How to Forgive…

I intend to write a series of blogs on forgiveness. It would help if I had specific situations to address as I write. Therefore, if you have a problem forgiving someone (or more than one), please leave your comments or questions below and I will use those as the basis for the blog series. Thanks.

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8 Comments

  1. Allie

    Joe, I have been struggling with this for over two years. I am having an extremely difficult time forgiving a person who strongly disagreed with me about certain decisions/opinions I have about my son’s medical care and how to pay for it. What hurts me most is that people have told me that the other person was “trying to make a point” but no one seemed to listen to the points *I* was trying to make. I feel as if I have to accept her viewpoint but that no one has to even consider or respect mine. I have prayed in every way I know how to forgive . . . and I am still angry whenever I think about the situation. I don’t want anything bad to happen to the other person, but what I want is an apology, or at least some understanding, and I don’t think I’m going to get it. We were online acquaintances, and we have cut off contact.

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  2. Stephen

    For over 12 years I have been close, but unable to forgive my former Church of Christ minister for taking advantage of me sexually. With his full knowledge of my same-sex attraction, he chose a weekend his wife was out of town, to seduce me. Today, of all the challenges I face in this arena, he, by far, has crippled my homosexual journey AND my Spiritual walk with the Father. He cused me out afront 13 elders and my sponsor. They support(ed) is denial of the 3 sexual encounters.

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  3. Sincerely Do Want to Forgive

    My mother, who has been married and divorced nine times, and basically decided she did not want to be a parent anymore after our oldest brother died at age 22. There were five of us remaining. We have not been in contact for more than twenty years. I have come a long way, and I have accomplished much professionally and inter- and intrapersonally, AND God has provided numerous mother figures in my life experience who have helped in the healing process. I do not want to be bitter, to be angry, to be vindictive, or to inflict harm on anyone. Perhaps the forgiveness is complete but the healing isn’t? I am very much looking forward to your conclusions. I am looking forward to anything you discover in the “how-to-forgive-completely” category.

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  4. forgiving him is the easy part/ forgiving Him is hard

    I am married to a sex addict. I give him all the credit in the world for trying and conquering many times his addiction. I am able to forgive because I know he is sincere when he has messed up, and he does everything (workshops,counseling,accountability) that we have been able to find to work on healing and controlling this. I have a very hard time understanding why contant pryaer and application do not heal the problem. He cannot be locked up away. As Joe has asked…this is a good man with a bad problem. So, my struggle is in forgiving the constant heartache and pain and repetition of the problem…when I believe that all things are possible through Him and that He can do the impossible. I don’t feel bitter, just weary!

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  5. Nathan

    Joe,

    Unfortunately, I think that forgiveness is often confused with someone just choosing to ignore a poor/selfish/immature decision (or series of them) that was made by someone they love. This is driven by the desire to avoid consequences or just blind love (or limerence).

    Someone makes a mistake (like adultery) and the question is asked “can you forgive me”. Spiritual forgiveness is one thing. Deciding to stay in a marriage with someone who is capable of making conscious decisions to lie, cheat, and cover up actions that they know are wrong is not the same kind of “forgiveness” that we talk about in our spiritual lives.

    We all deserve god’s forgiveness for our sins (as long as repentance goes along with it). Forgiveness in relationships should also include honest evaluations of what that persons actions say about their character. You can forgive someone and recognize that they don’t deserve to be in a relationship with you.

    I have forgiven my wife’s adultery and respect her position as the mother of my child. In my evaluation of our marriage after her adultery came to light, I decided that while I could forgive her on a spiritual level (after all, her sins were against God, not me) I did not want to remain in a marriage with a woman who was capable of the level of deceit that she was. Especially when she was deceiving someone she still claimed to love. That level of emotional/spiritual/intellectual disconnect needs to live in another house and provide for herself. Honor, respect, truthfulness and true commitment are welcome here anytime.

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  6. Kimberly

    Should we always forgive under every circumstance and try to restore a relationship with the person? Is there a biblical backing for that?

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  7. Andrea Frazer

    I’d like to learn to forgive myself and trust Jesus more.

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  8. chuck

    Joe – I am really trying to understand what forgiveness means. After my wife’s affair, I had made up my mind that I would forgive. And, I told her. Yet, I struggle regularly.

    I want to be free from the maddening thoughts… but, they return and they impact me. After a year, the thoughts are fewer, but they still occur. It seems that forgiving it a process to continue to ‘deal’ with these thoughts? But, how does one effectively ‘deal’ with them, so that the freedom of forgiveness can take over?

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