gods letters of forgivness to us. 

Write a letter to the one who has hurt you telling them you forgive them. You don’t have to send it to them, but you can if you want to. It’s up to you. When doubt arises, remind your self that God has forgiven you of past sins against others. Now it’s your turn.

Step 5: Holding Onto Forgiveness

Jesus said “It Is Finish”. John 19:30

The enemy of your soul is going to tempt you to relive the pain. His will promote every evil deed that has been done to you. He wants you to fail. But you don’t have to. When Jesus said, “it is finish”, it truly is finished! Commit this verse to your heart, soul, and mind, and remind satan that his attempts to cause you to walk back into unforgiveness no longer has the same power over you.   

Jesus Paid The Price On The Cross!

There are times that God grants forgiveness instantly. Other instances take days or even years. Jesus wants to free you to live a life unbound by the strongholds of unforgivness. I pray you can find the strength to give your unforgiveness to God, letting Him lead you down the path to forgive, freeing you to begin the life He has designed for you. Freely you have received, now freely give!

Rebecca and I did a show called Controlling Your Negative Emotions on The Imperfect Wives Radio. You can listen by clicking  here . This post was birthed through that show.

Praying for you,


The REACH format comes from Dr. Everett L.Worthington, Jr. He taught this during one of my counseling classes at Liberty University. The scriptures and personal examples in each step comes from my journey with God in learning to forgive.