If you have not forgiven someone, it’s likely you harbor an unforgiving spirit and bitterness, for as time passes the resentment over an offense deepens into bitterness. You must forgive. Here’s how.
1. Ask God to reveal to your mind the people against whom you are holding feelings that are not right. Make a list of the name(s) as God reveals them. Also, check yourself to see if you are holding any bitterness toward God or yourself, and include these names on your list if that is the case.
2. Start at the bottom of the list, because these are usually the people who are easier to forgive. As you work your way up the list, tell God you forgive each person and release the hurts to Him. That’s forgiving from your heart. We are bitter for a reason, and we must get in touch with pain-that is, the reasons we are bitter.
3. If after forgiving the person for the major offense you recall a specific, hurtful incident, don’t let your feelings smolder anew. Instead, release them to God then and there. In my experience with my own father I found that after dealing with the major offenses, I would remember days or weeks later a specific incident. I would stop and pray “God, I forgive my dad for (the specific offense) also.” You only need to deal with the things God brings to your remembrance.
4. Tell God you are willing to live with the ongoing consequences of the offender’s action and share these with Him in prayer.
5. Ask God to take back the ground you have given Satan through unforgiveness, then turn around and reach for the things that are ahead.
6. If some future action of a person you have forgiven triggers painful memories and you are tempted to pick up past bitterness, release this temptation to God on the spot.
-Reclaiming Surrendered Ground by Jim Logan