• Steve Derenge


How does unforgiveness often → (lead to) isolation, poverty, disease, depression, etc?

Isolation: Not forgiving somebody who hurt you → unreconciliation → not wanting to be around that person → not trusting others, lest you get hurt again → lack of bonding or connecting → isolation

Poverty: Not forgiving a person, people group, or society that hurt you or your people group → lack of trust, unreconciliation, isolation towards that people group, society, or rich people → sense of unworthiness, victim mentality, envy, internal atmosphere of low-self esteem, self-hatred, etc. → Like magnets with the same magnetic poles, this poverty mindset repels wealth emotionally, socially, and financially. Wealth creation opportunities and people with resources may pass you by.

Disease: It has been said that not forgiving somebody who hurt you is like swallowing poison and expecting the other person to die. This “poison” of unforgiveness has a crippling and degenerative effect on the body → disease.

Depression: Not forgiving somebody who hurt you → bitterness → withholding love, joy, and peace from the offender → lack of love, joy, and peace boomeranging back on oneself → hopelessness → depression.

How can you forgive everyone who has ever hurt you when it feels impossible?

With man (that is, human effort) this is impossible. But not with God; all things are possible with God. (1)

How is forgiveness possible with God?

God's identity is Love. (2) By definition, love requires three components: a giver of the love, a receiver of that love, and the love itself that is given. Similarly, God is one God eternally co-existent in the three Persons of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. (3) God the Son became a man who did nothing wrong. In fact, He loved people perfectly, forgave all their sins, healed all their diseases, cast out their demons, and brought good news that released them from poverty/victim mindsets. (4) He humbled himself and laid aside his divine power so that he did these things only by the power of the Holy Spirit to honor and obey His Father. (5) He did this to show us that it is possible for us do the same things that he did out of relationship with the Father after we receive those same "ingredients" of Jesus and the Holy Spirit into our lives. (6)

Jealous religious leaders on false charges persuaded the government to have Jesus executed. He was flogged with whips to the point that he was an unrecognizable, bloody piece of meat that was then nailed to two beams of wood. When it comes to not forgiving those who hurt us, the crucifixion has everything to do with how we have hurt God through our rebellion and rejection of relationship with Him.

Ultimately, Jesus was crushed, bruised, and whipped because of our rebellion against God: “But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned—every one—to his own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.” Isaiah 53:5‭-‬6 ESV

“but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God.” Romans 5:8‭-‬9 ESV

Do we deserve forgiveness for what we put Jesus through? No, but in a heartbeat God desires to forgive us anyway. When created human beings have hurt us, does their offense compare to how we dishonored and scorned the eternal and infinitely perfect King who created the universe? But God's heart towards us is forgiveness and mercy. What was Jesus’ attitude towards his scoffing murderers? “And Jesus said, ‘Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.’” Luke 23:34a ESV

No matter how bad the offense of another person or group against us, it doesn't compare to how we offended and treated God Himself by our sin that held His Son on the cross. That's why Jesus can say,

“For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you,  but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” Matthew 6:14‭-‬15 ESV

If we, then, are withholding forgiveness from somebody who offended us, what should we do? Should we wait until the offender comes to us to apologize and reconcile before forgiving him/her in our hearts? Is that what Jesus said to do? Did Jesus wait for his killers to ask for forgiveness before He asked his Father to forgive them?

After thinking about that, the following is just a suggested prayer prompt for forgiving all the people who hurt us:

Our Father in heaven,

You are a holy God, and without holiness I cannot see You or have a relationship with You according to your pure and perfect Word (7). I humbly come to You in need of Your mercy and forgiveness. (8) Jesus--Your holy servant--said, “Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.  And whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father also who is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.’" (9)

Your will in my life is right standing with You, but I have grieved Your heart by not forgiving the people who hurt and offended me (10). So right now, in Jesus name, I forgive everyone who has ever hurt me. [Now specifically name the people and their offenses: ‘I forgive {name} for {their action against me}…’] Thank you, Father, that because of the blood of Jesus Christ, I can release forgiveness to everybody who has ever wronged, hurt, and abused me. Thank you that You first loved me and have forgiven all my sins (11). Therefore, I can forgive my offenders through Christ who strengthens me (12).

Thank You, Father, for filling me with Your love, grace, compassion, and mercy for all these people whom I now forgive in Jesus’ name. I no longer hold their sin against them. [For those who are still living,] I ask you to bless them in their health, work, relationships, and finances; I release total forgiveness and blessing to them in Jesus’ name (13). Thank you for filling me with your forgiveness and love. I ask you by Your Spirit to show me what, if any, further action is required of me--your servant--to further reconcile with the people I have just forgiven (14). I love You and thank You for empowering me by Your Spirit to extend forgiveness and reconciliation to the people You have placed in and around my life.

In Jesus’ name,


If you haven't yet entered into a relationship with Jesus Christ, then simply ask Him to enter your life as your God. Thank Him that through his death on the cross, you receive the forgiveness of all your sins and commit yourself to doing everything He tells you to do and commanded his followers to do. For more information, see other blog posts such as the following, or please ask me any unanswered questions where there is confusion:

How to Quit Smoking in 3 Difficult Steps

Satan Wants to Take Away Your Fun

Did You Hear the News?

Would You Like to Kick Satan's Butt Personally?

  1. See Matthew 19:26

  2. See 1 John 4:8

  3. See Matthew 28:19. The insight of love being three-in-one I learned from The Book of Mysteries by Jonathan Cahn, Day 32.

  4. See Psalm 103:3; Mark 2:5ff; Luke 4:18, 31ff; 7:22; James 2:5

  5. See Philippians 2:5-8; Mark 6:5; John 5:19ff; Acts 2:22; 10:38

  6. See John 1:12; 14:12ff; 20:21-23; Romans 8:9ff; Galatians 2:20; Colossians 2:9-10

  7. See Hebrews 12:14; Psalm 138:2

  8. See Luke 18:9-14

  9. Mark 11:24‭-‬25 ESV; Acts 4:27, 30

  10. See Ephesians 4:30-32

  11. See 1 John 4:19f; Psalm 103:3

  12. See Ephesians 1:7; Philippians 4:13

  13. See Acts 7:60; John 20:23; 2 Corinthians 5:16-19

  14. See 2 Corinthians 5:20-21; Matthew 5:21-26

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