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How do you forgive someone? James 4:11-12

January 13, 2010

James 4:11-12 : Brothers, do not slander one another. Anyone who speaks against his brother or judges him speaks against the law and judges it. When you judge the law, you are not keeping it, but sitting in judgment on it. There is only one Law giver and Judge, the one who is able to save and destroy. But you—who are you to judge your neighbor?  (New International Version)

Back from a brief holiday to visit some of my wife’s wonderful family in the South Island of New Zealand. While I was on holiday I got chatting to a guy who asked me this question: ‘Mark how can I forgive my daughter in law who had an affair after many years of being married to my son?’  Through the guidance of the Holy Spirit (Praise God!) the answer popped into my head immediately:  ‘Forgiveness is handing the situation over to God and knowing that God will judge her, God will deal with her sin.  That isn’t your role.  So you forgive her when you hand the judgement over to God to deal with.’ And then I read this amazing passage from James!  ‘There is only one Law giver and Judge, the one who is able to save and destroy.’ For my friend his hurt was very real, he could not comprehend how his daughter in law could cheat on his son, and in the midst of this he knew as a Christian he needed to forgive.  His heart and his head were not connecting, his heart hated what she had done and refused to forgive, his head told him he should forgive her.  The connection of the head and the heart happens when we make the decision to hand the judgement over to God, and to pray that God is merciful with them.

Only God judges, it is not our place to judge.  Yesterday I was reading and reflecting on Philippians 2:12b-13 which reads: ‘continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.’ And what struck me is the ‘fear and trembling’ bit: I am to respect our great and glorious God, a God who  blesses, and takes blessing away.  When I forgive someone, actually what I am doing is handing them over to God to deal with.  In practice, God will deal with them regardless of any decision I make!!  But still, for me to take that mental step is key, and then rather than be angry at someone, I find myself praying for them that God is merciful with them.

God bless,

Rev Mark Brown

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Yahweh’s Yarn in a Year : 1 year Bible reading plan

The Portion for today: Isaiah Chapters 7-11

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165 Comments
  1. Awesome! Blessings on your day!

    • Min. A. R. Lewis permalink

      Welcome back, Bro. Mark!
      I believe ‘how’ to forgive someone will come easier if we answer ‘why’ should we forgive. Besides the obvious, Jesus has forgiven us so we are to do likewise answer, in a message I ministered, I gave this illustration. I work at a prison so I have handcuffs. I said unforgiveness is like being handcuffed to the person we refuse to forgive. We drag them around with us everywhere we go. Often, they are unaware of the offense and are going on about their lives but we are still hanging on to them. We have the handcuff key (forgiveness) and can free ourselves at any time. When we think of dragging and being dragged, that should help us let it go. We don’t want to have that constant reminder with us everywhere we go. Also, we are allowing that one we choose not to forgive, control us. We can take control by releasing them, thus freeing ourselves. I didn’t use the scripture in James, I used Luke 6:37. However, it also talks about judging. Glad you brought that out.

      • Lee permalink

        There is the part in the Lord’s prayer that says, “Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.”
        We will wallow in unforgiveness and lack if we do not choose to forgive, for our own as well as the other’s sake in disobeying the Lord. Freedom from condemnation and rejection comes with forgiveness. We need to choose it.

      • SANA permalink

        GREAT ILLUSTRATION. I NEED A PERMISSION TO USE YOUR ILLUSTRATION TO OTHERS. THANKS FOR SHARING IT.
        LOVELY
        GOD BLESS

      • Great illustration!!

    • Angie permalink

      It’s amazing that I found this today! I have dealt with forgiving like we all do at times throughout life. I know that forgiveness and seperation are too different things. One person asked is it ok to forgive one and yet seperate yourself from them to protect you. That is the part I struggle with. The Bible references forgiving someone 70×7 times in one day. But I dont think I am spiritually to that point that I can continue to be hurt, forgive and then continue to allow someone to hurt me over and over. I think that is a vital question. Can anyone shed any light on that? We may not be able to truly decern this until we meet Jesus face to face. But it doesnt hurt to get others perspective on it. God bless all and I pray that I continue to forgive others and not allow my faults be a stumbling block to anyone.

      Angie

      • Sister Pam OP permalink

        Dear Angie,
        I have worked with abused women for many years. Forgiveness does not require a person to allow continuing abuse. When forgiving someone who has done you wrong, pray for that person’s healing, wish them the best. That can be done from afar. You can have a healing relationship with that person in prayer through Jesus. Jesus is the mediator. That is what is required of you, not continuing an abusive relationship. If you need to distance yourself from the person, do so.

      • forgive and for get

      • we r in the same boat angie..same thought too…just like pam said…make a distance…lets pray…thats all that we can do.this is not our world anymore…its theirs..so lets live according to HIS will..submit tho its hurting u so MUCH.

      • Tammy permalink

        Hi Angie:

        I have done the same thing and the only advice I can give is to protect your heart. You are who you are by what God has made you. When we hurt I, it may be that we expected something in return or reciprocated… I try to question my actions for reward, genuineness, the feeling that I have to… then I have to question myself and I am not saying this is right but when I question something that I need to make a decision on or something I am doing, I have come to conclusion it is not of God. I don’t give to expect in return and if I am than I need to check myself. Everyone is different and made up of different experiences, insecurities, paths, etc… What I think should or ought to be is the next person different perspective of his or her own should or oughts’… We can only control ourselves and that amounts in protecting not only our hearts and learning emotional intelligence at the same.

        Take care and God Bless,

        Tammy

    • miriam permalink

      How do you forgive someone who has taken away your childhood and your family??

      • Sister Pam OP permalink

        Dear Miriam,
        This is a most difficult hurtful situation and I am so sorry that you are in it. That person needs the healing love of Jesus and so do you. Jesus died for that person’s sins. We cannot reject that. We can allow Jesus to do His work on that person. When you feel hurt and anger toward that person. Pray for yourself and that person. Visualize that person in a locked room with Jesus. You are on the other side of the locked door so you are safe. Jesus can also stand beside you. Let Jesus do what is necessary. The past is done, you only have the future. Make the best of it.

      • I am a victim of abuse. My ex poisoned me:83% arsenic in my lab testing. He stabbed my son with a pencil and told me he will kill my children. Recently, I lost custody of my children to him. He has a million dollar life policy of each child. Now, he is refusing me to talk to or visit my kids and the Judge this this is all okay. What do I do? I have in indef MPO order against him and the Marine Corp promoted him. He brags that he is a drug runner in the Maphia and I have over 10+ pages of break-ins. I even showed the Judge pictures of excessive bruises on my son coming from his dad’s home.
        How can I pray for someone who tells people, “I can do anything at anytime and get away with it” and “everyone has a price”. God has allowed me more persecution and prosecute in my life. Is being stripped of everything I love, a reward for loving God? How do I pray for someone who is tiring to kill me and make my life a living hell? Without feeling I want justice and to save the lives of my children? Helping people is my reward. Am I am completely powerless. How do I prove my innocence to people and win my kids back?
        Tell me where is the Karma that goes around? I mourn for my kids daily, how can this pain heal so I can live and be of good faith like I’m supposed to do? Please tell me. I have completely ran out of answers. Where is my help that comes over the hills (scripture)? I can’t even remember what it feels like to be held and loved. Help me.

      • Greetings Lori, can I suggest that you connect with a local church and seek the support of the pastor? You are in my prayers sister.

      • The answer is in taking it to the Lord Jesus in prayer! (Matt. 15:17)

  2. Patsy Bond permalink

    I am in the process of trying to forgive my son for what he has done against me. It is so hard to leave it in Gods hands. I keep taking it back and giving it back and taking it back. I need prayer to help me release myself from the bondage of guilt. I always blame myself for his actions, If I would have been a better mother he would be ok. If I did this and did that he would be ok. I need to forgive and let go so the healing can start to take place and I can go on knowing that I did the best I could. I need to learn how to honestly pray for my son without taking it back. Thank you for letting me share. I am agonizing over this.

    • Sister Pam OP permalink

      Dear Patsy,
      I appreciate the difficulty you are experiencing as I have been in the same situation in the past. You hold the key to forgiveness in your first sentence with the words, “I am in the process….” Forgiveness is a process, not a one time deal and then it is done. You know this to be true. Remember to forgive yourself, also. Accept Jesus gift of forgiveness with graciousness and thankfulness.

    • Michael Cook permalink

      Our God is the same yesterday, today and forever! Sometimes we need a miracle! Some teach that the miraculous is no longer for today. That God is finished doing miracles! God I hope not! I believe we live in the time of the miraculous! We have to trust God to be the same for us today as He was for the children of Israel, as He was when He walked the earth as Emmanuel…Jesus…God with Us! I know people tell us to “Trust God” and “Believe God”. And we can hear it so much that it just becomes another cliche! But if we just really let go of our own mind and tell God just like it is, “Lord, I want to trust you but it’s seems so hard for me to let go of what I see before me”! “Lord I need you despreatley and I believe Lord, please help my unbelief”! Then stand back and begin to see God work!

      He is the same God today! He will work in your life! Read those 1st chapters of Job again. Job was so depressed that he wanted the day he was born to be taken off the calender. He had lost everything, his children, his health, his wealth. Even his wife told him to curse God and die. But Job never stopped believing that God was able to deliver him. And when God finally got his audience with God, he had to humble himself at the righteousness and glory of God. Here’s the thing, God is so mighty and so awesome (an oft overused word today), that we cannot begin to comprehend the greatness, the majesty, the outright power in His being! the Bible says in 2 Chronicles that if we “humble ourselves and pray”. Note that we have to “humble ourselves”! It doesn’t say that God will humble us, though He will if we don’t, but God is saying with an act of YOUR WILL, we need to recognize our lowly state and our UTTER dependence on God! That we need to bow before His AWESOME MAJESTY! And it’s when we do this that God will hear our prayer, and yes heal our land!

      Gotta go now cause I feel a praise session coming on! Hear O Israel, The Lord our God is ONE LORD! He alone is High and Lifted Up!

      • MIRACLES are rare today because we have either misused or neglected their underlying spiritual LAWS application of which will produce the desired miracles! For our convenience, the Laws are packed together in the PRAYER beginning with laying the foundation and securing the guarantee to answers, i.e., “Our father in heaven” (Matt. 6:9).

        The life of miracles begins with putting into operation the model of REBIRTH from one “born of the flesh” to another “born of the Spirit” with a POINT OF CHANGE (to-day’s missing link) centered on the crucifixion of Jesus Christ (John 3: 1-21). By faithfully following up the promise all the way, Nicodemus found the point of change in Jesus Christ’s perfect and transfigurative death on the cross (Ibid, 19: 30-42).

        Without the personal experience of the point of change, we do not have any privileges of God’s children (Matt. 6: 8, 33).

  3. Sister Pam OP permalink

    In the example of the father trying to forgive his daughter-in-law, I was reminded of what I was taught in grade school; hate the action, not the person. Father Mark states, “…his heart hated what she had done and refused to forgive, his head told him he should forgive her.” Her action was a hateful act. The action may be judged as right or wrong, but the actual person may not be judged, that is God’s job. Judging people is a serious problem for me, especially when serious evil was committed. With God’s help I pray that I will be able to differentiate between judging actions and judging people.

    Slander is one of those especially harmful acts that has the potential to destroy lives. Often it results from judging people, or, I ought to say, misjudging people. Only God knows what is in someone’s heart and is capable of judging that person.

    • Cheryl permalink

      We are to hate what God hates…so we hate the sin and love the sinner.

      • Do you think GOD loved Esaw, He said Esaw have i hated??

    • Joanie permalink

      Thanks for this post. It really spoke to me and was a reminder of what I also learned in grade school. Sometimes when we are so closely involved in a situation it is harder to see some of God’s more simple truths and need reminders. Again thanks!

  4. Tony Sancillo permalink

    I know this wrong, I’ve been taught better.
    I have very hard feeling against my exwife. After 17 years she filed for divorce she had numerious affairs. I wanted to forgive and couldn’t after 2 years I still can’t. Sometimes I just don’t want to give her that. I know that’s wrong.
    I know I need to move on and find what God wants for me but I know God wants famalies together. I feel alone and afraid. I need your prayers my children need your prayers.

    • javi permalink

      I know your pain brother, i too went through a similar situation. I know all of the mixed emotions and feelings of resentment and failure as well. I’ve turned to God to help me deal with the pain and bring me forgiveness. Stay strong man and give it all to HIM, unlike any other his love is unconditional.

    • Katherine permalink

      It is not for them that we forgive but for ourselves. Unforgiveness rots inside us causing many issues from the formation of bitter roots to the outward formation of disease in our bodies. There is a scripture that states that we will be forgiven to the degree that we forgive– may we let it flow freely releasing it into God’s hands so that His will flow freely onto us.

    • Michael Cook permalink

      I think forgiveness becomes easier when we stop looking at the wrong the other person has done and begin to look at ourselves as compared to the righteousness which our Lord requires. In Romans 3:23 the Bible says; “we All have sinned and fallen short of the Glory of God!”. Forgiveness requires that I recognize that I am not perfect before God, myself. That I am inadequate and insufficient to stand in judgement of anyone because of my own lack of righteousness.

      I must be honest, I never thought about forgiveness in this light before. But today’s verse brought this to mind. I think of the story that Jesus told of the Pharisee and the publican. How the Pharisee stood praying in his self righteousness, while the publican pleaded for mercy, recognizing how short he fell in the eyes of God. See it’s really not about how others see you or even how you may see yourself, it’s about how the eternal and all mighty God see’s us. The Good News is that because of Jesus we can be justified and made clean in God’s eyes. But it’s not because of our own “righteous” acts. Only the righteous act of Jesus on the cross, that makes me stand righteous in the eyes of the Almighty!

      When I put things in the perspective of who I am and who God is…it makes it easy for me to shed my self-righteousness! Oh Bless the Name that is above all names!

      I hope and pray that God will open the eyes of your understanding and help you to see the grace He has obtained for us. And the mercy He extends to us…even to your ex-wife! Even to you Tony.

      God Bless You,

      Your Fellow Journeyer Michael

    • Tony, let me first say I am so sorry to hear of your family’s troubles. I know it is hard to forgive someone who has wronged you, especially someone as close to you as a spouse is. I have dealt with this on a very different point of view. My parents divorced when I was around seven years old, my father has always been very bitter and unforgiving about their divorce (it has been 25+ years). I want you to understand that forgiveness is not for her, it is for you. If you fail to forgive, it is your children who will suffer the consequences… they are the ones who will live through your bitterness, anger, frustration and stess. You must try to forgive for yourself and for them. You will be teaching them a very valuable lesson about being a Christian and you will also grow in Christ through obedience. I know this sounds easy, believe me, I am aware it will be hard. In the long run, you will be thankful that you did forgive her.
      On the other hand, my ex-husband molested two of my children when we were married. They were between the ages of 2 and 5 when I found this out, I was devestated. I can never convey to anyone what heartache that brings. However, I have, and continue to, forgive him. I can not change what happened, I can not do him harm; that would just cause me more pain. I can, however, give it to God and let him handle it. I keep in mind that God says, “vengence is mine”. It is not my place to do anything more than protect my children from harm. So, believe me when I say that I understand the importance of forgiveness, more than I ever thought I would. I believe that my forgiveness of others has truly set me free. I still have to give it to God some days but that is to be expected.

      I will pray for you and your family. God bless you, I know you will do the right thing!
      In Christ,
      Mary

    • Adultry is the only reason you have for divorce. Your ex
      wife will pay the sin debt for that. If its not your fault, You should get along with your life, If you love her and want to make amends, Thats a different story, What if she continues doing the same after you take her back. Think
      Think Think.

    • tony u r not alone..always remember that.its somtimes wen we r in r state of sin..den we feel that.but if u will do the right thing,then evrything will b change…by dwelling in HIS presence,pray for wisdom, reading the bible.share wat u read to ur children,pray together,and bring ur whole family to church and have fellowship with other brethren.and GOD will do the rest..have faith!

    • I struggle with the same feelings and pain. I can’t even remember being held or loved; it’s been so long. I lost my kids to a man who told me he will kill them and make my “life a living hell”. He is a smooth talker, manipulative, controlling and a bully to say the least. I even have a disk of his adultery to another Marines wife as she was telling her husband over the phone that she loves him, my ex was going down on her. He actually video taped it and the Marine Corp promoted him. I even have a military MPO, indefinite. He stabbed my son with a pencil and even though he told me he was poisoning me every Sunday, I couldn’t believe it. The lab tests showed 83% arsenic.
      I understand deep feelings of pain, being afraid and alone. I am there right now. I will put you in my prayers. I have been living with intense abuse since I was in 4th grade, now I’m 38. I was told that I’m beautiful and I look in the mirror and I can’t see it. I can’t even stand to look at myself. I was an Army Medic and I love kids and animals.
      I truly do feel powerless and helpless and I have no idea why God is forcing me to live thru this. To be purified? To let go and give to God? In my situation, I only have God. Because, even my first set of dogs were poisoned and killed because they attacked my son, ripped apart my goats (I once had) and they attacked me.
      I will be your friend and share whatever part of my heart isn’t destroyed. I will pray for you because I need prayers; a miracle to say the least. May God bless you and your family.

  5. I am amazed at the many times I have read the devotionals sent to me by email or on facebook and the message for that day, for that time, is exactly what I need to help me with whatever the situation is that I’m going through. In the last 3 months both of my parents passed away. Their illnesses lasted well over a year. We have appreciated so much the messages that we received during this time. They have been an inspiration to us. We still have issues to face even after the passing of both of my parents. We know that God will give us ongoing strength and wisdom. Thank you again for the messages we receive. God bless you!

  6. nice one Brother I liked it..
    thank u Mark

  7. court evans permalink

    wow amazing i have been recieving the daily inspirations but i must be honest and say i havent read any of them EXCEPT for today i believe God directed me to see this because im having a hard time forgiving my mom’s husband but this inspirational reading let’s me know i am not to be the judge please pray that i will let it go and let God take control of the situation. thank u SOO much!

    • I have gone thru the same thing except with an older half brother. He molested me and my sister from the time I was 3 to age about 13 or 14. I have never really forgiven him and still have many questions but the fact that God wants vengence is His, then I shouldn’t worry about this anymore. Thank you for taling about this today.

      • The civil Law is ordained by GOD, you should have him put in prison, for the rest of his life.

      • Janine permalink

        Nancy, thankyou for sharing about your brother. I want to express to you how sorry I am that you and your sister had to go through it. I learned a little while ago that forgiveness is a decision, something that you set your will to do. We never ‘feel’ like forgiving someone but it is something that we are told to do, Matthew 6:12 says “and forgive us our sins and we forgive those that son against us”. If we don’t forgive, God won’t forgive us. The good news is that we don’t forgive in our own power or our own strength, we do it in God’s. A very simple prayer that you can pray out Lord is:

        “Lord, I forgive for . I release them into my forgiveness in Jesus name.

        The thing is that when someone has sinned against us, especially in the case of abuse, I spiritual connection is made between us and the person. This connection or ‘soul tie’ needs to be broken so they can’t go on affecting us. You can pray to break this connection.

        “In the name of Jesus Christ I break any ungodly soul tie between and me. I pray you’ll return to me any part of myself that unrightfully has, and any pary of that I unrightfully have. Amen”

        These prayers will be extremely difficult, but they are also extremely necessary and effective. David Cross has written a book called Soul Ties – the Unseen Bond in Relationships. Maybe it might be helpful?

        God loves you and has some amazing plans for your life “Jer 29:11 (NIV) “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
        I pray that God will work in your life to give you back your hope and your future. May He show you how precious you are in His sight and bless you abundantly.

  8. victoria cooper permalink

    yes it is hard to forgive i need to pass and release to god that i do not want to be a stepping stone to know one my children reflex on me so i have to do the right thing repeat forgive and ley god have his way in my life

  9. Cathy Evans permalink

    I recall a tough time during my marriage, in which my husband had committed adultery, again. I recall waking up one morning and a preacher was on the air speaking on forgiveness. As I curled my hair and listened, I was compelled to change the channel because I did not want to hear it. As I reached towards the TV to change the channel, the preacher said, “Don’t you change the channel because this word is for you”. So, I continued to listen with a closed heart.

    As I traveled to school, I recall praying hell, fire, and brimestone against my husband and his mistress. Then, in a flash God exposed some of the wicked and evil acts that I had committed during the course of my life and a picture of Jesus hanging on the cross. I began to cry and praise Jesus for dying for me. In a gentle voice I heard the Lord say, “I died for them too and they needed me to die just as much as you do”. However, my heart was still hardened.

    Upon reaching my destination, a counseling course at a local college, my instructor was teaching about forgiveness. He had even referred to a Bible verse about forgiveness. Though I can’t recall which one, it touched my heart. On my way home, while driving, I talked to the Lord about ALL the wrong that I had suffered and the pain that I was feeling.

    Upon my return home, the Lord led me to the Book of Philemon. As I read Paul’s account of the runaway slave, I thought about myself and Jesus. I began to sob violently and began to pray for my husband and his mistress. It was like my heart was turned a way from my own wounds and towards theirs. Point and case is, I realized that I can not judge anyone because I, too, am merely a sinner saved by the grace of God. My sins are as scarlet as the next person, therefore, I must be merciful and forgiving because God is merciful and forgiving towards me.

    I recall the passage of scripture where Jesus was speaking and said, “What good is it to love those that love you? Does not sinners do that?” He was admonishing His disciples to love those that hate them and wrong them. He concluded with a challenge of sorts, in that He said, “By this the world will know that you are My, the love that you have one for another.” If you are struggling with forgiveness, I challenge you to revisit the reason why you needed Christ to die for YOU.

    Given this revelation, I believe that you would readily put your stones down and forgive. We are not God as the passage points out; therefore, we should leave judging to Him because unforgiveness is a form of judging. Finally, the Bible implicitly states that the same measure of judgment that we use will come back upon us. Likewise, if we are harboring unforgiveness, then God does not hear our prayers. Jesus said that when we stand praying, if we have ought against our brother, then we need to go and settle it lest our prayers be hindered.

    • Cathy: What a testimony you have just given to so many people for forgiving others who have hurt you deeply. It is very humbling.

    • Michael Cook permalink

      Amen Cathy! Amen!

      • Teresa Varney permalink

        Thank you for sharing this Cathy. It is amazing how God will get a message through to us no matter what. I have been thinking lately during my own struggle with unforgiveness that if we as christians REALLY understood the work that Christ did on the cross, we would be SO humble and the world would see that like a beacon of light. I think, for me anyway, that I get prideful in thinking that because I desire to live for Christ and feel conviction when I do wrong that I am somehow better than those who know what God’s word says and ignores it. BUT, the only reason I have that desire is because God has shown me grace and mercy and placed it in my heart. It is nothing that I have done. This is a very difficult thing to realize about oneself and impossible to change without the power of the Holy Spirit working. I struggle with connecting this knowlege from my mind to my heart but I also know that life is not about “feelings” it’s about “choices”. When we do the right “behavior” the “feelings” will follow.

        Thank you for your transparency. God Bless You.

    • Sister Pam OP permalink

      Thanks Cathy, this was a good reminder. “What good is it to love those that love you? Does not sinners do that?” Loving those who do not love us is the hallmark of a Christian.

    • Marti permalink

      Wow, that was amazing! I appreciate your sharing this. Thank You!

  10. Alecia permalink

    Mark, thanks for this post. Forgiveness is one of the most misunderstood concepts in Christianity. People have their own ideas of what forgiveness means. In order to truly benefit from this gracious blessing from God, it must be understood from the view point God intended. The Bible tells us that it is impossible that offenses may come. Being hurt is a part of life and God has given us forgiveness as a way to keep bitterness, anger and resentment from killing us and being a weight that hinders us from being vessels for God’s use. It keeps us compassionate to others as Jesus was by opening our spirit when we allow the Holy Spirit to infiltrate our heart towards the hurtful deeds. When he turn the hurt over to God, He handles it and begins to heal us with His love, mercy and grace. Some think that forgiveness is for the forgiven but forgiveness is for the forgiver. It heals the one who invokes it. If you want to be free from the hurt and pain caused by the offenses of another, forgiveness is the way to go. I think it is important to add that when the Bible speaks of forgiveness it is always in relation to sin, trespasses, debt – it focuses on the action of the person against our well being not the person him/herself. This tells me that I must focus on turning another’s hurtful behavior over to God and allowing Him to teach the person how to be more mature and to heal me from that fellow’s immaturity while helping me to learn how to avoid hurting others the way that I have been hurt.

  11. Nakisha permalink

    Hi this is not about forgiving someone but I find myself needing some advice. I am 28 yrs old and a mother of four beautiful girls. I go to church and am actually in a sign language ministry. How ever in sept. of 09 My mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. I find myself torn between the questions why her and was it something I done like not being a good enough Christian. I am scared and cry a lot even though I know it is all in Gods hands. I guess I am looking for some sort of scripture to comfort both my mother and myself. I know I am not there for her enough because if one of my girls get sick i cant come around her for fear of making her sick. and being busy with church. How can I show her how deeply I love her. Someone told me that i wasn’t around her enough through this and she thinks I don’t love her even though I call her every day. She hasn’t said this to me but what if it’s true. I don’t know I think I am just looking for some guidance. Thanks and God Bless.

    • Ernie permalink

      Dear Nakisha,
      As I read your posting, my heart is filled with comapasion and prayer. It is hard sometimes to understand why certain things happen and maybe we do not have to. One thing I have learned to lean on troguh tribulations is that God’s will is good, pleasant and perfect for his children (Romans 12:2), so even in the midsts of illness, God’s will does not change. In Romans 8:35 Paul states: “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? 36As it is written: “For your sake we face death all day long;
      we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”[l] 37No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,[m] neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
      God sovereignity is unarguable, and he can heal your mother from one second to the next. And if his will is that she goes to join him, Haleluya! for he will never let go of her. See, God conquer death, so that it no longer has power over his children who have eternal live. So in this times of need, you may find confort in knowing that God is in control and he would not punish you, but rather build you up and love you, even through this situation so that you can see with your eyes and feel with your own heart the depth of his love. He who died for you and your mother, will not let go now. He will holdon to you all the way. This is a time of reaching out to your creator and heavinly father. Both you and your mom need HIM, you are only human held back by the constrains of your humanity. But He, is all powerful.
      Paul also said in Philipians 1: 21For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. 22If I am to go on living in the body, this will mean fruitful labor for me. Yet what shall I choose? I do not know! 23I am torn between the two: I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far; 24but it is more necessary for you that I remain in the body. 25Convinced of this, I know that I will remain, and I will continue with all of you for your progress and joy in the faith, 26so that through my being with you again your joy in Christ Jesus will overflow on account of me.
      I hope this help. I also want to leave you with one more scripture:
      Romans 8:1Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus
      God’s blessings
      Ernie

    • Nakisha: My twin sister died of breast cancer, my Mother died from a stroke and my Dad both died from cancer this year, 3 months apart.
      So why do good people come down with diseases and then die?

      I questioned God for a long time about the reason that my identical twin sister got breast cancer and I did not. Believe it or not, I received my answer from an example given during a sermon at church. A young father died from injuries he sustained while he was working. The grieving family member, who also happened to be the minister, prayed and questioned God, “WHY? WHY?” God gently spoke to his heart and simply said, “It was his time.” This young father’s work on Earth was complete, his mansion was finished, and it was time for him to go “home.” From that I now truly believe, without a doubt, that more likely the cause of death from diseases are because … disease come from bad genes that have been passed on from one generation to the next and have nothing to do with punishment for your past/present sins. We live in an imperfect world and we have imperfect bodies. It is very important to look closely at your own family history on both sides. Are there other relatives who also have had cancer?

      As far as your not physically being with your Mom but calling her every day, I also experienced that with my sister’s illness. Due to some unfortunate family problems, I did not feel comfortable visiting with my sister at her home on a regular basis. I called instead, just like you. When a person has cancer they normally are given chemo or radiation treatments and sometimes both at the same time. This leaves the patient very, very ill and weak. They are not able to endure alot of company even though people mean well. So with your staying away but speaking to your Mom on the phone daily is really a good thing, no matter what others say. You are actually doing the best thing you could do FOR your Mom. YOU are actually allowing her body to heal itself and restore the energy it desperately needs to continue with the healing process. You are being a very considerate and loving daughter to your Mother. Please keep doing what you are doing. Your Mother KNOWS you love her. *HUGS*

      • Nakisha permalink

        Donna, your word spoke to my heart and I thank you for you kind and caring words. Ernie thank you for your kind word and the wonderful scripture. I know God spoke through the both of you. I am thankful I have found this site and so many wonderful Christian people I truly feel the love from you in your words. I understand this all is apart of God wonderful plan and I should embrace it. I also know the flesh part of me fights that every day. But step by step i know I will grow to understand more and I know He will be there for me every step. Thank you and God bless. I will keep in contact about my mother and my progress through this Battle. One of my main things is feeling my mother didn’t know how much I love her and that she may feel I have abandoned her through her trial. I prayed I was wrong. Thank you Donna for your encouraging word. Again may God bless you both for listening to Him and helping me.

    • I went thru the same thing with my mother in law, but before she died we had the most wonderful relationship. Most of everything I thought before she never even let it cross her mind. So don’t be so hard on yourself, she has other “fish to fry”, trust me.

    • GOD allows evil an good, It’s no one fault, just take it to
      the LORD, His glory will cover everything, Maybe he is testing you.Nothing happens on earth that he don’t allow.
      Repent and sak him to Forgive and heal you and your mother, I think he will take care of it.
      GOD bless

    • stephanie permalink

      NAKISHA I dont even know where to start I feel your your pain it is so real I lost my mom AUG 3 2009 to brain cancer it was verry quik it was found in MAY 2009 she new we new something was tearably wrong no docter could give her any ansers to all the simptums she finely had a sezer and near death but she maneged to pull through testes were done thay found two tumors on the part of her brain so deep thay could only reamove a pease of one of them the preasure on the brain mad her forget are names she needed help with everyday life thing she had no balence I WAS VERRY HARD ON HER becuse I WANTED HER TO FIGHT thay would not give her kemo becuse she had infasema and hep c full time oxegen it was just all about GODS will she never fogave herself for her past and she told me she was afraid to die becuse she did feel fogiven eventhough she has ask many times three weeks before she past I took her to church she was saved and she believed it then i was more affraid of what was to come the prosses of before going to heaven i stoped pray for a mirecal and truly gave her back to god and started praying that his will be done quickly then and there GOD should me that i as a person can only do what i can here the rest is up to him ………….NAKISHA………..NO GUILT……..GOD HAS NOT FALLEN OFF THE THRON i will keep you and your mom in prayer I PRAISE GOD FOR KEEPING HIS PROMISE NOT TO GIVE ME MORE THAN I COULD HANDEL GOD BLESS YOU AND YOUR MOM.

      • Nakisha permalink

        Stephanie thank you for your kind words. They ment more than you could know. Thank you and may God bless you .

  12. Pamela Vahle permalink

    Forgiveness is not for the other person it is for you so you can move ahead with your life!

  13. Connie Williams permalink

    Please pray for me. I too am struggling with forgiveness. Some time ago, I felt that I was wrongly accused and judged by members of my church, and since have found myself growing increasingly resentful towards them. I know that I am wrong, and have tried and tried to put this behind me. It has gotten to the point where I have been turning away from working in the church. My hurt is so deep, I just can’t seem to get over it. I find myself finding excuses not to go to church so I don’t have to look at those who I feel have wronged me. It has been too long and I should have gotten past this by now, and I want to, but I just can’t seem to let go.

    • Renee permalink

      Connie, I know exactly what you are going through. The first church I became actively involved with was my greatest support, my family… and they hurt me so deeply. I still have not found the strength to open up and trust again… I still have not found another church home. I’m so afraid. Earlier today I asked for prayer about this same thing. It was only a few days ago that I admitted to myself what was going on… the reason I wasn’t going to church anymore. You posting a comment about this has really helped me. I’m glad someone understands.

      • Michael Cook permalink

        You know sometimes we have the totally wrong concept of church. We think that church is suppossed to be filled with totally loving and righteous people that are perfect. But then we need to remind ourselves that we are forgiven, but we are not perfect. In the New Testament books we read that we are to love one another and forgive one another. We read that we are to be patient with one another, that we are to forebear one another. And there are many scriptures similar to this. Now I ask you why would we need to do all these things to one another, if the church were full of perfected people. No the church is full of imperfect people. People at many different stages of growth. It is in the church that our love is perfected. So be prepared to love those people that hurt you IN CHURCH! They are there to perfect YOUR LOVE and YOUR GROWTH. They are there to SHARPEN YOU!

        Go to church and become a part of the plan of God! Do not forsake the assembly. Someone needs what you have to give. Go to church to give of yourself and you will receive from God exactly what you need.

        Be Blessed and Peace!

    • Min. A. R. Lewis permalink

      Connie, I understand what you’re talking about. I’ve been in that place, as it relates to being hurt by church members. What makes it difficult, is you expect the church to love you. That being said, right now I’m in the process of writing a book about the purpose for the local church. Because of what I experienced, I knew there were others who had had similar experiences. Two things I would like to share with you; the first is the church is like our schoolmaster to teach us the principles in God’s word, how to apply them in our lives. Often we think of the church as a social club and we want everybody to treat us right and we want to be comfortable and happy. The truth is, the church is full of a lot of broken people needing to be mended. There are a lot of disfunctional people there. As we learn how to apply God’s word, as we go through trials, situations and circumstances, we grow up in God. If we didn’t have tests we wouldn’t have a testimony. The scriptures tell us that iron sharpens iron. We sharpen each other. Another thing is unforgiveness is a sin. We must confess our sin and repent of it and when we do, God says He’s faithful and just and will forgive and cleanse us. We don’t want to leave this world holding on to unforgiveness! Whatever it is, it’s not worth missing heaven over. We always think we are going to have time to get things right before our time is up here; but that may not be the case. We don’t know the day nor the hour. Amen. You sound like you have a very sensitive heart and I know God wants to use you to lead others to Him. I can tell you, as you are dealing with the unsaved, you will have many occasions to get offended, but you will have to be able to get over and past it quickly in order not to miss an open door to share the gospel. Long, I know, but I’m feeling you. I will also be praying for you.

      • Gina permalink

        I too was offended, hurt and felt abandoned by my church, I stopped volunteering and attending. I still continued to read my Bible, but after months of this I missed the fellowship of others and realized that life was still continueing for everyone around me, and I’m choosing to allow others to determin my future. God revealed to me that I am his, I am his voice, and to forgive and get over it. So i just picked myself back up, started attending church again (same one), waited a liitle bit before volunteering again. But God takes us places on our journey that sometimes are not pleasing to us, but his purpose is great and he means well. We are of flesh and will be offended even in the church, we die daily to the offenses of others. Thats is why it is important to pray the full Armor of God everyday. Put that smile back on your face and get back to church and let God deal with the rest. He knows the whole story and how it will end, just trust him.

    • Brenda permalink

      I had this problem with the pastor at my home church, he hurt me so bad while going thru this divorce he talked to my husband, even helped him move out, but would not talk to me, didn’t even get his wife to talk to me. After a month or so I went back, and of course he greeted me and shook my hand, then at altar call I went up and when he came to me I asked him for forgiveness, I told him that he knew that I had no choice but to forgive him, he said he accepted the forgiveness.
      Now, went to another church a little while, and my husband is going there, so I’m going no where to church. Now, I have to forgive my husband and I know this relationship is over (we tried getting back together 6 months) I’ve got to release it so I can go on with my life without the bitterness, hurt and pain. I do love the Lord!

  14. April permalink

    This would be so helpful on cd or dvd!!! This is a necessary DAILY message but can easily be pushed to the side and/or misinterpreted in the heat of the occurence.

  15. well, for me i should say that forgiving someone is the right way to have a peace in your heart, yes, mostly it is so hard to forgive someone if they done you wrong so bad. But its a great feeling when you start realeasing all the pains and hurts inside your heart, let the Lord take out all of these and ask him to replace it with love. It is better not to mind other’s FAULTS, but best to understand their NEEDS… maybe those people who hurts us are luck of something in their lives so that’s why they are hurting others. The best thing that we can do is to PRAY for them, that God may touch their hearts and give them peace also. Make them realizes the mistakes they had done to others.

  16. Michelle Arnold-Yeager permalink

    Court, I can totally relate to your comments! This one reached out and slapped me “up sida tha head”!! My first husband was unfaithful to me the entire ten years of our marriage, but I didn’t connect all the dots until after the end…I was so angry – I wanted more child support and tons of alimony and, and, and REVENGE. But of course, when he met me, I was a very lonely single in a new town with next to no friends and he was both a newlywed and the husband of a workmate. What I deserved from God was justice and coals piled upon my head, but what I received through my repentance was love and mercy. How can I judge him being deserving of anything less than what I received? I paid a very steep price in life lessons for my complicity in sin – I am sure he must have, as well, along the way. He is now on his fourth wife. While I am happy to hear he is now a churchgoer, instead of an atheist, at times I find myself still reliving past hurts and their outcomes, BUT when I do, I apply HIS blood and pray for him and his new wife #4, that their union will be richly blessed and that he will be faithful.

  17. Dee Dee permalink

    “Forgiveness”, a word easily said yet very hard to do. Hard to do because of the various faces that pain hides behind. I’ve read scripture for years and still battle with forgiveness. There is an old saying that “It’s better to forgive than to forget”. My problem with that is that the inability to forget sometimes out weigh the power of forgiveness. A pain deeply rooted tends to rot the soul, so how do you deal with that and be told constantly to forgive and let go because the perp has probably forgotten and moved on. Please pray for me as I journey towards a closer walk with God.

    • Jerry Falwell, Said it right, That man I shave in the morning is my worst enemy, It;s not the guys that throw my pool
      furniture in pool, Not the ones who throw beer cans in my yard almost daily, Thet are not my enemys, They are enemies of GOD, How do you handle it,? (Attitude)
      We are the ones who will give an account to GOD, the
      other people are most likely lost. We will only give account to how well we did as a Christian. Don’t let others
      bug you,

  18. Steve Gill permalink

    Dear Lord…

    I forgive my brother for what he did. I have not loved you with my whole heart in this situation. I am sorry for comparing my brother to myself. I pray that you would give me strength today to talk to my brother in love with honesty about my feelings not so that I could hurt him…. but so that I can share with him how God worked it through as a witness to him about God’s Love and Mercy. Thank you Lord for your word. Thank you for giving me this meal so that I could be a better reflection of you. I pray that my brother would love me despite my inadequacies. It’s in your name, Jesus Christ Son of God that I pray…. AMEN.

  19. Sheri Warren permalink

    I really needed to read this today. Praying for someone rather than be angry will be THE key to forgiving them. I so appreciate this blog this year. I get up every day and get ready to spend that time with the Lord. Thanks!

  20. Robin permalink

    I heard someone say one time,”pain is inevitable but misery is an option.” In the past few years my entire family has been hit by what seems like storm after storm and vicious attacks by just about everyone. I won’t go into detail but it was mind numbing!! After the last one I came across this verse in 2Cor.1:3-5. It talks about God the Father of mercies and God of all comfort who comforts us in our affliction so we are able to comfort others. It hit me that so often we go through life hurt and wounded because we don’t allow God to comfort us and we know we should forgive but alot of times we don’t know how so we just kind of through a spiritual bandaid over it and try to forget it happened and go our merry way but it is always nagging us. One thing I have learned after all these storms was to trust God but also to give Him time to work all these thimgs out, to find comfort in Him.It takes time to sit at His feet and allow Him to heal you emotionally, to heal your broken and wounded heart. We want everything yesterday. God isn’t in a hurry but He does want you to sit at His feet, listen for His voice, learn of Him and allow Him the TIME to comfort you and bring you peace. Then you can minister that same love and forgiveness to others because you have received it. God loves you and He wants to comfort His children and I can say that as I was getting hit with all those things I didn’t feel that way but after allowing my Father the time to heal and allowing Him to show me how to forgive I am a new person. I love the Lord now more than ever and I realize that hurt and wounded people hurt and wound others and I don’t want my wounds to inflict pain on others but rather may my scars like those in Christs hands bring healing to others.

  21. Pas mark, i received help to forgive today,and i have forgiven those who offended me.Praise be to God the Holy Spirit.

  22. Mara permalink

    I have been struggling to forgive my significant other for lies and deceit for a long time now. I’ve googled Bible studies on it and everything, but none were as clear as this on how to forgive. I am so glad God led me to this page and challenge because it has really been helping me when I need it most.

  23. Shirley permalink

    I have a friend who was abducted from a store, taken into the woods, raped by two men and shot in the back and left for dead. She struggles with the ability to forgive. I can completely understand this. It is one thing to forgive adultery or slander….but this is so horrific. I told her that I thought God expected her to forgive to the best of her ability and then He would take care of the rest. She wants to forgive….so that is the first step. Am I telling her correctly? Her brother told that it is emphatic that she forgives or she won’t be forgiven! I know where he is getting that scripture, however, I don’t know. I can’t imagine God expecting more from us than our ability at the time. Can you give me any additional counseling that I could pass on to her? She is now experiencing cancer and I think this could be very important to her peace. Thank you.

    • Sister Pam OP permalink

      Forgiveness is a process. Be patient with your friend while helping her forgive. It may take some time.

  24. Angel permalink

    I love God with all my heart but I have offended Him severally in so many ways I can’t even begin to mention.

    I don’t know how He is going to forgive me.

    I am finding it hard to forgive myself.

    I have hurt others by betraying their trust in me. How can they ever forgive me??

    My spouse hurt me deeply – I say I have forgiven but everytime I see him, I remember and all the hurt, pain and hatred comes running back….have I really forgiven??

    • Jill permalink

      Wether other people forgive us is really their issues, we can’t undo the things that were done. What we can do is to ask forgiveness from God and learn from it.
      I have been dealing with the issue of forgiving my spouse over 2 years. I know how difficult it is. The hurt and the pain is always there because that is the consequence of sins(they do hurt innocent people also). However, if the hatred is still there, it means we have not truly forgiven them. The best thing for us to do is to stop thinking about it, try to forget. Whenever it pops in our heads, we should tell us this will lead to something God won’t be pleased, knowing that dweling on the pains doesn’t help us in any ways. Like what they said above, we should hand it to God since He is the only judge.
      Blessings!!!

      • Michael Cook permalink

        I see hurt as the wound we receive say when we fall down and cut ourselves. The wound will eventually heal but we will always have the scar. Now if I keep picking at that wound then it can become infected and filled with poison. But if I let that wound develop the scab (I know that sounds gross) and then the scab will eventually turn into new skin. That skin will be tougher than before because of the tramu it received. Every time I look at the scar, I can remember the wound. The key is to allow the mercy of God to allow me to forget. I have scars on my body that I cannot tell you where they came from or how I got them and I have some that I can tell you exactly how I got them. But guess what, I cannot feel that pain any longer. No matter how I remember the incident that cause the scar, the pain is gone. I would have to re-injure myself to have the pain again. We may be looking at the scars, but we are not living the pain again…and if we are then we are picking at the scab and not allowing it to heal. Apply the salve of God’s forgiveness and be healed of your wounds. Remembering is not reliving unless we allow ourselves to go back and try to bring back the pain. Important is did we learn from the fall and are we going to be more careful not to trip and fall that way again.

        Hope will lead us out of the past and faith will take us to the future! Love will cover a multitude of faults!

  25. Kathy permalink

    You know God was just speaking to me on this issue. My daughter is living with her boyfriend and is really struggling. I am struggling how much to help her out because I don’t want to enable her, but there are children involved. Do I let my grandchildren suffer because of poor choices my daughter has made? If I continue to help she will continue to live in sin. But the Lord said “Who am I to judge?” Do I split the family up or let her and her boyfriend move in?

  26. Ernie permalink

    Dear Rev. Mark,
    Thank you for bringing up such an important topic. Traspasses, I believe are inherent of the human condition, since the fall of Adam. Whethere concisously or unconciously we hurt people, sometimes those we love the most and we are hopeful that we can be forgiven. In fact we have, when Crhrist died for us in the Cross so that we might be redeemed from sin. Though this topic can take so many paths, including forgiving oneself for one’s own faults and traspasses, so that God can conitnue to renew us as Paul urges us in Romans 12:2 and we can “test and approve God’s good, pleasing and perfect will” for us. Forgiving others, may sometimes include forgiving ourselves. However, what happens when you do not trust the person whom you forgive, when you are almost certain that if you let them back into your life they most likely will hurt you again (“wrong me once, shame on you, wrong me twice shame on me”).
    Can forgiveness coexist with distancement? Is there a difference if the person demonstrates a heart for God, like David?

  27. Shasta permalink

    Thank you for touching on this. Apparently I really needed to hear this today. God knows what you need just when you need to hear it. So many times I think I have truly forgiven someone only to be shown by God that I haven’t. It is a hard thing to do but God gets you through it. He forgives us so we should have no reason to not forgive others. But trying to do it on our own is hard. That’s is why we NEED to give it up to Him.

  28. Wyonna permalink

    This is good material. My daughter was shot to death by her boyfriend in his house. The detective who came to tell me that she was dead, along with his buddy, both told me her boyfriend had friends in high places and if they were to nose around too much in the incident, they would either be taken off the case or moved. They got moved to another county. Her boyfriend’s ‘incident’ has remained on stet docket for almost 13 years now. BUT a few months after it happened, God instructed me to write him a letter forgiving him. Here is my delema. Periodically, people will ask me questions about what happened and even though I did forgive him, the facts are still the same. And people look at me as if I’m a very uncaring mother not to have taken this further in court proceedings. I try not to talk about it but I will answers questions if asked. Is this wrong?

    • pat permalink

      i believe you do what you believe you are to do at that time. I have people get short with me because I am taking a matter to court, i get told its not christian. i choose to take this to court because if i do not it tells the world its ok.
      God bless

  29. Darcy permalink

    “His heart and his head were not connecting, his heart hated what she had done and refused to forgive, his head told him he should forgive her.”

    I can so relate to what this gentleman was feeling. I struggle with moving on from a horrendously heartbreaking situation for me — to forgive someone after they have stolen so much emotionally, etc., from you is such a challenge. I know I am making progress as I am now able to pray a little more for that person who hurt me along with so many others. The brain and the heart are beginning to connect. . . praise God that He has the love and patience to keep working on us stubborn ones!!! If God could forgive those who crucified Him, who am I to do any less. . .

  30. Lucy permalink

    Thank you for this today! I have been dealing with some things that I just could not get a grip on, but, when I opened up my email, this read was there….I think you are an aspiring and awesome person!

  31. Cheryl permalink

    Letting go and letting God, easier said than done. But when I think of the things that I have done and God has forgiven me….I have to do the same. I asked God to help me throught the process and He did. It didn’t happen over night but it happen. I forgave and released it to the Lord. I haven’t forgotten and it doesn’t hurt any more.

  32. Candy permalink

    I really needed to read this this past year my lfie has been so crazy only this past year I decided to start living my life for God and he blessed me with so much so fast that I failed to see that the enemy hadn’t left my side either~This past year has really taken its toll on me I as a new convert was living with my now soon to be ex husband and when I finally made up my mind that living for God was what I wanted I knew it was wrong and sinful to be living with someone and trying to live right so I asked him to come with me and he did we had talked about religion before and had pretty much discovered or so I thought that we had pretty much the same beliefs and feelings about it..On my birthday of last year he asked me to marry him not with a huge diamond but a bible engraved with my first name and his last and I immediately said yes, seemed soon as we left the church afterwards he completely changed he moved me away from my family was so cruel with his words he’s make fun of me tell me I wasn’t real and I belived him so I stopped going he moved me even further off and then found a church he wanted to go to and I didn’t stop him or say anything negative about it but he wanted to force me into something I didn’t believe in and in Nov finally it happened he took the abuse a step further and started the physical beating he choked me, hit me. kicked me. my daughter was in the other room and I just laid there and took it because I knew if I tried screaming for help he’d hurt her, finally he let up on me enough that I was able to get free I think he thought I had passed out or he’d killed me from being choked but never the less I mangaged to get away the cops were called and I was so out of my mind I even begged them not to take him to jail until one of the officers told me how bad I looked so he was arrested and taken to jail~I was working for a very wealthy man who’d had a stroke a few yrs back his wife walked out on him and his family well they just didn’t care it was all about money but I stuck right by him so over Christmas he got really sick and none of them would help him so I took it upon myself and saved his life or at least he was still living when the wife threw me out of his house I’d been living in and mind you its very cold here now like 5 degrees at night and that’s what it was the night I left my month old grandchild was in the car along with my sixteen yr old daughter the enemy has really got it in for me and my faith has been tested to the point with this anger and bitterness I feel for all these people I feel as if I’m letting God down…Thank you and sorry to take up so much space

  33. Ricci permalink

    I have a hard time forgiving. I’m in the process of doing that with my ex-husband. He was abusive to my children and myself. I have come to the conclusion that I can’t forgive the action, but I hope he and I can learn from what happened over the years. I try to better myself, to notice things, and not to enable others around me. I think the best way is to focus on yourself, and not worry about what the other is doing. It keeps coming up in custody battles though, and I’m trying to be “just protective” and not “vengeful”. My question is how do you do that? I know part of it is forgiveness, but where is the line drawn? I have given it to God, but it keeps presenting itself. All I can do is pray. I want to thank you for the scripture, it reminded me of my journey.

  34. I can understand your friend’s pain and conflict. The most difficult person I’ve ever had to forgive is my former daughter-in-law. The divorce between her and my son was ugly and terrible things were said and done. My heart was broken seeing my son in such pain, and at times it felt as though I hated her, even though God was saying all along, she’s not a believer, she doesn’t know any better, you must forgive her.
    Then about a year ago, God really began dealing with me about rebuilding a relationship with her, and for the sake of my grandson I began to try to let some things go. Today, I can truly say I have as good a relationship as I had with her when she and my son were married. I’ve begun praying for her again, especially for her salvation.
    It was not easy, but once I submitted to obey God’s command, He gave me the day by day grace to do it.

  35. Anicia permalink

    I am really struggling with this. Please pray for me. Thanks!

  36. beth permalink

    Thank you! This is an issue which is so important. Thank you for helping my understanding.

  37. Thanks Rev mark for the beautiful msg of forgiveness and all suffering sharings of unforgiveness. Though i am not of such deep of expereinces in life but feel hard to forgive when any body hurt me. when talking God in prayer, i recd a beautiful prayer which i share with you all .
    Prayer for Forgiveness
    Jesus, my creator , savoir, deliverer,, grant me the courage and the will to forgive the people I love the most. Help me to forgive every injustice I feel in my mind, and to love other people unconditionally. I know the only way to heal all the pain in my heart is through forgiveness. Strengthen my will to forgive anyone who has hurt me, even if I believe the offense is unforgivable. I know that forgiveness is an act of self-love. Help me to love myself so much that I forgive every offense. Let me choose forgiveness because I don’t want to suffer every time I remember the offense. Help me to heal all the guilt in my heart by accepting the forgiveness of everyone I have hurt in my life. Help me to sincerely recognize the mistakes I have made out of ignorance, and give me the wisdom and determination to refrain from making the same mistakes. I know that love and forgiveness will transform every relationship in the most positive way. Thank you, Jesus , for giving me the capacity to love and forgive. Today I open my heart to love and forgiveness, so that I can share my love without fear. Today I will enjoy a reunion with the people I love most. Amen
    Lord Jesus, enable me to forgive those who hurt me. Remind me to keep the unity of peace as far as it is within my ability. Grant me an extra measure of the Holy Spirit to love those whom I need to forgive. In Jesus’ Name, Amen
    pray this will help you once praying with true heart and spirit

  38. pat permalink

    i have not read all the comments however, i hear about forgiveness alot and mainly people needing to forgive a spouse who cheated, son or daughter, pastor, relative. i do not hear about how people who were sexually molested as a child or their child was sexually assaulted. when I was 15 i was sexually assaulted by my mothers best friends husband, IT WAS NOT MY CHOICE, i had no one to talk to and because of what little religion and i say religion i was taught plus absent parents i believed i did something wrong and i was commintiing adultry and i had no one to talk to about this. because of my family history i knew it somehow would be blamed on me. 10 years later, in counseling i heard for the first time of child molesting, i sought out the church and what God said and no one was their to help but blame so i went on. two years ago my life hit a wall, that was 30 years later from the molesting,i got some help and was given a book from a well known christin phscologist and worked through that. No one knows the pain i have felt and the rejection from church people, this religious God will take care of it, you need to forgive, along with the many years of loss of life and the fact this man is still around my family.
    forgiveness is not easy and it does take time. it is not always a one time deal!! that is not reality people. Its not this pie in the sky euphoria that I am free, life is good, wahoo!!! I have found forgiveness to be embracing that thought, feeling, emotion, and bringing God in on it and I tell you, it can pop back up months later and I deal with it again, it may not be as strong but i deal with it.
    In closing, lots of christians are ignorant to hard core issues like this, i ask each of you to becareful about judging or telling someone whos been raped(sexually assaulted) that they did something, or they need to forgive, you have no idea where they are spiritually or emotionally or how hard they have been on themselves, you do not know them. As for you that are dealing with a cheating spouse, etc… I pray for you also, pain is pain.

    • Tara Fincher permalink

      You are so right, my friend. It’s not an “awakening”. It’s a process and often a painful one. Like physical thereapy after a serious, life altering injury. But God, the Creator of everything is the Physical Therpist. And just the same, we have to put our efforts into it. Holding anger is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to get sick from it. Personally, I am finding forgiveness and moving on to be a step by step process. Staying close to God and in His word has brought me a LOT of strength! He places people there to strengthen you along with supernatural strength, but not all at once. I guess there truly is a growig process involved in it. He takes the horror of the past and forms it into a story, a testimony if you will, for us to encourage others in the same weakened state we knew so well, dont you think? I know I’ve had a lot of folks come to me for answers and uplifting when they know what I have been through. It’s very theraputic for ME to be able to offer any words to them that may help. In fact, it has been the biggest part of my healing. Crazy, huh? God bless you, my friend. I will say a good prayer for you today. Will you do the same for me?

      • Pat permalink

        Tara, Wow, what wonderful words of encouragement. I have to say,the others who commented to what I wrote also hit it great. I do agree, he takes the horror of the past to make it a testimony so we can Comfort as we have been comforted. It is a painful process, esp with the false beliefs guilt and shame that is carried that God works to change the lie to truth that I believed. It does seem crazy but when I comfort others and listen, it helps me to heal, it does seem crazy but it works, just like praying for the one who offended us. For me, it does not mean i have to be his best friend, forgive.
        Thanks so much and yes, I will say a prayer for you to.

    • I agree with you 100% I don’t know how it feels to be sexually assaulted and I would never judge anyone because they have. I agree that you can forgive someone and then 2 months later you think about it and get mad all over again. The Lord knows your heart and knows what you went through.
      Since this never happened to me I honestly don’t know what to say and I don’t want to say the wrong thing. But I do know that God loves you and will comfort you when you think about the bad memories.

      • Pat permalink

        thanks Rhonda, I cried as I read what everyone responded to. no matter what the offense was i make the choice to forgive and let God work the rest out, even if that means the bad memories coming back.
        thanks

    • Beth permalink

      Pat, my heart goes out to you. I too was sexually abused from the time I was 10 until about 14 by a family member. At this same time I was attending church and kept hearing people say, “Everything happens according to God’s will”. In my little girl mind that told me that God wanted me to be abused. I stayed off track for many years. I am happy to say that as an adult, God has really ministered to my soul and healed my past. I had to learn that there are different layers to God’s will. It was not His perfect will for me to endure the abuse. The man who abused me has a self-will to choose right or wrong. He chose wrong and I was the innocent victim of it. I chose to ignore the hate and anger inside me until I was about 26 years old. I will soon be 40 and I can tell you it has certainly been a process. I have forgiven the man who abused me, knowing that one day he will stand before God and be held accountable for what he did. That was a big one for me because he has never suffered any acknowledgement or punishment for what he did. I wanted him to pay and had to learn that was not my job. That was my first step to forgiveness. Today, my forgiveness is very real and complete, however the scars are too. I will always have the scars. But the truly wonderful news is that God can use those ugly, painful scars to help heal others. Forgiveness for me came when I chose “Beauty for Ashes”. The beauty of God’s love, grace, and mercy poured out on me and my willingness to pour the same love, grace, and mercy on others. I pray you find true healing from the hurts caused you by this man and “well meaning” christians. No one on this earth can understand how deep and emotional sexual abuse is unless they have endured it. God however, knows your heart and emotions better than even you know them. He truly cares!!!

      • Pat permalink

        Beth, my 15 year mind had those types of thoughts as well, it was confusing. Now I can understand why its called molesting, as I put it, ” I was 15, I was not phycially,emotionally,mentally, or spiritually mature enough to be thrusted into a relationship I never even sought” Yes, I am a survivor of sexual assault and in time and a willing heart God has brought through the other side, some do not make it that far, some the pain is too deep its easier to set it aside.
        Thanks for what you shared

      • Sister Pam OP permalink

        Thank you Beth for a lovely story of healing. Jesus bears his scars, even after resurrection. I pray in thanksgiving for your healing and willingness to help others.

    • I definitely agree. It was a long time in happening and it takes a long time for some to forgive. The damage is done.

    • Sister Pam OP permalink

      Dear Pat,
      Thanks for being brave enough to tell your story. One out of four females has been sexually assaulted. Most keep silent for one reason or another. Some never tell another person. Speaking out like you have helps others tell their stories so they too can begin their healing. You are right on.

  39. Beth permalink

    I used to go to church all the time as a kid. To be honest, I never got into it and I started to hate church. I never really believed in God but did think he exsisted. Then when I turned 18 I lost my way. I into bad relationships, was homeless for years and thinking, “If god really exsisted, WHY am I going through this?” Then one day a women and her child came to the shelter I was staying at and she helped me. She started bringing me to her church. I LOVED it. They sang, they got into it, the kids as well. Then we parted and I stopped going, again. Ive been through alot more than I thought I could handle. Now Im going through a battle with one of my sons BIO dad and Grandmother using my son as paun to be in charge. Put on an act so weel to the G.A.L. and Judge that they gave them MORE time. Now my son has ADHD and major behavioral problems. He needs to have structure and his medication on time everyday. They refuse. They allow him to run in their home, and shout and everything he cant do here, they allow him to do when hes’ with them. And when hes home, hes in the corner all the time. Now I know this isnt the biggest problem out there. It could be worse. But this is MY worse. And my appeal to stop all this time with them, got denied. Now I dont know if thats a sign form God that this is supposed to happen or If I should continue to fight til I can get back into court. Ive just lost hope. Now I know I have to take it one day at a time. And Leave it up to GOD to do his will. I need to pray for a miracle. I just want my son to be happy and stress free!

  40. Im not to sure what to do Mark; I have a brother and a sister-inlaw that I really try to be nice and loving towards them, but they somehow find something or some how to say something very negative and untruthful about me. I know the Lord tells us to turn the other cheek, and I have everytime, but it sure is hurtful. I am the one that always has stepped above and tried to forget and I have forgave but they always seem to do it again to me. How many times must I endure the nasty things these two do. I just wish they could not be so two faced and they would be real with themselves so we could have a good relationship with one another. This will never happen until they quit being so dispiteful. Just would like some feedback on this. Thank you Mark and God Bless.

    • Cari permalink

      Sheila, I struggle with a family member that lies about me, and then lies about lying when I try to talk to her about it. I have prayed and struggled with this for a long time. It would be easy to forgive if I never had to see her again, but she is family, so I forgive her some days, and feel that anger towards her sometimes. When that happens I try to always keep in mind that she isn’t saved. I am fighting her sinful nature not her. When I get real honest with myself, I can recount times that I myself have lied. I surely want forgiveness for my sins! Also, I try to think about her not being saved and all, I TRULY don’t want her to go to hell! So, it is a hard thing……I hope that we both can finally have victory over our family members sins and how they hurt us. Remember, all hurt is a result of SIN. God did not want our world to be this way, He wanted us to never get hurt or sick. He gave us a choice to love Him or not.

  41. Dear, what is love then if we cant forgive? Our dear Jesus Christ was on the cross becouse of our sins..then how special are we not to forgive?..the bible says in Mathew 18;21_22. jesus told peter you’ve to forgive seven times seventy..is becouse satan plays with our spirit thats why to some, is hard to forgive but remember also the bible tells is not good to stay with anger the whole day, you might be cought by Jesus when not ready.. Be blessed & if we love each we’ve to forgive for our Father in heaven to forgive us..

  42. Dear Mark,
    I have been struggling with forgivness issue for Six years. Six years ago my 19 year son was murdered. He was with some friends at one of their friends houses and he was shot int the chest. He didn’t die immediately, I had the opportunity to see him, before he passed and I thank God for that everyday. The man who shot him only served 4 1/2 years because he supposedly suffers from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and is already out of prison. My husband who was a recovering alcholic never recovered from the loss and almost 2 years to the day of our son’s murder my daughter and I walked in to find my husband dead also. You are right in my head I know it is what God wants me to do, but my heart cannot forgive someone who has taken such a precious gift from God away from our family. Just to let everyone know the promptings of Gods word has been strong this week Sunday our sermon was on forgiveness then I read this, after I get the God want’s you to know this today app. on Facebook again about forgiveness! I am seriously struggling but, to forgive this atrocity I’m not sure I can. Do you have any suggestions?
    Thanks,
    Kathy

    • Sharon Gregory permalink

      such deep grief can often be confused with unforgiveness. I like the comment below about forgiveness being leaving the justice to God. But I think the sadness lives so close to where the unforgiveness did that it nudges it everytime. I would find a verse on forgiveness to repeat when the thoughts come. Also continue to confess when you dwell on the unforgiveness. It is God’s job to cleanse us from all unrighteousness (I John 1:9), so leave that to Him also. Beating on yourself for not forgiving is self defeating. Use scripture and confession to put the issue back in God’s hands.

  43. Gifted permalink

    Thank you for the wonderful message… I also need help in forgiving. How do I forgive and let go, when all I think about is how much of love and faithfullness I gave, and for someone to betray our love. How do I forgive and also give a second chance…how can I trust that I will not be betrayed again?

  44. Marika permalink

    I just want to say that I really like the scripture Philippians 2:11-12 because it says that God has given us the desire to obey Him, which means that the desire has already been placed in us. A lot of times the only reason why it is so hard to obey is because we haven’t completely surrendered, we are still trying to control some aspect of our life, some aspect of the decision. However, when we completely submit to God, the desire to be obedient has already been placed in us and He will help us bring it to pass. It also says that He has already given us the power, all we have to do is use that power. Thank You Lord for Your word

  45. Tara Fincher permalink

    All my life my mother and I have had poor relationship. She was 16 when I was born and my grandmother took over the job of raising me. My dad was always around, but was so aloof it was like he wasnt. My grandparents were my world and my parents and I had more of a sibling type relationship. After the death of my grandparents I leaned on Jesus so hard that it mde me a “Holy Roller” in Mom’s eyes. My relationship with Christ is strong, and she hates it. She refuses to speak to me for months up to a year at a tme and wont tell me why. I have a 3 year old son, their only grandchild, and they make no effort to see him. I’ve been blocked from their lives completely and have grown such a bitterness about it it controls my life and devours my peace. Christ says to forgive 70×7 times, but how can I do that when I still see it happeneing down the road? How can I forgive someone who is not there? How can I forgive someone who does not want me in their lives? How can I forgive every blow? Did Christ fogive those that lashed him with every blow? It’s so hard to be Christlike sometimes. The loving is easy. The forgivness is not. Someone once told me “It’s impossible to truly hate someone unless you have once loved them so deeply.” I’ve handed it to God now, but how do I have peace about it? When can I stop mourning the loss of my entire family? Will this last forever?

    • Sister Pam OP permalink

      Dear Tara,
      This is such a difficult situation you are in. I have been there. The circumstances were different, but the rest is quite familiar. I used to ask the same questions you are asking. Forgiving is a process, a long process. It does happen with God’s help and God’s helpers. Do you have a minister to talk with or a faith based counselor? Help is out there. Use it because it is so hard to do alone.

  46. I have been working on a talk for our woman’s retreat and the theme is Loving Well which leads us to God’s living well. 1John 4 talks about Love…If we don’t love, then we don’t know God, because God is Love. God forgave us all on the Cross and even at the end He told His Father, forgive them for they do not know what they are doing. I love how God didn’t just send someone here to merely tell us how to love and forgive, but showed us through His example. As he hung on that cross, He showed us how hard and amazingly difficult it was to indeed to forgive, how painful it was to forgive yet not impossible, with the help and power of an amazing God. He doesn’t just give us strength, he is our Strength. Thank you so much for sharing this here.

  47. WOW Wonderful message! I think forgiving someone is one of the hardest things to do. I am trying my hardest to forgive my daughter’s father who is nonexistent in her life. To do this I ask the Lord for help. I pray for him and ask that the Lord changes him. I actually feel really bad for him because he is missing out.
    Many times you say you forgive someone but in your heart you are still holding on to the hurt and pain. When I think about the hurt in my life, I then think about the hurt that Jesus experienced when He died for our sins. And I think about all the times I’ve messed up and how patient the Lord has been with me and truly forgiving me when I repent and ask.
    Nothing that anyone in this world has done can compare to what Jesus went through and what He did for us. So I try and keep that in mind when I’m being bitter towards someone who did something wrong to me.
    My mom always says I need to forgive others if I want the Lord to forgive me. And she is absolutely right.
    I’m sorry to hear about some of the tragic things you guys are experiencing but I pray and hope that the Lord comforts you and gets you through it all.

  48. Mandy Muir permalink

    Jeanette du Toit ; Forgiveness is giving up my right to hurt you for hurting me and my family.
    Vengence is for the Lord alone.

    Thank you Mark for your daily inspiration!

  49. Patty permalink

    I enjoyed reading these messages on forgiveness. I am able to forgive, but I have a difficult decision in trying to figure out if you forgive that person, or you still supposed to have a relationship with them. I do not have a healthy relationship with my mother and my only sister. My mother doesn’t like my husband. My husband and I get a long very well. She is very negative, she gossips, and starts a lot of confussion between me and other family members. My mother tells people that I don’t get a long with her because my husband has me brainwashed, that is so not true. My sister is a drug addict, so she loves confussion since her life is a mess. They both just talk so negatively about me, it hurts so bad. I love my mother, but I no longer want to have a relationship with her. What is the right thing to do. Thanks for your help.

    • Jill permalink

      Patty, I understand your dilemma because I had a father who was violent and abusive. My parents divorced when I was 12 (to my great relief) and I stayed with my mother. I never had any further contact with my father because I did not wish to continue to be exposed to his abusive behaviour and temper. That would have been damaging to my soul and I can see that that may be happening to you.

      Speaking from my experience I do not think you need to keep in relationship with someone who obviously does not like or respect you. Forgive your mother and sister and move on. Trust me, that is the only way to enjoy peace and you won’t regret it – I didn’t.

    • Sister Pam OP permalink

      The Faith Trust Institute, http://www.faithtrustinstitute.org/index.php
      Is a website that addresses matters of faith and abuse.
      Relationships take many forms and sometimes we can be more loving toward someone when we are not in close proximity. You know what is best for you. God does not want to see you abused. Jesus says we are to forgive. That is not the same as allowing yourself to be misused.

    • our FATHER in heaven knos r heart.HE knos us..in and out..u kno who u r..that is d only matter for now..continue to dwell in HIS presence..ask wisdom for u to decide..keep a safe distance for awhile from ur mother and sistr..pray for them too..jst understand their situation now,a GODless life…also pray that GOD will send sombody for them to kno LORD JESUS..and thru that gradually they will change..they like that becoz they still dont have JESUS in their heart..nobody can change us,even we want to…we need the helper from above..the HOLY SPIRIT …pls contnue to read the word of GOD,the bible.but not just a reader of HIS WORD but a doer too,that if u really want changes in ur life..total surender..total obidience to r ALMIGHTY GOD..il pray for u patty…EMMANUEL,GOD with us….

  50. Sarah permalink

    My grandmother just admitted this past she has been having an affair with our minister. This has truly hurt not just me but our entire church body. She has continued to lie and hurt my family. She has not taken full responsibility for her actions and continues to blame others. I myself have forgive her but have had to seperate myself from her because i continue to get hurt and so does my family. I pray for her daily and wish she would find true repentance as well as for myself and family that we could forget the about the pain and more on as a complete family. So like angie above my question is, is there a biblical passage that states you can seperate yourself from a paticular situation or person to protect yourself and soul?

    • Sister Pam OP permalink

      Matthew 10: 34-39 does address the issue of choosing between family and Jesus. See also, Luke 12:49-53,14:26-27.

    • Sister Pam OP permalink

      This what Elijah,a man of God did when his wife threatened him.

      “When Jezebel knew that Elijah executed all the prophets of Baal by the sword, she threatened to kill him. Elijah had pity on himself. He arose, ran for his life and went to Mount Horeb where he hid himself.’

  51. stephanie permalink

    SISTER PAM every day i visit this site you have taken your presous time to stop read and feel your brothers and sisters pain and allways have something wonderfull and compforting to say GOD tells us to allways love and be kind to anyone that may cross are path becuse you never know when you just met an …………..ANGEL………….. GOD BLESS YOU SISTER PAM………….. I look forword everyday to read ……….MARKS lessons…………. and the wonderfull, and loveing words of wisdom you speak to all of only an …………ANGEL………. could know when to speak who to speak and how to speak all at just the perfect time thank you. MAY GOD BLESS YOU LIKE YOU HAVE BLESSED ME IN ALL YOU HAVE TO SAY.

    • Sister Pam OP permalink

      Thank you Stephanie,
      This website is a blessing for me, also. Every entry is a gift someone has given to the whole group. I bless Father Mark for taking the time and energy to maintain his blog and website. I think of you often Stephanie and pray for you at that time. God is working good things in you. I can see that a family of God gathers here on the internet and Jesus is here with us. Peace and blessings to you this day.

  52. Lynn permalink

    as a survivor of sexual abuse i was having a very hard time forgiving my abusers.a wise lady told me to begin by forgiving them as an act of my will and that my healing would begin when i began forgiving.i was told that if i could forgive as an act of my will, God would lead me the rest of the way.each day i would say,God i forgive them as an act of my will.a few months later i found myself asking God to make that forgiveness real in my heart. it wasn’t an easy road,but i kept walking it. after about 2 years i found myself praying that God have mercy on my abusers and that He not hold their sin against them. it was truly a miracle,one that took me from victim to victory. thank you God.

  53. Faith permalink

    My best friend and I hurt each other very deeply and have had a very hard time forgiving each other and ourselves for what we did and now we are not speaking at all. I am finally able to forgive how he hurt me, and continues to hurt me every day, and I pray for him all the time. But the thing I can’t get over is that I need for him to forgive me so I can forgive myself, and he won’t. I know God will forgive us both for the sin of what we did, but how do I stop needing so badly to get that forgiveness from him?

    • Sister Pam OP permalink

      Dear Faith, Have you asked your friend to forgive you?

      • Faith permalink

        I have begged him to forgive me over and over and the thing is, he says he forgives me, but his actions say he doesn’t. He has completely blocked me out of his life. We have gone from best friends to total strangers. I need him to help me get through this but he won’t have anything to do with me. We have hurt each other so bad and he must still hold it against me or he wouldn’t shut me out like this. I think maybe when he thinks of me he is reminded of his sin and so he wants to shut me out and act like it didn’t happen but I don’t think we can either one heal that way. This is the biggest obstacle I have in trying to grow spiritually and I can’t make him understand that, or if he does understand, he doesn’t care. He was the one I always looked to for spiritual guidance and now that he won’t have anything to do with me I guess I feel like I am not worthy of forgiveness. Maybe I don’t deserve his forgiveness but I can’t forgive myself without it because I love him and don’t want to see him hurting, especially if I caused it.

    • Sister Pam OP permalink

      Dear Faith,
      You have done what you can do. You cannot change his behavior or control his reactions or actions. If you repented and asked for forgiveness, you are forgiven and that is that, no matter what your friend says or does. It is God’s forgiveness that matters. That is the forgiveness of eternity. God’s peace be with you.

  54. I’m a teenage girl, you know, holding grudges for months (maybe years), being mood swingy, and it’s always a competition of head vs. heart. This year someone took my best friend away from me, I was so mad at her for taking him away that my grudge completely blocked out everything, especially my Christian morals. When I heard she felt bad about it I was happy at first, then I realized how wrong that was. This entry by Rev. Mark made me open my eyes and now I’m going to start to forgive her. Thank you Reverend!

  55. Mary permalink

    testing to see if my pic will appear

  56. dorthy porter permalink

    For the longest time I had alot of trouble with my temper and sharp toung towards others when I was upset or treated unfairly.I was reading a book by Kay warren called Dangerous Surrender in the winter of 2007.I realized that I carried alot of anger ,unforgiveness deep in my heart for my first husband.The day I forgave the man who almost stold my life and Sanity had alot of tears then a flood of joy.He was also getting out of a stay at a max.prison for ten years for attempt murder on a ex-girlfriend the next week.He had little if any remorse for any of the things he had ever did.Why would I forgive and ask forgiveness to this man.He had dropped lit matches on me ,unloaded a gun next to my head,broke our marriage vows with his aunt,tryed to drown me plus our youngest son.broke my ribs plus much ,much more.First I had to ask God to help me forgive him,I could not release all my bitter anger by myself.Next I had to give every incident to Jesus,I told Jesus in detail everything that had happened to me.Jesus became my best friend on this day.It was not my place to judge this man or carry hate and anger in my heart.I ask Jesus to mend the hurt to take it away.Somethings I had hid so deep I had not ever dealt with until this day.The next week I ask my exhusband to forgive me for all I had did to him.I told him I forgave him for everything he had ever did to me.I also ask him if he would like to except Jesus into his life.He told me no he was a Hells Angel with his own religion,but he did like me forgiving him.I not only set him free from guilt I set my self free.God is this mans judge not me.He is not apart of my life anymore.I have told him that if he ever wants Jesus as his savior I would be glad to pray with him.I have healed inside,I now walk with Joy with out the fear of hate raising its ugly head.Jesus has set me free.It was not until this day that I was a empty vessel for God to use for his will.

    • amen!! i admire the wisdom GOD gave u….PRAISE GOD for the beuatiful lifestory u have…EMMANUEL.

  57. DonnaM permalink

    I am in a situation that is strange, I am currently seperated from my husband (we were married to each other 3 times) for over 2 years he was threatening to take his debit card (his military comp payments are direct deposited on to the card) he was going to take his debit card and walk any time the family didn’t do what he wanted he would bring this up again…we in November he pulled it again and I went to where the debit cards were kept and handed it to him and said on the day his check is deposited that he should leave, I just couldn’t take it any more, he would lock himself in our room and would only speak to the reest of us to start an argue with us he only came out to argue and eat putting the entire household on edge. I can kind of understand his point he thinks that my adult son should be out on his own and wanted me to throw them out. Even though we live in the desert it gets very cold and I would be putting my 1 yr old and 3 yr old grandsons out on the street, I can’t do that, but his hatred for my son has blinded him to seeing that they are trying and doing what they can to take as much weight off of us by helping around the house with cooking and cleaning. My son is disabled as am I so we don’t have much to live on but I told my husband if he could’t try to get along with the family then he should take the card and go, I even set it up so he could have an apartment to live in so he wouldn’t be homeless, now he is bad mouthing me all over the neighborhood, making me to be the bad guy. He has gone back to drinking and telling everyone itt is all my fault and that he still loves me. People come by weekly telling me I have to go talk to him but when I see him on the street he glares at me like he wants me deaddd. I am at a loss as to what to do. Do you have any words of wisdom for me.

    • Sister Pam OP permalink

      Dear DonnaM,
      You are in a tough situation. If you are in the USA, call this number, “THE NATIONAL DOMESTIC VIOLENCE HOTLINE (800) 799-SAFE (7233).” You will be referred to a domestic violence center near you. While you do not mention physical abuse, you are being abused psychologically. You need some help with this situation. God be with you.

      • DonnaM permalink

        He is out of the house now and hasn’t abused me in over 15 years and that time it was while he ws drunk. I just think I would be better off divorced from him and would have so much less stress in my life, I have loved him for many years enough to remarry him 3 times, it is over now though because of all the threats, I feel that if he wants to walk out every time he doesn’t get his way that his being gone is the best for all of us. Even the 2 gransons ages 1 and 3 feel the difference in the house, they loved “pa” but are happier without him here. He is one that will not forgive and I am trying hard to forgive him, but I don’t think I can live with him any more, many of my health problems are stress related and I feel that I would end up dead if not at his hands then because of the added stress. But is that enough cause to divorce him? I can forgive him but can’t and won’t live with him any more.

  58. trina permalink

    I am in a situation where I am trying to forgive but don’t believe I have. two ppl have hurt me very bad; my ex/Children’s father and my best friend. about a yr ago we broke up and now they are together. it really hurts to be betrayed by two ppl I trusted so much but to make things worse he has abandoned my two young children. I thought I forgave but realized I didn’t because this situ is on my mind daily, often numerous times a day. I keep them in prayer but need to know how to truly give this to God especially when I’m struggling trying to figure out how I will do things as a single mother.

  59. wendy permalink

    All you can do is give it to god and ask for wisdom and strength. god will help you through this tough time. you are a great mom. love ya.:) wendy

  60. True words, Rev. Brown!! Forgiveness is one of the most neglected areas of today’s Chiristan life.

    These are my reflections on the subject:

    Forgiveness: Part 1 The easy way out? http://www.blueworld.co.za/blog/read.aspx?id=5655

    Forgiveness: Part 2 NO easy way out
    http://www.blueworld.co.za/blog/read.aspx?id=5822

    Forgiveness: an ode to my grandmother
    http://www.blueworld.co.za/blog/read.aspx?id=5946

  61. don permalink

    for two days i have had bad dreams about my wife cheating on me then i see this post mind you her cheating has been 12 years ago and i still have not forgivin her seeing this post has been a god send reading some other post has felt like a heavy burden lifted of of me really i seem to evan breath with less restrictions
    ty ty ty

  62. Ritamary Enyim permalink

    That was great, but if you forgive and the person keeping hurt you what will you do, even when you try hard to forget and pretend if it doesnt hurt

  63. Tammy permalink

    I don’t have scriptural back up, but I do know that I don’t think that forgiveness means that you and the person that hurt you have to go skipping through the meadow together. I have a friend who hurt me deeply. Her lies cost me a good job, which hurt my family deeply. There is a trust issue. i can forgive her, but how, unless she were to change her ways, can I trust her? So I have learned that forgiveness doesn’t mean I have to even talk to this person again, it simply means, yes, God has control, but more simply I think it means that what this person has done to me no longer dictates my emotions towards others or towards God. I don’t sit around and get mad or hurt when I think about it. And, forgiveness is a process, most of the time. God can help you quickly, but in the process of forgiveness, there are MANY lessons learned.

    • Tammy,
      I have felt this very same way and I am starting to rethink it a little more now. I wonder, if Christ is our example and teacher of forgivness, he Forgives and contiunes the relationship with us. Are we then to do the same if we expect the relationship to contiue on with Him as well.

      I think forgivness is really a tough concept for a lot of us and I for one really struggle with picking up a relationship with someone again if the hurt me badly. Yet Christ picks up His relationship with us because He forgives us.

      This is a hard one for me for sure, yet I want to be Christ like in every part of my life…

    • Sister Pam OP permalink

      This is a repeat of an earlier posting.

      This what Elijah,a man of God did when his wife threatened him.

      “When Jezebel knew that Elijah executed all the prophets of Baal by the sword, she threatened to kill him. Elijah had pity on himself. He arose, ran for his life and went to Mount Horeb where he hid himself.’

      • Which one of Elijah’s works was right: executing all the prophets of Baal by sword, or his self pity and panick?

      • Sister Pam OP permalink

        Ephram asks a good question. It is always a risk quoting a single verse without the context of the story. In First Kings, Elijah was doing God’s will in killing the prophets of Baal, that is what prompted Jezebel to threaten him. By saving himself from being killed, by fleeing into the wilderness he was able to meet with God and discern His will. Sometimes it is necessary for someone suffering the abuse of another to remove herself from a situation for a time of discernment. Fleeing is not necessary a negative thing. It may be the wisest course of action. The Holy Family fled to Egypt to escape death. There were times when Jesus disappeared into the crowds because his time for death had not yet come. There is a time to flee and a time to stay.

  64. Connir Lovingood permalink

    ‘Forgiveness is handing the situation over to God and knowing that God will judge her, God will deal with her sin. That isn’t your role. So you forgive her when you hand the judgment over to God to deal with.’ Is exactly what forgiveness is about. James talks about God as the “one and only Judge”. It is not for us to be the judge of others, but for us to give that job to God. This is easier said than done. However, if we pray without stopping, God will see to it that we forgive ourselves as well. We need God’s help in this area. God will get us through the quilt, pain, resentment or any other feeling we have concerning letting go of inability to forgive. After all, if God can forgive us, why can’t we forgive ourselves as well as others? Rev Lewis in his reply to today’s lesson, compared the burden of unforgiving to that of being “handcuffed” to a prison. I compare it to wearing chains that bound one up in torture. We have the key to those chains just as we have the key to unlock those handcuffs. . . It is by giving it all over to God through consistent prayer.

  65. Aryn permalink

    What if someone hurt you really badly and you forgave them even though they didn’t care enough to say sorry or ask for your forgiveness?what if they did something horrible and never cared enough to repent to the Lord? Yeah, I hurt. Yeah, I forgave him. Yeah, it’s in God’s hands to judge him. But even though he lives with this horrible sin everyday and doesn’t even care enough to want forgiveness from me or God, I do not want him to perish when it comes to life after death. I want him to go to paradise. I want him to be saved. But how do you leave something like that in God’s hands when you know that, justly, the person would perish for his sins?

    • Sister Pam OP permalink

      Only God is just. Faith, time, prayer are healing. It can take years. It can be a lifetime of work with no shortcuts. As many have said, it is a process, not a single event. It is well worth it. I know, I have been there, and continue to still work on forgiveness.

  66. Bro. Mark, I have always wanted to follow in the right path of our heavenly father. But I’m so full of so much anger and pain sometimes I feel like no cares they call me crazy when I lashes out but it isn’t what I want its just when somone needs me i’m there. But when I need help no one is there for me. I’ve been through so much all I want now is to ask god for forgiveness for all that i done wrong and for all the people that I talked nagativity about for not being there for me and repent my sins for I have 3 beautiful children that I love dearly and I’m not with either father. Because of the abuses mentally and physically so now i pray and ask for help and i’m determen to fine myself a new home where i’m welcome.

  67. Angel permalink

    I called my ‘ex’ best friend who says I betrayed him to ask for forgiveness. He said he had forgiven me but had handed me over to God, and that he knows God is going to punish me for what i did. he says he never wants to have anything to do with me; he is even going to sever the joint business venture we have together. He called me wicked, evil and selfish and not deserving of anything good in life.

    This is someone who I almost broke up my marriage to be with; but I realised breaking up my marriage inspite of how my husband had hurt me wasn’t the answer. He found out that I was trying to make my marriage work again so he believes I used and betrayed him.

    The feelings of guilt are enormous on my shoulders – Guilt towards God, Guilt towards my husband and guilt towards him….

    I now realise from the other write-ups I have read, that I can’t force him to forgive me.

    But his words and actions are really hurting and are affecting my outlook to everything.

    I am sorry for everything I did – will God really forgive me??

    • Sister Pam OP permalink

      If you repent for your sins by asking God to forgive you, express sorrow and vow to make changes to avoid this sin in the future, YES, you are forgiven. Have faith in Jesus who suffered and died and rose from the dead for one reason only, so we would be forgiven our sins. Pretty awesome!

      • Angel permalink

        Dear Sis Pam,

        Thank you for your words of encouragement. I am presently seeking God afresh. I realise that it’s only He that can give me the peace and joy I seek; but first I need to accept His forgivesness and subsequently forgive myself – I am working on that right now.

        I am depending on God to guide me, lead me and help me when the going gets tough…

  68. Linda permalink

    Dear Sister Pam OP,

    How does one forgive their own father for sexually abusing them as a 5 year old up until the age of 12? How do you forgive being locked up in the basement and allowed on dry bread and water every day. This is very difficult to do as for me this is satan’s work. I have a fantastic family and I do not have any contact with him and feel comfortable this way. He has made it clear that he is not sorry for what he has done and has been put away behind bars for rape in the past in another country. I can not be near him as I have a little girl and he would most probably do the same to her.

    Thank you.

    • Sister Pam OP permalink

      Dear Linda,
      What you experienced is indeed sin at its worst. I truly am sorry for what you suffered. You have no obligation to maintain a father-daughter relationship with him. You have no obligation to have him near your daughter. You must protect yourself and your family.

      This what Luke 17:1-4 says about forgiveness, “Take heed to yourselves; if your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him; and if he sins against you seven times in the day, and turns to your seven times, and says, ‘I repent,’ you must forgive him.

      These are powerful words! The sinner is to be rebuked. That means, the sinner is told that the sin is wrong. He has been rebuked since he is in prison for his sin. The important words that follow are, “AND IF he REPENTS, FORGIVE him.” Let this soak in. The sinner is expected to repent, recognize the sin, know it is wrong and ask for forgiveness. Jesus asks us to be truly sorry for our sins in order to be forgiven. It does not sound like your father has repented. Only when your father has truly repented can you even begin to forgive.

      Work on healing yourself, having a good life, raising your daughter. Forgiveness is not the first priority for you right now. I hope that this helps. God bless you on your journey.

      • Linda permalink

        Dear Sister Pam OP

        You have helped me more than you can imagine. Thank you so much. You truelly have given me so much hope.

        THANK YOU

    • Forgiving is a small price to pay for knowing firsthand Jesus Christ and one’s own mortal sin too (John 8: 21-28). Forgetting is an altogether different matter. GBY!

  69. For the sake of the “only one Law giver and Judge, the one who is able to save and destroy”; the Christ who, after dying on the cross exclusively by his own will and power, has shown his identity and authority by throwing the Devil into hell (Luke 12:5; Heb. 2: 14-15), I can forgive anyone! PTL!

  70. Beth permalink

    Wow!!! This passage is very strong and really hits me hard because I face this problem many times durring the day or week. Now I know that when I become angry or mad at someone I should pray to DEAR LORD GOD our HEAVENLY FATHER that HE will help me forgive the person. I also will pray for HIM to show mercy upon their souls. I love it how GOD can speak to me directly by the BIBLE and his word is so good I can’t get enough of it. I pray that everyone may be able to forgive and that those who dont have faith or trust in GOD may finally open their eyes and see HIS shinning light love before it is too late. And the amazing thing is, is that GOD gave us HIS only SON DEAR JESUS CHRIST our SAVIOR who died on the cross for us for the forgiveness of our sins. JESUS was able to forgive so lovingly in a way that we also hope to one day too. In JESUS’S name, Amen.

  71. Seeking Advise permalink

    rev mark,
    I read this and it was very good for me to hear. yet some of which im having a hard time understanding.
    I am young, and I am having a very hard time forgiving my father which left last year, my grandmother for being happy he did and my sister for leaving us also to live with him. My dad cheated on my mom, was doing things he shouldnt, drinking heavily, coming home drunk and was wrong to me and my sister while like that. He has thrown things at my little sisters, has cussed me out on many occasions and disowned me because I stayed with my mom. My sister that moved in with him, thinks I am in the wrong for not liking my dad because of these reasons and she blames my mom for the divorse, because she “didnt try hard enough”. My grandmother on my 18th birthday sent me a card telling me she wished i could be more like God and someday maybe i would be kind and smart enought to forgive my dad. Both my grandmother and my sister sit there and say they are doing what God says to do, but is judging me and my family, and saying its okay to what my dads doing Godly?
    I am having a very hard time understanding what to do. I have tryed to give this over to God and serveral times I thought I had. But this pain keeps coming back, and everytime I feel like I have forgivin my dad, my older sisters come to me and say ” look how angry you are. Your so hateful.” and they have all said God isnt the answer, I need a shrink. I believe God can heal my pain in time. but forgiving them is becoming harder and harder. Is forgiving them going to them and saying “I am sorry for what I am.” or “what you think I am”. Is it going to them and saying I forgave them after i give it to God?
    How do I give this to God?
    I would appriciate any advise any one has to offer.

    • Firsthand experience of the GREATEST VISION ever of Jesus Christ (“Son of the living God”, i.e., immortal) in his deeply mysterious, perfect, powerful and transfigurative death on the cross complete with baptism in the Holy Spirit (Matt. 16: 13-28; John 8: 21-28; 14: 15-2; 16: 5-15;19: 30-37) will take away all your problems. It works like a miracle!

      It is increasingly working for me since 35 years. In your brokenhearted condition and with a little prayer you qualify. GBY! (http://www.the2keys.com)

  72. QUESTION: How do you forgive me someone?
    ANSWER: “If your brother sins against you, … tell the whole thing to the church. Ifhe will not listen to the church, treat him as though he were a pagan.” (Matt. 18: 15-17)

    In the context of the definition of “my church”, i.e., the divine identity of Jesus Christ (Ibid, 16: 13-28), the significance of the answer is much more important than anything I have ever heard of! Isn’t it?

  73. james kish permalink

    thanks for that it was wonderful to hear this and being revealed.my sprit got slapped …thank ou much…

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