To glean the most from the questions, peruse the Bible reference(s) before moving to the next question.
1. Have I done my part to seek reconciliation with this person? Romans 12:18
Forgiving someone doesn’t always lead to reconciliation or renewed trust. We can’t control the other person’s response to us, no matter how humble or winsome our attitude is when we approach him.
2. Have thoughts of revenge or payback stopped surfacing in my mind? Romans 12:19-21
3. Do I pray for this person and honestly wish him or her well? Matthew 5:44
4. Can I talk about this person without a hard edge to my tone of voice, and without mean-spirited nonverbal communication? Proverbs 15:1; Ephesians 4:31
5. Have I stopped telling others what this person did to me? Ephesians 4:29
6. Am I willing to bless or to assist this person in a time of need? Exodus 23:4
7. Do I have more deep-seated joy than I previously experienced? Does it feel like a burden has been lifted off my shoulders? Psalm 16:11
Forgiving another person’s sin against me sets a prisoner free--and I was that prisoner.
8. Do I walk more intimately with the Holy Spirit, sensing His presence and pleasure, since He is no longer grieved by my bitterness? Ephesians 4:30-32
According to Ephesians 4:30-32, anger that morphs into bitterness hurts the Holy Spirit who indwells us.
I’m grateful to R. T. Kendall’s Total Forgiveness for fueling my thoughts and broadening my biblical grasp of this topic.
To help assess whether we’ve really released our resentment, what question would you add?