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Christian Living

Spiritual Life

How Do I Forgive My Enemies?

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The first step in forgiveness is to recognize your resentment against an enemy. You must understand who the enemy is and what he has done to hurt you. Then you must consciously say, "I forgive that person for the following wrongs against me." Then repent of your feelings against your enemy and ask God to forgive you, even as "we also forgive everyone who is indebted to us" (Luke 11:4).

After that, begin to pray actively for your enemy's good. Jesus told us to pray for our enemies and that doing this will help to fill us with love for them.

When you pray for your enemies, asking God to meet their needs and manifest Himself to them, you are overcoming evil with good. Instead of fighting negative thoughts in your mind, you are filling your mind with positive thoughts. You are now on the side of your enemy; you have a spiritual stake in his well-being. If God answers your prayer, which you want Him to do, the person prayed for will be blessed, and you will learn about redemption--the ultimate form of forgiveness.

Keep in mind that if you ask God to bless somebody, God will bring that person to a condition where blessing is possible. God will not bless an evildoer until he or she repents of sin, provides restitution where necessary, and gets right with God. So if you ask God to bless someone who has wronged you, the result may well be a repentant sinner and a new brother or sister in the Lord!

Excerpt taken from Answers to 200 of Life's Most Probing Questions, Copyright 1984 by Pat Robertson. 

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