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5 Ways to Truly Embrace Forgiveness

Biblical forgiveness is hard. I’ve wrestled through this issue personally and with dozens of others over the years. The deeper the wound the harder it is to forgive. Those of us who have been forgiven, however, must learn to forgive. My guess is that includes you!

Here are 5 ways to truly embrace forgiveness:

Give it first. Before it’s “deserved”, extend forgiveness. It seldom will be.

Expect nothing in return. Forgiveness is based on a choice you make, not the reaction you receive.

Make it genuine. Forgiveness should never be lip service. You have to get gut-level in your release; even of the right to get even.

Make it permanent. It’s not forgiveness if you continually take back the grudge. Forgiveness means you let it go. Period.

Do it now. The longer you wait, the more damage it will do to your heart and harder forgiveness will be.

I’m not saying any of these is easy. I’m not saying it removes consequences, which need to be in place. I’m not saying you won’t be tempted to remove your forgiveness the next time the person comes to mind. I am saying that if you want to offer Biblical forgiveness, you must embrace it…not partially, but fully.

To clarify some of these in detail, read:

7 Things Forgiveness Is

7 Things Forgiveness Isn’t

Who was the hardest person you’ve ever struggled to forgive?

(I’ll go first. Mine was my father, but granting him forgiveness paved the way to a deeper intimacy with Christ and a restored relationship with my father.)

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Ron Edmondson

Author Ron Edmondson

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Join the discussion 11 Comments

  • Tara says:

    I found this page on Google and so thankful I did. I have recently left my husband for things he did and did not do in our marriage. He took off for 5 days with no contact or calling to check on me and my daughter or with any knowledge of where he was. He said he wanted to see if I trusted him. I have trust issues due to his inappropriate dirty messages to other women and his playing head games saying one thing and doing another. I still love my husband and I feel he can be the man I married 5 years ago. I know he has great potential. I want to know I have forgiven him and your site makes me realize, I have I just have not told him yet. I only want the best for him and great things in life. I don’t like that things are not going very well in his life but that is something he has to work on. But that also does not mean I trust him since he has done other things to break the trust a few years ago and has not tried to fix it. I have held on to blaming him over and over the last few weeks but I wanted him to realize what he had done. I realize now he feels his apology 2 years ago is enough but that didn’t fix the head games these last two years. I don’t see anyway to fix my marriage so that it’s better than we ever had before. I moved back home to my state of New Jersey and he is still in Iowa. I know he won’t move out here for me and our marriage because he won’t move away from his family. They have always been first in his life before me and will continue to always be. I am not enough for him to choose me. Sometimes I wish we could redo things and make our marriage work. Marriage is something sacred and important to me. I pray everyday for strength, courage to get thru this and for him as well. I don’t wish anything bad for him, ever.

    • ronedmondson says:

      Praying for you now. Do overs do happen if two people are willing. You draw a line in the sand and say this is a new day. 

  • Chaneera says:

    Wow there is so much confirmation in what you have written inall of your blogs. While reading I felt a release partly in knowing that I knew it would hinder and I prayed earnestly to God and quickly apologizing even when my physical mind wanted to say no my spiritual mind said yes do it now and quickly. Thank you for writing a letter of confirmation to those who truly want to forgive.

  • Kari Scare

    The hardest person for me to forgive was myself. Forgiving my parents wasn’t easy either. Forgiveness is very freeing!

  • Forgiveness is one of the key qualities which does not come naturally to me. I need to be intentional to develop this characteristics in me. Often, I struggle to receive the forgiveness from the Lord. I find it difficult to beleive that my sins are forgiven. Some sort of guilt / condemnation remains and lingers. Now, I feel that I have come a long way in understanding the grace of our God.

  • Bryankr

    The hardest one for me to forgive….? That would me! I am too well aware of, not only WHAT I did, but WHY I did it. That wlways makes it a problem for me. Trying to resolve that issue, allowing God His sovreignty, His ability to love and forgive completly. I have this human frailty of not being able to wrap my mind around THAT concept, and it slows it down! Be still and know, He is God! Allow. That is what I deal with the most; I guess I keep trying to fit in retrebution and forgiviness in the same place. They don’t fit! One or the other! Forgiveness trumps the other!

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