top of page

The Threshold of Forgiveness

By Kelly Danica Troia

1. How to Forgive Others
2. How to Forgive Yourself

The Threshold of Forgiveness

By Kelly Danica Troia

Take an Account

 

There is something in us that cries out for justice. We need the wrong that has been done to us to be noticed, validated, and made right. We are owed that. We deserve it. It is like a debt owed to us. Like we have entrusted something precious, even priceless to another, and it was misused, abused, betrayed, violated, ignored, discarded, trampled on, thrown away.

We try to stop the leak in our hearts that was created through the offense done to us. We may try to put up walls of some sort of self-protection only to find that the walls that are meant to protect us end up trapping us in the hurt and reminders of what is owed to us. The message of forgiveness is trying to reach us, but our fear of losing the only thing that seems to be protecting us from more pain, the un-forgiveness, seems too costly to let go. But what if all that debt can really be paid in full? What if it can be validated and made right? What if this open account could really be settled? Would it be worth it to read on?

 

We hear, “You need to forgive”, and one of two things happens:

Our defenses go up, and we are made aware that we do not want to be vulnerable or we know we need to and can’t because we don’t know how.

 

Being willing is good, but some of us are not even at that point, so maybe go back a bit and see if you are willing to become willing. If you are, let Jesus love you and reveal His truth to you about forgiveness. You might be surprised. When the message of forgiveness began to reach me, I realized that I was not willing to forgive, but the promise of God’s freedom through forgiveness was lovingly drawing me, and helping me to make an important choice. I decided to take a step back to the place of being willing to become willing. That was my starting place, and God met me there. God is so good. He didn’t make any demands on me; He just gave me truth and let me decide. As forgiveness made its way into my life, the results were so precious and freeing that I never wanted to harbor un-­forgiveness again.

 

The King Who Settled Accounts

 

Consider the story of the king in Matthew 18:23-27 who settled accounts.

 

“Therefore, the kingdom of heaven is like a certain king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants.

 

“And when he had begun to settle accounts, one was brought to him who owed him ten thousand talents.

“But as he was not able to pay, his master commanded that he be sold, with his wife and children and all that he had, and that payment be made.

 

“The servant therefore fell down before him, saying, ‘Master, have patience with me, and I will pay you all.’

 

“Then the master of that servant was moved with compassion, released him, and forgave him the debt.

 

First, the king took a good look at what was owed him. Then he called for the guy who owed him to be brought before him. There was so much owed that there was absolutely no way he could ever repay the king.  The king ordered him and his wife and kids and everything he had to be sold. It couldn’t be enough, but at least a portion of what was owed the king would be paid back.

 

The guy cried out saying he would pay all. But the king had compassion, knowing there was really no way the man could pay the debt and the king was his only way to freedom. The king forgave the debt. Now looking closely, there are some things that really stand out:

• A debt was owed.

• The king didn’t overlook it or deny that something was owed.

• The king paid for it all. He was the only one who could.

• There was only one way out – forgiveness.

• The guy that owed the debt didn’t change.

• There was no relationship restored or maintained between the guy and the king.

• Our freedom depends on the king’s forgiveness and paying our debts.

• Our freedom depends on forgiving the debts of others.

• Forgiving doesn’t mean the one forgiven changes.

• Forgiving doesn’t mean there has to be a relationship.

• Withholding forgiveness imprisons us.

 

God paid for the debt owed to Him from you and me. We can never pay for what we owe Him. But look at what He did. He paid for it with His blood. He came to earth, left heaven for us, loved us, taught us, and showed us the Father’s heart, so we could stop believing all the lies about Him, and He went to the cross willingly. For the joy that was set before Him, He endured the cross. You are His joy. He took the blame, the beating, the whip, the nails, the rejection, suffering and sorrow because the offense and betrayal deserved it. You couldn’t do that and neither could the ones who have hurt you, only Jesus could. And He said, “Yes, it is deserving of blood and death.” Does what He did for you, validate the injustice done to

you, for what you have suffered? Is what Jesus did by going to the cross for you, enough?

 

When I become aware of an offense, I find myself standing at the threshold of forgiveness, and I ask Jesus to remind me how to forgive again. I have come to find that I always need His help. And His answer has been consistent to me through the years, “They can never pay it back.” And they can’t, not completely. Only He can. What accounts do you need settled? Maybe you are the one you need to forgive.

 

It came as a shock to me that God considered it sin for me not to forgive myself. I am His and I am not allowed to treat one of His kids wrongly or harbor un-forgiveness toward them, even myself. That was a revelation. I thought that if I forgave myself, it was saying that what I did didn’t matter, or that it was no big deal, that it was okay. But that just isn’t the case. Forgiving myself is letting Jesus do what He came to do. He came to pay for it all. I stopped believing the lies that un-forgiveness toward myself would help me to not make the same mistakes again or to help prove that I really was sorry and knew it was wrong.

Un-forgiveness wasn’t allowed to be my protector or my counselor. That position belonged to God alone, and He is well able to let me know if I am choosing wrong. He is my Keeper and Protector.

What Forgiveness IS NOT:

 

Forgiveness is not ignoring what happened. It is not disregarding what happened.

It is not tolerating.

It is not excusing the hurt, wrong, or offense.

It is not over-looking the hurt, wrong, or offense. It is not closing our eyes to the wrong.

It is not just letting time pass. It is not forgetting.

It is not pretending.

It is not saying, “That is just the way they are.”

It is not accepting that, “That is just the way things are.” Forgiveness is not reconciliation.

When we know what forgiveness isn’t, we are free to accept what it really is - payment in full.

 

How to Forgive Others

 

The Steps:

 

1. Are you willing to ask Jesus if it would benefit you in forgiving anyone right now?  If the answer is "Yes," continue:

 

2."Jesus, would it benefit me in forgiving anyone right now and if so, who?"

NOTE: It is NOT necessary for you to disclose the name of who or what you are forgiving.

That information can be between you and Jesus.

When you have His answer, continue:

 

3. Are you willing to ask Jesus what is owed, that can never be paid for, by anyone but Him? 

If the answer is "Yes," continue:

"Jesus, what do You want to pay for, right now, personally for me?"

When you have His answer, continue.

 

4. "Jesus, Do You want to pay for it all, in full, every bit of it?" 

If the answer is "Yes," continue:

 

5.“Will you let Him?”

 

6. If so, continue with the following sample prayer:

 

“Father, what happened was sin. It was wrong, and You agree. But it can never be paid back by anyone but Jesus. Right now, I accept what You did for me, Jesus. You paid for it all, in full, every bit of it. I release (him/her/them) to You. I forgive (him/her/them) of the debt. They no longer owe me. They are no longer guilty towards me. Thank You, Jesus. Amen”

 

7. After praying for yourself, check your heart. How do you feel? 

Are any more accounts open?

Ask the King.

 

How to Forgive Yourself

 

The Steps:

 

1. Are you willing to ask Jesus if it would benefit you in forgiving yourself right now?

If the answer is "Yes," continue:

 

2. "Jesus, would it benefit me in forgiving myself right now?” 

If the answer is "Yes," continue:

 

3. Ask Jesus what He wants you to forgive yourself for, that can never be paid for, by anyone but Him.    

               

"Jesus, what do You want to pay for, personally, right now for me?”

When you have His answer, continue:

 

4. "Jesus, Do You want to pay for it all, in full, every bit of it?"   

 

5. Will you let Him?

 

6. If so, continue with the following sample prayer:

 

“Father, I have been holding myself in un-­forgiveness. I no longer agree that it’s ok or helpful in anyway. Jesus, You are the only One Who can pay for my sin. I will let You do that for me now. Jesus, I accept what You did for me. You paid for it all, in full, every bit of it. Thank You for paying for and forgiving this debt. I release myself from paying.  I no longer owe. I am no longer guilty because You, Jesus, took all the guilt and all the blame, all the pain, and all the shame and You paid the price to free me. I accept what You did for me, into my heart, and completely into the entire situation… right now. Thank You, Jesus. Amen”

 

7. After praying for yourself, check your heart. How do you feel? 

Are any more accounts open?

Ask the King.

 

How Often Do We Approach the Threshold of Forgiveness?

Repeat the steps of forgiveness with the Lord as often as you discover an open account with others or yourself. His love never runs out. It is never too much. Freedom is worth it. Forgiveness is wonderful. Remember, it is Jesus’ joy for you to let Him pay for it all in full, all of your sin and all of others’ sins against you. You really are worth it. He says so. Go ahead and let Him love you.

©Copyright 2013, 2023 – Kelly Danica Troia

bottom of page