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7 Ways to Offer True Forgiveness

By January 15, 2010May 24th, 2011Christians, Encouragement, Jesus, Life Plan

Whenever I talk about forgiveness, the reminder of grudges, hurts and past pains seem to surface in people’s lives.  I will get emails, Facebook and Twitter direct messages confessing to scars and wounds being opened.  In fact, the reaction to the topic of forgiveness is so tender for many, that it draws me back to the issue frequently.

As believers, we are called to offer forgiveness, because we first have been forgiven.  Here are 7 principles for offering true forgiveness.

Reflect on your own forgiveness. The fact that God forgives us through His Son Jesus should fuel our willingness to offer forgiveness to others.

Consider the imperfection of others. Resist the opportunity for revenge.  Don’t hold people to standards they cannot live up to.

Look at your own plank.  You aren’t perfect either and probably don’t meet all the expectations others have of you.

Build positive learning experiences….even from negative experiences.

Release the burden of guilt that you are holding against yourself and others. Guilt absorbs a person’s energy.  Releasing guilt provides freedom.

Don’t avoid future conflict. It’s a part of life among imperfect people.  You will need to practice forgiveness many times in life. The more you practice the better you will become at offering it.

Set a new path. In freedom and forgiveness, learn from your experiences and live a life closer to the model Christ set for us; loving others as we love ourselves; forgiving as we have been forgiven.

Whom do you need to forgive? Is it a parent, friend, family member, ex-spouse, co-worker, boss, or maybe even you?  Do yourself a favor…with God’s help and grace, extend forgiveness today!

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Ron Edmondson

Author Ron Edmondson

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Join the discussion 9 Comments

  • Donald Brown says:

    Some people look at forgiveness as a means of just condoning what the other person did, or overlooking it, but that's as far from the truth about forgiveness as you can possibly get.

    Sure you may not forget what was done to you, but you can release yourself from holding a grudge against that other person, and allow for Christ to work in you to truly forgive. Some people find it really hard to let go and forgive while others don't find it so hard to do.

    Those that find it really hard to forgive are still holding on to the hurts, wounds and pain that they're experiencing. They don't want to let go because they believe that by holding on to those things, they're somehow getting back at the other individual, but what they don't realize is that all of that grudge holding and anger that they're feeling is only on themselves and not the other individual.

    For all they know, the other individual could be out partying and feeling good. They're not bothered by what they had done, nor are they really affected by your grudges and personal pain. However, we should offer forgiveness even when it isn't deserved because you know what? None of us deserves it.

  • Keep God First says:

    "The Seven Conflicts" by Downs and "Five Languages of Apology" by Chapman are the best books I've read to date on this topic. Of the two, I highly recommend the chapter on repentance in the latter. It explains cheap grace, when we justify sin without justification of the sinner.

  • Pastor, I'm learning about forgiveness with a recent painful event. This post helps. The big idea you said that really helped me out is to release the burden of guilt that I'm holding. It's so true-I truly forgive this person and then I'd feel guilty about not forgiving them sooner.

    Really helped.

  • Marnee Masales says:

    I liked this. More people should read this.