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Learning to forgive



One thing about forgiveness that took me a long time to figure out is that forgiveness is NOT excusing or justifying the wrong doing. It is NOT minimizing the hurt feelings that were caused.

Matthew 6:12-15
And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.


Forgiving is simply (or not so simply) choosing to let go of anger, resentment and hatred.

Forgiveness is a choice. It is a decision to no longer hold an act against the other person as a means of punishment. The other person almost always suffers in one way or another, whether it is from guilt or from the consequences of their actions.

But forgiveness is only a little about the other person and a lot about ourselves. Therefore, true forgiveness cannot be conditional. We can’t decide to forgive only if. Only if you apologize. Only if you say you’ll never do it again.

Research has shown that forgiveness is linked to mental health outcomes such as reduced anxiety. Most of us will never be faced with forgiving such a devastating offense as the murder of a loved one. Yet, nearly everyone can benefit from being more forgiving. Many people think of forgiveness as letting go or moving on. But there’s more to it than that… True forgiveness goes a step further! It’s offering something positive—empathy, compassion, understanding—toward the person who hurt you. That element makes forgiveness a virtue.


Forgiveness is an enormous subject and it’s not possible to adequately cover every facet in this short format. Nevertheless, we still should understand a few basic inferences. Forgiveness does not mean outrageous behavior should be tolerated or that responsibility for bad behavior should be denied. At the micro level, unresolved resentments embitter lives and destroy marriages, even as their residue poisons the aftermath of divorce for the survivors. Learning to forgive and asking for forgiveness helps keep relationships healthy by allowing them to heal and grow. Ask for forgiveness when you are the offender and commit to make positive changes.

In light of our new beginning, God commands that in return, we forgive others and extend grace as we have been shown grace. It can be one of the hardest things we face in life! The pain and hurt others cause us is real and great. But, the pain of living with bitterness and unforgiveness can poison your soul and destroy you. When we forgive others, we are not saying what they did was OK, but we are releasing them to God and letting go of it’s hold on us.

Do not judge others, and God will not judge you; do not condemn others, and God will not condemn you; forgive others, and God will forgive you. – Luke 6:37

Accept and forgive, be patient for others are watching your behavior. You could argue that humans in their vast mental potential are never quite “fully developed” but for simplicity’s sake we will claim there is a threshold through which maturity finally shows. If excellence and success is your motto in life then blaming others cannot be tolerated. The individual who is truly forgiving, is an individual who well discover the merit of good life.

But God’s mercy is so abundant, and his love for us is so great, that while we were spiritually dead in our disobedience he brought us to life with Christ. It is by God’s grace that you have been saved. – Ephesians 2:4-5

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