30th July 2020

How do I forgive when I can’t?

We know that our forgiveness of all those who have hurt us is critically important and a biblical principle for us to follow as believers. However, what do you do when you simply cannot do it?

You have absolutely no resources with which to do this and it feels so unfair that you should have to forgive, as you are the injured party and are now imprisoned by the hurt and pain of what has taken place.

We can find forgiving another person, say for abuse or betrayal, an impossibility because our “forgiveness tank” is registering on empty; there is nothing within that can even contemplate forgiveness. We have to ask God to fill our forgiveness tank with his Spirit of forgiveness and having received it first from him, we find we can finally then release that forgiveness to those who have hurt us.

The first step is to want to be willing to be obedient to Matthew 6:12, “Forgive us our sins as we have also forgiven those who sin against us.” We need to make a will choice, despite our feelings of injustice telling us otherwise.

The second step is to realise that this is not a transaction between us and the person or persons that have hurt us but is a transaction between us and God, one of obedience to Him and in his power. There is nothing we can do to change the other person and what they did. By focussing on God’s perspective, we can change our response and find that elusive peace in a difficult situation.

He will give us the strength to forgive but we need to ask, then we can wholeheartedly rely on His power, “ “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” (2 Corinthians 12:9)

You are not pardoning the person. Only God can pardon sin through the cross. When you forgive them, they still need to repent and ask for the forgiveness of God for themselves but that is their responsibility, not yours

Through releasing the other person from their actions towards us, we ourselves are freed from the imprisonment of unforgiveness and we can find healing for the hurt we have experienced.

Through releasing the other person from their actions towards us, we ourselves are freed from the imprisonment of unforgiveness and we can find healing for the hurt we have experienced.

It is important to remember we should not be asking God to forgive us until we have forgiven others. “For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.” (Matthew 6:14-15)

Offence is such a big issue for all of us. Judgement and unforgiveness go hand in hand and we need to release the other person from our judgement. “Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right.” (Genesis 18:25)

What someone did to you was wrong and it hurt you. You will need to separate what the person did from who the person is. It maybe you need to start by forgiving yourself for any part you had to play in what happened or indeed for issues of the past. You may be aware of consequences in your life today because of your past sins, which may need some deep healing too, but forgiveness is often the doorway to finding healing for such hurts.

We need closure to the past, to be able to stop talking and thinking about it and this can only be achieved through forgiveness and releasing all bitterness, judgement and offence completely over to God.


Father you know that I have struggled with unforgiveness. I come to you now and I am willing to forgive myself and all those who have hurt me. Please come supernaturally and fill my empty forgiveness tank with your spirit of forgiveness to empower me to release my forgiveness and let go of my judgement to those who have sinned against me. I do this because I want to be obedient to you and your word, and because you have forgiven me. Thank you for releasing me from the prison of unforgiveness. In Jesus mighty name, Amen.


Ellel Ministries By Ellel Ministries


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