Dawson’s Blog

Over my last several blogs we have been taking an in-depth journey through the difficult topic of forgiveness. I say difficult because forgiving someone who has deeply hurt you is no doubt the hardest challenge you will ever face. But deciding to forgive someone who has deeply hurt you is also, unquestionably, one of the most important choices you will ever make.

This week, I’m going to walk with you step-by-step through how you can actually forgive someone. I truly believe this is the most important blog I’ve ever written. Because in the end, this is not simply for the person you are forgiving. Forgiveness is for God, first. For you, second. And for the person who has hurt you, third. So let’s get this started.
It’s time to let go of your desire to get even with this other person. Click To Tweet

6 Steps on How to Forgive

STEP ONE: Write down the name of the person you have chosen to forgive. Underneath that name, think of the many things you have done for which you need forgiveness and write them down. When we realize how much we need to be forgiven for all the wrongs we have done, it makes it easier to show mercy to those who have hurt us. Keep what you have written in front of you as you go through this process.

STEP TWO: Realize forgiving others is a spiritual, supernatural exercise. In fact, it is impossible to truly forgive others without God’s help. God can help you forgive because not only has He forgiven tens of billions of people, He also has the power to help you, in particular. Just remember: He only helps those who admit their helplessness. You might say a simple prayer like this: God I admit I can’t forgive (insert name) with my own power. Please help me. Help me to understand how much You have forgiven me, so I can forgive the person who has hurt me.

steps to forgivenessNathan commented on how he has lived this out: The hurt from the harm someone has done you is so big you cannot forgive on your own. I tried to put it aside, to rationalize it, even to blame myself for it. It was poisoning my spirit. Then one night I cried out to God realizing that this burden was too big for me alone. I laid the pain and anger and hurt at His feet, and He lifted the burden from me. It was only then that I could begin breathing in God’s love and peace and move on.

STEP THREE: You can’t truly forgive unless you have grasped the extent of the violation that has been done against you. With the help of a counselor, minister, or another professional, you need to seek to understand what happened to you when you were hurt and why it hurts so much. When we realize we can be forgiven for everything we have ever done, it is then we are able to begin forgiving the people in our lives who have hurt us.

Jane sent me some great advice: Let all the things that have happened roll through your mind, and let them pass through. Don’t try to deny feelings of anguish that you may have had. If you keep trying to smother that fire, you won’t help it. Allow yourself to experience the feelings you need to go through, then don’t cling to them, let them go. Try to focus on the good things the experiences have provided you with, however tiny they may be compared with the wrongs the person has done to you.

STEP FOUR: Now it’s time to make the big decision to surrender. Let go of your deep desire to get even with the person who has violated you. Come up with a prayer or statement announcing your decision. Here’s an example: By an act of my will, and God’s power, I give up my rights to get even with (insert name). I make a commitment that when those sordid feelings come over me again, I will release them. I won’t babysit them. I admit the feelings are real, but I choose not to be controlled by them any longer. Instead I will dwell on the good things I have learned from this experience.

I will dwell on the good things I have learned. Click To Tweet

STEP FIVE: Make a choice to have compassion on your violator. Look at them first, as a tragedy. In one sense they should be pitied. Bottom line is, because of their violation against you they have suffered, are suffering, and in the end will suffer far more in this life, or the one to come. We’re not making excuses for them, but we’re only saying they are pathetic, and desperately need our compassion. One way to show compassion is to pray for the person who has hurt you. Jesus said, “Pray for your enemies.” He knows it is impossible to continue to pray for someone, and still hate them. Then, while you’re praying for this person, ask for a blessing in their life. Pray that good things come to them. Wish them well.

Pray for your enemies. Click To Tweet

STEP SIX: Move on. It’s time to stop dwelling on what happened. By forgiving someone you’re promising not to bring it up again to use against him or her. If you are going to talk to someone about how the other person has hurt you, make sure this person is a professional or a wise person you can trust.

Jenn commented: Forgiving takes time. It doesn’t happen just once and it’s over with. But I am letting [God] take it from my hands and letting Him handle it. It is not my place to punish [the guy who hurt me], and I certainly don’t need to punish myself by holding on to that hurt and anger.

Related Posts:
What Is Forgiveness?
Alexandra Discovered God’s Forgiveness
7 Things I Learned About Prayer
What Happens When You Don’t Forgive

In conclusion, forgiving someone who has hurt you could be the greatest challenge of your life. But if you choose to forgive, you will join those who are not being destroyed by bitterness, anger, hurt or other toxic emotions. There is nothing quite like living in peace, knowing you are a forgiving person. May God bless you as you seek to be a truly loving and forgiving person.

Forgiveness frees you from the toxic emotions that trap you in bitterness and hate.  To understand how to forgive and why it’s so important for you to forgive, download TheHopeLine’s free eBook.

Dawson McAllister Dawson McAllister (born in New Kensington, Pennsylvania) is an American speaker, radio host, and author. He is the founder of Dawson McAllister Association and TheHopeLine and host of the national radio program Dawson McAllister Live, which is aired on Sunday nights. Dawson has been speaking to and in support of teenagers and young adults for over 40 years.
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  • Vero

    I truly need this right now. My fiance has had a terrible alcohol addiction and now that he has been stressed about the wedding it’s been worse. I can’t continue to live with him being drunk all the time and act like it’s okay. I have been so angry with him but now I know that I must forgive him and move on. Thank you.

    • I hope everything worked out fine. One thing I do is Extreme Forgiveness. It’s how I view forgiveness which is very healthy but you also have to take care of yourself.

  • Romina

    Thank you, your article is helpful.

  • Mackenzie

    I need this so bad i have had a lot of anger towards my mom. Its so hard to forgive someone that wont even look at there own faults and think they did nothing wrong. Ive went through years of emotional torture and lack of trust to a mom who resented me as a child. But now i cam fprgive her and know that it was not my fault and i can be the bigger person and let go of the years that were not to kind to me. I feel like a huge weight has been lifted off my chest thank you Jesus thank you thank you thank you I wish nothing but the best for my mom and hope one day she can open her eyes

    • Nice! I’m glad that weight is off your shoulders. Forgiveness is a very, very healthy thing to do. I struggle with it too. I got burned by people before who abused my forgiveness and just did it over and over again.

      Eventually, I took control back and came up with a concept of “Extreme Forgiveness” similar to this from which we forgive but also to genuinely wish the other person happiness and success…WHILE still taking care of yourself.

      Hope everything keeps getting better for you 🙂

  • Thanks for the article. Forgiveness has been a tough concept to get around my head. I think it’s not a “natural” thing that just comes to us. Thankfully, we’re always learning and improving 🙂

  • Lisa Ashley

    My husband cheated on me with more than one woman, I ca9even start to describe how bitter and angery I am,I just want this forgiveness for my self.. I still love him and dont want to lose him we are doing a little better now he dont go no where with out me but sometimes i get upset and bring it back up just want to forget and forgive for my own self to be happy

  • asdhogos

    wrongfully accused setup by my sister back in 2012 i was clean and sober a year in a half and started to drink again and was very angry sad i pushed every one away i don’t drink anymore i do have 2 years clean and sober now and i am not as angry as i used to be still sad some i just woke up one day and started to think if i keep tearing my self apart then i am letting my sister win so i stopped drinking and found god again