Chapter 6





Inner Healing Through Forgiveness of Others, Oneself and God


And grieve not the holy Spirit of God ... . Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.            Ephesians 4:30-32


Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven.                                               Luke 6:37


The Holy Spirit is grieved by our grumbling, our complaining, our lack of kindness, our lack of deeply forgiving others from the heart, and we are sowing negative seeds by judging, condemning and not being willing to forgive. The reason the Holy Spirit is grieved is because He loves each of us so intensely, and He knows the great harm that will come into our lives and the lives of our loved ones from negative seeds of unforgiveness. Judging, condemning, complaining and unforgiveness are all intertwined. They are related to each other. They all indicate a lack of forgiveness.

What harm can come from such negative sowing of unforgiveness? Damaged health, broken marriages, ruined relationships with children, with other Christians, and with fellow employees are just some of the harmful effects that come to the unforgiving. Since forgiveness and the release of bitterness which it engenders are so important, we must learn what true forgiveness is, what it isn’t and how we can effectively forgive.


What Forgiveness Is Not


  1. Forgiveness is not weakness, but strength.

  2. Forgiveness does not restore trust, but opens the door to the possibility of reestablishing such trust. Forgiveness is a free gift. Trust must be earned.

  3. Forgiveness often does not include a restoration of a relationship, friendship or marriage. You must forgive your divorced or separated spouse, ex-prayer partner, ex-boss or ex-pastor, but the relationship often will not be restored.

  4. Forgiveness is not condoning sin or saying that what was done is okay. If a person has sinned against you and/or God, he or she is guilty and must answer to God. He has said:


Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.             Romans 12:19


Then, What Is Forgiveness?


Forgiveness is releasing a person from a debt owed to us. We give up our right to get revenge for the wrong someone has done to us. We lose our desire to “get even.”

In the Old Testament, some revenge was permitted, but only as mercy to avoid greater retribution. God allowed “an eye for an eye, and a tooth for tooth,” but no more. He did not allow two eyes for one eye, or two teeth for one tooth.

In the New Testament, the dispensation of grace, we are commanded to turn the other cheek, go the extra mile and bless our enemies. Jesus instructed us:


But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you.        Matthew 5:44


If we can develop a lifestyle of praying blessings for those who hurt, disappoint and reject us, instead of criticizing and complaining, our lives will be dramatically blessed. We will live in new joy, peace and love.


Have We Forgiven?


Have we really forgiven our parents for our childhood hurts? Have we forgiven our enemies, friends and loved ones who have hurt us so deeply? Many of us may have forgiven in our minds, but only partially from our hearts. The poison of bitterness toward others must be drained from our inner man through inner healing. Then the forgiveness will be complete. Otherwise, the negative reaping from unforgiveness and bitterness will defile our lives and the lives of those we most love. Every relationship in our lives will be negatively affected. The very ones we most want to love and bless we will hurt the most.


Malcolm: A Financial Curse


Malcolm’s rent was unpaid, his car payment was due, his cupboards were bare, and his gas tank was nearly empty. An expert in computer technology — young, energetic, always well-liked and respected — Malcolm, for no apparent reason, had not only recently lost his job, but could not get another. Although he was highly qualified in his field of work, one job interview after another fell through. In his first interview, his job application got lost. After his second interview, a much less qualified individual was employed. The third job opportunity suddenly disappeared for no apparent reason. With the fourth job opportunity, the employer tried to locate him, and when he could not, he gave the job to someone else.

Why was all this happening? A few weeks before, Malcolm had received the greatest emotional shock of his life. He discovered that his attractive, brunette wife Sally had been committing adultery with one of his best friends, a good-looking and young business executive. A few days later, she left Malcolm and moved in with the other man.

When this happened, Malcolm’s world caved in, and he became furious at his wife and at his former friend. Bitterness, like a cancerous growth, became deeply imbedded within him and began to eat away at his emotional and spiritual life. An evil spirit gleefully looked at this open door, provided by the sin of unforgiveness, and brought a financial curse into Malcolm’s life. Within a few weeks his boss had fired him, and his life was in a downward spiral.

Malcolm had sown bitterness, and now he was reaping a financial and emotional disaster. A curse entered his life through the defilement of bitterness. Like many of us, he had “let the sun go down on [his] wrath.” God warned us against it:


Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath.        Ephesians 4:26


Malcolm may have had good reason to be furious at his wife and friend, but we can never forget the fact that we live in a spiritual world which is run by strict laws, just as our natural world is. One of those unchangeable laws is the law of sowing and reaping. The Bible clearly teaches:


Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled.        Hebrews 12:15


Malcolm had become defiled by his bitterness, and this brought trouble to his life. Before very long, his finances were a disaster. He had no job, and unpaid bills were piling up. When God revealed to me how Satan had brought a financial curse into Malcolm’s life, I shared this with him. I explained that forgiveness does not mean we condone sin, and is not a sign of weakness. I continued, “Malcolm, forgiveness is giving up the right for revenge and your fleshly desire for your wife and friend to suffer for what they have done. It involves repenting for a condemning, hateful spirit toward them and releasing them to God.”

Malcolm had no right to take vengeance into his own hands. The Bible declares:


Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.             Romans 12:19


Seeing the curse that bitterness had brought into his life, Malcolm agreed to forgive his wife and his ex-friend for their terrible disloyalty. I led him in a prayer of repentance for the sin of condemnation and bitterness toward his wife and friend. He forgave them and released all bitterness to the Lord. We also prayed a long prayer of blessing over their lives to deeply establish his forgiveness of them, for Jesus commands us:


Love your enemies ... and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you.

                                                      Matthew 5:44


After he had prayed this prayer, we used the name of the Lord Jesus to break the curse of poverty. Within a few days a wonderful miracle took place. He received a new job, even better than his previous one. Because of forgiveness, the bitterness was gone, the curse of poverty was broken, and his relationship with the Lord was restored.

To some degree we are all like Malcolm. We must repent of unforgiveness and bitterness toward others, toward God, and even toward ourselves. Then we need to walk in a spirit of forgiveness so that we can flow in the fullness of God’s plan of emotional, spiritual and financial prosperity for us.


Harry: Full of Unforgiveness


Harry was to be operated on in three days for the chronic pain in his back. He had been told that the operation might not help, but he seemed to have no other choice. He simply could not go on living with such awful pain. Through the word of knowledge, I understood that his back was not being healed because of buried rage and unforgiveness. Harry needed to forgive his father and mother for much rejection. He held unforgiveness toward many people, particularly women.

Harry wanted to be free from this bitterness, and he wanted to be able to forgive, but for such forgiveness to take place usually inner healing is necessary.

I had Harry shout in tongues for a minute or two, then I prayed for him to laugh loudly in the Spirit. Immediately he began to laugh, and this released loud crying and screaming, and then more laughter. For about an hour he laughed, groaned and even screamed in emotional pain as the Holy Spirit released deep-seated emotions of rage within him.

A deep spiritual operation took place in Harry that day involving inner healing and deliverance. His bitterness and unforgiveness disappeared. Peace and joy filled his being. He was a changed person. Soon he also became aware that all pain had left his back. He was totally healed by the power of forgiveness. He canceled the back operation and repeatedly testified of the miracle Jesus had given him.


Unforgiveness Is Often the Root Cause of Illness


Unforgiveness and the bitterness that goes with it not only block one’s prayer for physical healing but in many cases actually cause physical ailments. Most arthritis and cancer are caused by buried resentments. Only recently a sister from Ohio related to me the case of her beloved father. He was an ordained minister and evangelist, but he had been severely hurt by many Christians over a period of many years and had become bitter as a result. He thought his anger was righteous indignation and that it was justified, so he had apparently never learned how important it was to forgive, regardless of the wrong done to us. “Dad died of cancer caused by bitterness,” the woman told me, and I was sure she was right.

Walking in forgiveness, practicing forgiveness as a way of life, and praying blessings on those who hurt you are keys to good physical, emotional and mental health.


Sarah: Paralysis Healed by Forgiveness


A dentist had accidentally cut a nerve in Sarah’s lower jaw, resulting in partial paralysis of her face. She came to Pattie and me for a healing prayer. “Are you willing to forgive the dentist,” we asked.

She replied, “I know I must. Please help me to do it.”

We led her in a prayer of forgiveness for the trauma of her facial paralysis. She prayed a prayer of blessing for the dentist. We didn’t even need to pray for the healing of her jaw. The paralysis left during the prayer of forgiveness and inner healing, and her jaw was totally healed. Forgiveness is powerful. It sets us free in many different areas of our lives.


Maggie: An Ulcer Caused by Bitterness

and Healed by Forgiveness


In our meetings in Australia a number of years ago, Maggie, age twenty-one, came forward desiring healing for a painful stomach ulcer. By a word of knowledge I spoke these words to her: “You were hurt deeply when you were thirteen, and you need to forgive the person who hurt you.”

Maggie began to cry, confessing the rage that had been in her since her early teen years. She repented and, with many tears, forgave the offender. Again, we didn’t need a healing prayer. As she forgave and allowed the Holy Spirit to remove the rage within and to heal her hurting heart, she was instantly healed. All the pain from the ulcer left.

The Kingdom of God is based on sowing and reaping. The Bible says:


Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption.

                                                       Galatians 6:7


When we sow unforgiveness and the bitterness that comes from it, as Malcolm, Harry, Sarah and Maggie did, we will surely reap the curses that come from unforgiveness. When we sow good things, then we will reap blessings. When we deeply forgive, as Malcolm, Harry, Sarah and Maggie eventually did, blessings will flood into our lives. Miracles will take place. Relationships with others and with God will dramatically improve. What are we waiting for? Let us become forgiving, loving Christians.


The Many Reasons We Need to Forgive


  1.  Unforgiveness carries with it a root of bitterness, which will spring up and defile or contaminate our marriage partner, our children, our friends and all others we come in contact with. It will damage all of our relationships, including our relationship with God. Bitterness opens the door for Satan to bring a multitude of disasters into our lives. We must forgive and remain free from bitterness.


  2.  God will forgive us of our sins only when we forgive others. Jesus said:


Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven.                                               Luke 6:37

  3.  Unforgiving people are hurting people, and they hurt others. Forgive deeply, and allow the Holy Spirit to bring healing to your hurting heart, and this act will free you from hurting others.


  4.  Unforgiveness weakens our prayer power, particularly for the person for whom we are praying. The Word of God tells us:


And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.       Mark 11:25


  5.  Unforgiveness can cause us to become sick. It can also keep us from being healed and prevent us from keeping our healing.


  6.  Unforgiveness can cause or contribute to emotional (or mental) sickness.


  7.  Unforgiveness can cause financial curses.


  8.  When we fail to forgive, we will become like the person we criticize, judge or hold bitterness toward.


  9.  If we men fail to honor our wives (which includes forgiveness), our prayers will be hindered:


Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honor unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered.

                                                           1 Peter 3:7


10. Forgiveness of the one who has hurt us is an important key to our being released from negative soul ties (bondage) with them. It is also a key to the breaking of generational curses, particularly the deep forgiveness of a mother or father.


11. We will never rise to greatness in God ­— greatness in ministry and greatness in relationships — until we forgive from our hearts those who have hurt us.


Hurts and Bitterness Toward Parents


As we have seen, no matter how good we think our childhood was, we have vastly more hurts and rejections than we can imagine, and most of them often remain forgotten or buried. These hurts can cause us to distrust our marriage partner in various ways (as we see our parents’ negative qualities in them). Our deep forgiveness of our parents sets us free to “cleave” to our mate, to truly know them, to trust them, and to love them more deeply. Jesus stated:


For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh.                                              Matthew 19:5

Deep forgiveness of our mother and father frees us to “leave” our parents, to become free from negative dependence on them, and to “cleave” in perfect godly unity to our mate.


Dinah: A Marriage in Trouble


Dinah had repeated arguments and fights with her husband. She had hidden rage toward men. The marriage was about to break up when, in desperation, she came to us for help. As Pattie and I ministered to her for inner healing, the Lord revealed to us that the root cause of her marital problem was bitterness toward her father.

When I laid hands on her and prayed for the healing of the wounds from her father’s rejection, she was “slain” under the power of God, and for about thirty minutes, she sobbed deeply in self-travail. Through this travail, she was able to deeply forgive her father. This forgiveness of her father released the rage within her toward all men, including her husband, and her marriage was saved.


Patricia: “I Hate My Husband”


Several years ago, while we were ministering in Australia, Patricia approached me, also in desperation, and whispered, “I hate my husband. I want to love him, but I can’t stand him. Can you help me?”

Just as with Dinah, the Holy Spirit showed me that unforgiveness toward her father was the root cause of Patricia’s hatred and distrust of her husband. “The problem is your father, Patricia,” I said. “Are you willing to forgive him? Are you willing to release all rage toward your father?”

She was surprised by this, but she replied, “Yes, I need help. My relationship with my father was terrible, and it’s true, I do hate him.”

Pattie and I began praying for her for a release from the terrible hurts and rejection from her father. She began sobbing deeply and fell out under the power of God onto the Lord’s operating table.

Patricia travailed in deep sobbing for about thirty minutes. The rejection and hurts from her father were lifted from her, and her bitterness toward him was gone. She forgave her father for the terrible childhood abuse and now felt a love for him. As this hatred toward him left, her hatred toward her husband also melted away and was replaced by love. The marriage was restored.


Forgiving Our Loved Ones

Can Lead to Their Salvation


Unforgiveness toward our loved ones weakens our salvation prayers for them and is a major reason why they go unsaved for years. The Bible shows we that must forgive when we stand praying:


For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith. ... Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them. ... And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses. ... But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses.

                                                     Mark 11:23-26


Jane: Her Parents Are Saved


For many years, Jane had been interceding for her parents’ salvation, but they had made it clear that they wanted no part of her “religion.” This rejection hurt her deeply. The Holy Spirit brought conviction that she had bitterness in her heart toward her parents because of their rejection of Christianity. After weeping for a long time on her face before God, the emotional pain of rejection was healed, and all the bitterness left. She no longer had any unforgiveness, only love, for her parents.

Within five days, both of Jane’s parents were mightily saved. Jesus said that we must forgive. It is clearly unforgiveness that is hindering many of our prayers.


Mary: Her Alcoholic Husband Is Saved


For years Mary’s marriage had been a living hell because of her alcoholic husband. Even after fifteen years of hard prayer from her and others, her husband seemed further from the Lord than ever.

Then one day the Holy Spirit convicted Mary of self-righteousness, self-pity, a judgmental attitude toward her husband, and the sin of unforgiveness. She deeply repented of these sins and, with many inner-healing tears, forgave her husband for the hurts and disappointments of their marriage.

Mary’s husband now had a new wife, and soon she had a new husband, for within two weeks he was delivered from alcoholism, saved and filled with the Holy Ghost. Forgiveness is powerful. Use it.


Winning Our Loved Ones


Many of us, like Jane and Mary, have been praying long and hard for an unsaved loved one. Our loved ones have some terrible habits, attitudes, selfishness or sins in their lives that really hurt, frustrate or embarrass us. When we stand praying and believing for the miracle of salvation in their lives, we must forgive them completely. Unforgiveness weakens, dilutes, our power in prayer, our power to move the mountains in our life, our power to get loved ones saved. We must deeply forgive them in order to have the power to release them from the demonic darkness that blinds them to truth and holds them back from salvation.




Many of us have been deeply rejected or hurt by others. Our Lord calls us to forgive as He has forgiven us. Such deep forgiveness often can only come through our being healed from the rejection and hurts of others.

We must allow forgiveness and blessing of others in word and deed from the heart to become a way of life. In so doing, we will sow a multitude of blessings into our own lives and into the lives of others.

You will be overjoyed at the effect this type of forgiveness will have on your relationships with others and with God. It will bring joy and peace into your life. In addition, it will be a big factor in your being healed physically and in keeping your healing. Try it. Laugh and Cry Your Way to Freedom and be Changed Into His Image Through Inner Healing.