Ministry Resources

Day 23: I tried to forgive, but I just don’t feel it

Author: Pastor Larry & Pat Downing


1. Forgiveness is not a feeling. It is a decision to GIVE it as a free gift. Whatever grudge, bitterness, or resentment that you have toward someone will not go away without a choice to “give it” as a gift.

2. Forgive by faith. 2 Corinthians 5:7 says, “We live by faith; therefore we forgive by faith.” Never let your faith follow your feelings. Your feelings will catch up with your faith.

3. Don’t be fooled by the feelings of resentment or anger when they try to come back. You’ll be tempted to think, “I don’t feel anything, so nothing has changed. I guess I must not have really forgiven them.” This is a lie! This is the thought you must fast from. The moment you forgive someone, as a choice, it’s done, no matter what you feel.

4. Believe and be thankful that you are free from the pain and consequences of unforgiveness. Thank God that you are free and healed. As you do this EVERY TIME that you feel those feelings, you will feel less and less of the pain, until it completely vanishes away.

5. Understand the meaning of the word: FOR—GIVE. It simply means to GIVE, BEFORE. We need to “give” forgiveness, BEFORE the person apologizes, BEFORE they change, and most importantly BEFORE you feel anything. Just as faith works by believing God’s promises BEFORE they show up (Mark 11:24– 25), forgiveness works BEFORE you feel it. When you forgive BEFORE you feel good feelings about that person, you are living in the highest level of faith.

6. Meditate on what God has done FOR you, rather than what people have done TO you. Psalm 103:2-4 says, “Bless the Lord O my soul and forget none of his benefits—He pardons all your iniquities, heals all your diseases, redeems your life from destruction, crowns you with loving-kindness and compassion.” Think on these things.


I accept that forgiveness is not a feeling. It’s a decision. Beginning today, I expect the bitter feelings, the problems, and the unanswered prayers to change because of the choice I have made.

I forgive by faith, which means that as I act on the Word of God and declare my forgiveness out loud, I am walking in forgiveness, whether I feel something or not.

I am forgiven and I am a forgiver! I choose to forgive others (AND MYSELF), BEFORE they change, before they deserve it, and before I feel it. I focus on what God has done for me, rather than what others have done to me, and therefore, I am free. In Jesus’ Name!

Pastor Larry & Pat Downing
Foothills Community Church
Collections of thoughts from varied sources
Scripture verses from KJV or NIV unless specified

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