Forgiveness - A Healing Prayer Ministries Network Article

Forgiveness by Diana Dow

Forgiveness is such a critical component of healing. Knowing the forgiveness of God through the reconciling work of Jesus on the cross is the beginning of peace with God. For many we struggle with unforgiveness - of ourselves, others and God. Much has been written on the need for us to forgive if we are to receive the forgiveness of God.

In the area of forgiving, Joy Dawson has some helpful thoughts in The Fire of God: Discovering Its Many Life Changing Purposes . Shippensberg, PA: Destiny Image, 2005.

On pages 70-71 she speaks of the sin of resentment towards those who have wronged us, and the difficulty of forgiveness where we have wrongly judged people.

"We can only forgive people who have wronged us. However, we must not presume that because we're feeling hurt, that the person connected with the pain was necessarily guilty of doing wrong."

Mis-communication, our expectations, misunderstandings and perceptions often lead us to judge others and hold unforgiveness against them wrongly. She gives seven scenarios and the way to deal with hurt caused by such situations.

"Let's look at some reasons for feeling hurt, where we could be tempted to wrongly judge people:

  • We were not consulted before a decision was made. Perhaps we were not meant to be involved in that responsibility.
  • We were not told about something for which we should have been informed. Maybe the breakdown of communication was with someone else who had been delegated to do so and had failed.
  • We were not given the attention we requested from an individual, or insufficient attention for our liking. It could be, that for a number of reasons our receiving attention was not a legitimate priority for that individual at that time, or their amount of availability was equally limited.
  • We were not given the recognition for our labors that we thought we deserved. Perhaps God overruled the recognition by withholding it in order to test the motivation of our hearts. Jesus said, "I do not receive praise from men," simply because He gave all the glory to the Father.
  • We were corrected by someone where we considered the judg­ment to be unfair. Maybe we were immediately defensive and didn't have the humility to ask God to show us if there was even a small percentage of truth in their overall judgment.
  • We were seemingly ignored by someone when we were in the presence of others. It's absolutely possible that the person either didn't see us, or never heard us, or for any number of reasons wasn't able to speak or respond to us. For example, it could be because of the pressures of responsibilities on the person, or their physical condition, or because they were under great stress, to name a few.
  • We were not included in a group situation where we thought we should have been. It could be that there was an unexplain­able oversight, or perhaps the group felt it would be wiser and more beneficial for all concerned, including ourselves, if we were not included.

We need to honestly ask the Holy Spirit to show us where our ego and pride may have been the cause of our pain when we're feeling offended. When we really come to the place of death to that monster called self and want it to be crucified, we enter into real freedom. You can't offend a dead man."

Diana Dow

Diana Dow and her husband Malcolm are Senior Pastors of Williamstown Baptist Church and Directors of Beth Tephillah Ministries, the Beth Tephillah Ministry Centre and Roaring-Mouse Counselling. They have an extensive teaching and practical ministry in prayer ministry, spiritual warfare, discipleship and intercession. They are also the owners of, a business which makes internet and video resources available to the 'little people', and hosts a number of ministry websites, including the Healing Prayer Ministries Network, Prayer Counselling, Listening 2 God which contains their teaching material and exercises for their Hearing God's Voice Seminars, A Reasonable Mystic, Controversial Christian, and the Healing Prayer Ministry Search Engine.