Forgive or punish by Stuart Miles

Every day we have many opportunities to be offended, don’t we? God commands that we forgive people seventy times seven (Matthew 18:22). That means we have to be willing forgive infinitely. We have to forgive every time. That’s hard, isn’t it? But it’s the Bible.

That being said, I wanted to talk about how to know if you have really forgiven those who have hurt you. At a woman’s meeting I attended just the other day, I heard the speaker, Rev. Tracy Barbie say, “Forgiveness is a decision, but the healing of your emotions is a process.” I totally agree.

So how do you know if you have really forgiven them? Ask yourself the following questions:

  1. Do I refuse to retaliate against the person for the wrong they have done to me as Jesus refused to retaliate against those who crucified Him?
  2. Have I let go of my desire to see that person punished as they deserve as God refrained from punishing me as I deserve?
  3. Have I stopped pursuing restitution from the person, or requiring them to pay me back for what I lost, and canceled the debt they owe me?
  4. Am I looking to God, not the perpetrator, to repay me and provide restitution for the pain and loss I have suffered?
  5. Am I trusting the Holy Spirit to heal my negative, painful emotions, recognizing that those feelings are not a sign of unforgiveness, but a soul wound that needs to be healed?
  6. Do I feel at peace with allowing God pay them back for what they have done, and administer justice if, when, and how He sees fit?
  7. Am I willing to love, bless, pray for, and do good to the person who has hurt and/or offended me in spite of my feelings?

If you can truthfully answer “yes” to the questions above, then it’s safe to say that you are walking in forgiveness. When you walk in forgiveness, you will avoid sickness and disease, torment in your soul, hindered prayers, and soul wounds that fester, remain infected and refuse to heal. There are so many benefits to forgiving those who have hurt you. Therefore, if you are currently struggling with a forgiveness issue, why not do yourself a favor and let them off the hook today? Let 2018 be the year in which you get rid of those things which weigh you down so you can run your best race (Hebrews 12:1).


What are your thoughts about forgiveness?  How do the above questions apply to your life? Please leave a comment below.


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Image courtesy of Stuart Miles via


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