How to forgive others - practical steps

Step-by-step approach to forgiveness of others. Remember, forgiveness comes through grace and must be approached in prayer.

Step 1: Ask the Holy Spirit to show you who you need to forgive.

Step 2: Picture the person in front of you and pay attention to how you feel.

Step 3: Make an account of the debt they owe you. How has this hurt impacted your life?

Step 4: Imagine yourself telling them what they did to hurt you and how it has affected you. You may also find stuck defensive reactions (think fight-flight-freeze responses). It may be helpful to say things out loud or to imagine doing something to work through any stuck feelings.

Step 5: Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal to you what you believe about yourself based on that incident.

Step 6: Renounce the identity lies.

Step 7: Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal the judgments towards the person who hurt you. If you can, remember that this is not the person they were designed to be. Separate their dignity from the evil they have done.  

Step 8: Renounce those judgments.

Step 9: Ask Jesus to forgive the person. Invite the person to stand at the cross with you.

Step 10: Forgive the person.

Step 11: Pray a prayer of blessing over that person, ask God to bless them in the opposite way they hurt you.

Step 12: Ask Jesus to seal his forgiveness and heal the wounds.

Step 13: Thank God for his healing.

See this article for more about judgment, forgiveness, reconciliation, and trust.

There can be many blocks to forgiveness that hinder you from moving through these steps. Book a consultation to discuss working through these together.

Forgiveness protocol taken from podcast episode with Dr. Bob Schuchts and Jake Khym

For an in depth discussion of these steps, go to:

Forgiveness meditation with Sr. Miriam James that follows the same protocol:

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Dr. Marcel Lanahan

Founder, Lead Clinician

Marcel is a Catholic therapist, husband, and father of five. He is dedicated to supporting fellow Catholics with guidance on their healing journeys.

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