How to forgive someone


This is a part of a series about forgiveness and handling memories, first to last

This post begins here…

Have you ever felt like dark things are all around you and no matter how hard you pray, they don’t leave. You feel constantly pressured. This is called being “hedged in”.

In my experience, and by observation with the people I talk to, it happens when you are refusing to forgive someone for what they have done.

The tough truth of the situation is that if you won’t forgive, you will not be forgiven. Think about the Lords prayer. “Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.” So what happens if you won’t forgive those trespasses?

What does the bible say?

“Therefore, the kingdom of heaven is like a king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants. As he began the settlement, a man who owed him ten thousand talents was brought to him. Since he was not able to pay, the master ordered that he and his wife and his children and all that he had be sold to repay the debt.

“The servant fell on his knees before him. ‘Be patient with me,’ he begged, ‘and I will pay back everything.’ The servant’s master took pity on him, canceled the debt and let him go.

“But when that servant went out, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii. He grabbed him and began to choke him. ‘Pay back what you owe me!’ he demanded. “His fellow servant fell to his knees and begged him, ‘Be patient with me, and I will pay you back.’”But he refused. Instead, he went off and had the man thrown into prison until he could pay the debt. When the other servants saw what had happened, they were greatly distressed and went and told their master everything that had happened.

Then the master called the servant in. ‘You wicked servant,’ he said, ‘I canceled all that debt of yours because you begged me to. Shouldn’t you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you?’ In anger his master turned him over to the jailers to be tortured, until he should pay back all he owed.

This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother from your heart.” – Matt 18:23-35

If you feel hedged in and always under pressure, you might very well be in the torture prison that Jesus taught about.

So how do you get out of it? Forgive!

Some of you are saying… but I can’tyou don’t know what he/she did. I just can’t.

Some people are just INCREDIBLY angry and they can’t forgive. I know how that feels. The kind of unforgiveness is really just anger. You’re angry. Very angry. Immensely angry.

Here’s what I did.

Releasing spiritual debt

I will probably never forget the exact day on which I did this.

Let’s look at the sin that has been committed against you as a debt. Someone has sinned against you and now owes you a spiritual debt.

Step one is to separate the spiritual debt from your anger. The bible says:

BE angry, but do not sin (Eph 4:26)

So you don’t need to stop being angry right now. Your mission… should you choose to accept it… is to release them in prayer from their spiritual debt to you.

Your prayer can be as simple as this: “Lord Jesus, please do not hold their actions against them. I declare that they do not have any debt to me”. You might want to add your own authentic words to this. Really let them go from spiritual debt.

That takes care of the torture prison. The enemy should leave right away.

Thanking God for the good

This is the second step I took.

God promises to use all things for the good of those who love Him. That’s you and me!

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. – Rom 8:28

Perhaps you’ve been rejected or abused. Have you used those experiences to help other people? Can you thank God for using those experiences to help others?

DO NOT thank Him for the experience of being sinned against. No, thank Him for using it for good in some way.

In my case intense loneliness in my childhood was the memory. But now I write this blog and help hundreds of people overcome emptiness and loneliness. It’s a bad memory, but God is using it for the good. I can smile now.

I can move on.

Emotional release

But the thing still happened right? You might still have some anger to deal with. As long as your anger gets processed, you will be able to go to a deeper level of forgiveness, where you EMOTIONALLY release the event or person.

Step three happened for me today. I read a book for men about women. I was just amazed to see into the world of a woman. How emotional it is. How they love. How they view the world through a lens of love and emotions.

As I understood that, I “saw” that my own mother had seen her own family and me in that way. Let me say that my family was responsible for a SHOCKING amount of pain in my young life which I am only now working through. But… when I could see that she really did do her best, that she tried to love, that she lived this life of trying her best… I could release her EMOTIONALLY.

My childhood had been massively lonely and painful, but I could “see” my mother’s angst as she tried her best to create a loving environment. I could truly see it. She tried. I can let that go now.

And so I have felt unbelievably FREE and happy for most of the day. I’m moving on.

Summary

You can do this too. Just take it step by step. See it as layers. Forgive the spiritual debt to begin with. Then go on to the other emotional layers. It will be a different process for you… but the end result is the same. Freedom and release FOR YOU.

Please take time to read my later post which has specific steps for Christian forgiveness.

New blog

I now have another very personal, intimate blog http://attaching.wordpress.com and I invite you to read through it, from the start to the end. That page is the end. It’s only 31 posts and each of them is short.

Keep on reading

Some Christians want God to snap His fingers and heal them and they refuse to get help. Is this the right approach? Maybe take a moment to read my post: Should Christians get counselling for healing?

For further reading maybe try this post Emotional healing… what’s it like? or read some of my other posts on healing. I have written a companion post that you might benefit from reading: How to fill up the lonely hurt inside.  Get into the discussion. Share your experiences. Help someone. Receive help from someone too perhaps.

Forgiveness…

These posts might also help you:

and also try

Or try some other posts that I wrote:

These are posts about growing and forming deeper relationships that let us feel connected and warm inside:

God loves you!

Please share this post with someone who might benefit from it. Post it to your FB wall. Tweet it. May God bless you – and I look forward to reading your comments and replying to them!

87 responses to “How to forgive someone

  1. We must have been siblings. I’m struggling now. Not an easy place to be. Recently walked away from some abusive relationships so back to square one. My faith is strong. My resolve has shrunk. I sometimes feel empty inside

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  2. Thank God for you!! I had been holding on to anger from my childhood and my marriage. I instantly felt free from the anger, self loathing, and guilt. I not only freed the debt with my parents, and my ex-husband but myself. I am feel FREE!! In the name of Jesus I have the liberty to love myself whole.

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  3. Hello,
    I’ve been searching for help to forgive, came across your blog and found it interesting. I’m really struggling with forgiving someone who will always be a presence in my life, a member of my husband’s family, who shows no remorse for what they did. They act as though nothing happened when just the mention of their name gives me palpitations and when I know I have to see them I can’t sleep. I feel so angry and just when I think I’m working on forgiveness, they do something else to remind me how little respect she has for me. I’m pregnant and was recently admitted to hospital with anxiety because I feel I can’t deal with this person. I recently read a really good on forgiveness, but I’m still left asking how do you deal with someone who will has hurt you so deep and will continue to do so? My husband is wonderful but, without going into too much depth, we both have to find a way to have her in our lives and she is unlikely change. Please help, God Bless.

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    • Hi Anita

      You are in a tricky situation, for sure. If you can’t avoid this person, then as far as I can see the other thing to do is to try and take all the intense stress that you feel out of the situation. So. Either stay away from this person, or learn new skills to handle that person. Does that make sense?

      The skills I’m thinking about are a new willingness for you to stand up for yourself. You can’t stop that person from trying to do what they do, but you can change how you behave and how you feel when they do it. In other words if you can’t stop the situation, then take the sting out of the situation for you.

      And in fact, changing your reactions might be enough to change the whole situation over time.

      I suggest you focus on developing good boundaries. Stand up for yourself. Learn to argue back based on good solid healthy boundaries. http://achristian.wordpress.com/2009/04/10/your-personal-bill-of-rights/

      If you want to stay in touch, please look me up on Facebook.

      God bless you, Mark.

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  4. My sister wants to know if you actually have to see or speak to the person who hurt you in order to forgive them…My belief is no, some people are gone but you still need to forgive so you talk to God and ask for help with forgiveness or tell him you forgive so and so…sometimes it is scary to face your abuser and tell them you forgive them…I also don’t believe we have to let these people back into our lives because we have forgiven them…I say forgive, bless them and move on..my brother beat my sister many times when she was a teen, he is now old and either doesn’t remember or thinks he did nothing wrong (which is what he says)…she wants to forgive (for her own peace of mind) but she doesn’t want to see him or talk to him..(he lives in another state)..I feel she doesn’t have to talk to him to forgive him.( since he has the attitude of doing no wrong).all she has to do is talk to God and tell Him she forgives her brother…is that wrong?

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    • Hi Carole

      No, I don’t think you have to let them back in. And if you do, watch them like a hawk!!

      Forgiveness doesn’t mean things go back to how they were. It means to forgive their debt and to let it drop.

      I wrote a much updated blog post about how to do this. It’s a way better post than this one
      http://achristian.wordpress.com/2011/09/12/the-truth-will-set-you-free/

      And what’s more, if your brother is not repentant – which means he admits to what he has done AND he changes his behavior so that it can never happen again – unless he is repentant, you must NOT extend trust again.

      Trust is something that is earned. It can also be wasted and lost.

      You can forgive in your heart, you can talk to a picture, you can talk to God.

      Please do read my other blog post, it describes what to do in detail.

      God bless you.
      Mark.

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  5. Why should I forgive my friend? They gave me an insincere apology for their horrible actions directed at me. They call themselves a Christian. What a joke? Why doesn’t God convict him of his sin? I have prayed for my friend to make real amends but still no sign after 3 years. People like that who claim to be Christian make me sick. In fact most sinners wouldn’t have treated me so shamefully. How do I move on from this bad experience?

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    • Hi Arlie

      Thanks for sharing your feelings. You sound upset and pent up with anger. Your question is “how do I move on from this bad experience”. It’s a perfect question. Forgiveness is how you let go and drop it and move on. Forgiveness mainly benefits YOU. It releases you from the other person. Unforgiveness keeps you connected to them for 3 years! So go ahead and gorgive them, let it go, move on.

      Forgiveness doesn’t mean you have to like the person. It also doesn’t mean what they did is ok. It doesn’t mean you have to trust again.

      It just means you release them, you forgive them. What God does with them is between them and God. But from your side, you forgive and released and move on.

      And I know that it’s not easy. But it’s the best thing for YOU.

      God bless you, Mark.

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  6. I just can’t seem to forgive… I feel so wronged, so incredibly angry. I fantasize about what I would do in retaliation and refuse to accept murder as a solution simply because there their suffering would end. I ask for the kind of suffering a person could only feel when a child dies. I want despair, as inescapable and as permanent as possible. I feel such a deep black mass in my soul, and if it were possible to make it tangible, it would be nothing short of hatred in a bottle. I say soul, but not in a way that would reflect what the bible calls a soul,(because I have mixed opinions about scripture) but as my conscious mind. I feel the anger physically, at times it is so intoxicating, I get warm just thinking about it. I begin to sweat. How can I possibly just let it go? Where is the great equalization, the justice? Am I supposed to sit and wait for it to take place through some divine intervention? I’d rather take it into my own hands, even at the cost of my own destruction.

    I was almost murdered years ago, but I pulled through. But believe it or not, that, I was able to forgive. I saw the man months later and felt very little, if anything against him. But the reason I speak to you today is because of infidelity. Being cheated on is so demeaning, and belittling, so permanent and so very, very hurtful. There aren’t enough answers to the “whys?”, nothing that can bring a logical justification for the actions they’ve taken.

    I want to let go just as much as I don’t want to let go. Leaving it up to God just seems so arbitrary and inconclusive. What if He forgives them without consequence? I just don’t know what to do. If He wanted to, could He not just remove it? And if it were up to me to remove it, why carry faith?

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    • Hi Nino

      Thank you for sharing this with me. I hear you saying “I want to let go”. If you are willing, try this approach to forgving. Find someone to talk to – perhaps a counsellor at church, or an agony aunt, or a blog, or a private journal – and talk or write about what happened and how it affected you. Talk or write until you can’t any more.

      If you do it by yourself, then take a picture of the person and go into the forest where you can shout and cry if you need to. But whatever you do, just get it out. Jesus Christ said “the truth will set you free” and indeed I can confess that is true. We cannot forgive, at least not easily until we have spoken the truth and what was done to us and how it affected us.

      I was able to speak via this blog and I got free. But more recently I had to revisit the abuse because I bumped into the abuser. This rought up hatred not just for that person, but for many others who have emotionally abused me in the past. I spoke to myself about the truth of what they did. I spoke to myself abut how it affected me.

      When I was finished speaking, I forgave. So goa ahead, get it out. The truth will set you free. DON’T curse. But DO share the truth.

      You CAN do it.

      God bless you,
      Mark.

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  7. do you have any advice on ‘unequally yoked’ marraiges/ what if you met and married before you knew Christ?
    does God want me to stay in this marraige, despite so much tension and unhappiness?
    i am already divorced from first husband.

    i believe the kids need their dad. but i struggling.
    how do i really discern God’s will in this?
    please help.
    its hard to stay hopeful at times when being mocked for faith/ recovery etc. thanks
    i have been praying for him for almost 7 years now. still no conversion. what do i do?

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  8. thanks mark just what i needed to hear.
    i too had troubled childhood, mum did her best to love us despite alcoholism/ psychizophrenia. sharing with recovery grou-p about the pain of loosing mum in a house fire, made another woman commit to stop drinking for good. so even then, some good can come from my heart-ache. God has forgiven me much, was off the rails myself. finally surrended and started going to meetings etc. but have felt unsupported and ridiculed by family. was feelling very resentful towards husband, and then i found this. thanks. i must forgive 70 times 7, as i too have been forgiven. really struggle when my kids are told jesus thing all a myth, by their own dad. i know god hates divorce. i must endure. and not be bitter. i breathe, i know God is there, and loves us. and has a plan for all our lives. i must put him and my still drinking sister, and dad who doesnt understnad that bloody aa. all in a bubble and give them to god. i cannot bear it alone. i cannot afford to not forgive, as i will be dead inside as i was for years – with no god, no peace. thank god for the truth, the gift of faith and the blessings of my 4 children. i am a sinner, a fallen person, but he retoredme to life. now i must forgive everyone who hurts me. they sick to. we are all flawed and weak. only god is perfect. thanks for this.
    the holy spirit is doing great work in guiding me to scripture i need to see on any given day. praise his holy name amen.
    i feel angry at rc church with all the false doctrines. must forgive them too, they know not what they do.
    more light lord,
    of myself i am nothing, the father doeth the works.
    thanks
    in jesus
    christina

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  9. Like everyone else i found this post to be just what i needed. Have always know i needed to forgive the one who has hurt me the most, but have never known exactly how to do that. Lots of asking god to help , lots of feeling fenced in. Thankyou for this post, thank god for this post.

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  10. i have been goint thru a tough times maybe for more than two years and what i do when depression hits,i come to my room open the bible, read,cry and for some reason what iam reading relates to what i have lived that day and i say to myself why some people thing that there is no god when he speaks to me every day, i feek some much joy and i find myself laughing of joy like a crazy..i love Jesus so much….he is my everything…spo

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  11. Hi Mark,
    would you say it would not be a sin to let people get what they deserve if Christ did not die??

    So do we only have to forgive because Christ forgave us first or because forgiving/showing mercy in and of itself is the right thing to do?
    Thankyou :)!

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    • Hi Anabelle

      This is a superb question, thank you for asking it in public so others can see it and think it through.

      My understanding – based on the bible – is that forgiving helps us… in two ways.

      1) we are only forgiven by Jesus Christ AS we forgive others. So it’s greatly to our benefit that we forgive others. That’s from a spiritual perspective. 2) But also from an emotional perspective, we let go of a lot of emotional baggage when we stop holding on to the past and we decide to “drop it and let go and move on”.

      I hope that answers your question?! Let me know if it didn’t clarify things.

      God bless you, Mark.

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  12. thank you for posting this blog on how to forgive others, i just really need it now,.. i know sometimes life is full of surprises and some of them come unexpectedly, i know in life you may commit failure but why some other people try to dig it out and tell to the whole world how misserable you are and try to ruin everything, it’s not good to wish that they should be dead but they really draw the line.. can you give me advice more advice how to deal with it?? thank you :)

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    • Hi Tricia. I have written several things about forgiveness. I hope that you will keep on reading them and putting them into action – and then be patient with yourself as you work through the issues, build good boundaries, make yourself safe. As you feel safer, you will probably find yourself able to forgive more and deeper. God bless you! Mark.

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    • You are welcome Carmen :) Keep loving yourself, protecting yourself, being your own best friend. And remember, when we are children we become used to someone putting milk in a glass and giving it to us. But as adults, we have to go out, get the cow, milk it, and put it in our OWN glass. Adulthood is hard work and there’s no two ways around it. May God continue to bless you increasingly.

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  13. Thank you for your guidance on how to forgive. I feel my raw anger is validated at present, that I can work first on cancelling the spiritual debt then gradually release the anger.
    God bless.

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  17. Thank you so much. This makes it so clear the steps to forgiving. It really opened my eyes as to how to do this. God bless. I am so glad I saw this post.

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  18. Thank you for this post finding it has really helped me. I have been dealing for sometime with betrayl from my inlaws and the attitudes that I have recieved, reading this has really helped me to begin my healing process I am really blessed and thankful that I ran across this post.

    Thank you and God Bless,
    Teresa

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  19. I just stumbled aross this. You have helped me a great deal. These are the exact words ive been searching for along time. Thank you.

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  20. Hi Mark!

    Thank you so much for the prayers! You will be the one of my prayer warrior friends! Praise God..:-)I am blessed enough for that!

    Mell

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  21. hi:im really thankful of finding this website i,m having right now a huge battle im my hart, cuz someone that i really love hurtd me deeply and he doesnt even regret, he couldnt care less, he bretrayed me and my family, he has been lying to me all this time insulting me my religion and my family, im trying to forgive but is really hard.

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    • Hi Laura

      Please take some time to read about what boundaries are and how to have good boundaries. I have written about it, maybe do a search on this blog site?

      God bless you,
      Mark.

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  22. Hi Mark! I have watched the video Mark! Sooo nice! ” Jesus is the reason of this season.. Blessed 2010!

    Thanks a lot.

    Mell

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  23. Hi mark!

    It is so hard to forgive against what had happened. Giving second chance is my choice and a prayers of my inlaws for the sake of our family and kid.

    Right now, my husband undergoing medications ” bipolar dis order” taking Lacmital before bedtime. We have Physchaitrist appointment. I really need prayers until this time. I cant escaped the reality and I cant hide my feelings ” I still havent forgive my husband” hard tho I prayed a lot. begging to God to release me in pain so I can back to my normal feelings.

    I really thank u for having this site. Atleast I can tell what’s inside of me and you give me an advice.

    God bless u more Mark!

    Mell

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    • Hi mell

      It sounds like you are making progress and figuring things out. Or that’s how it seems from over here. May God bless you as you seek to find the right path in prayer and walk in it.

      God bless!
      Mark.

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  24. Thank you Mark!

    I am blessed to read this site. God heals a broken road. I already gave all to our dear Lord, If I will think this all the time, Absolutely my mind will breakdown. Until this time I need counselling and prayers. I am in the process of healing. The set up is still the same. We live in Apartment while he stayed in our home. But in the morning I picked him up and we go to office together and work there.. we have our own company.

    My goal in life is to have happy family. Yet, in few months I had one. Many blessings come along our way as husband in wife and one day I never expected that I can encounter this.

    I believe God has the reason on it. I am just waiting the perfect time for Him to reveal in me BY vision and in dreams.

    Once again. Thank u so much.

    God bless u more.
    Mell

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  25. Hi Again Mark!

    What do u think help that he need, my husband? He keep on telling me that he want our family to be together again and he is willing to renew and do his best to serve us.

    He said he really sorry for what had happened, and he is not sick on doing it. He just first time did that. he dont like to happened it again. PLEASE help me.. I am sooo confused.

    Or do I need to divorced him?
    thanks again!

    Mell

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    • Hi mell

      It is impossible for me or anyone else to judge the situation without knowing the people involved. I strongly recommend you let a professional counsellor help you and your daughter through this situation.

      May God bless you,
      Mark.

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  26. Hi Mark!

    Thank u so much for ur urgent replied. As I am reading, I cant help myself but cry. I was so confused in our situations. I want to have my family intact. I am pity for my daughter. She is very innocent child. She also cant understand why her step-dad did that to her. I was lucky that my daughter dont have hesitations to tell me all.

    Do I need to put him into prison for him to be able to pay what he does? He said he will plead guilty. But let him finish first the purpose driven life book for 40days, he want to read it. As per government wrath for what he did, he probably sit in electric chair.

    I am pity also to our daughter. She missed her dad so much. he cant help to call her dad while sleeping at night. And everytime I arrived home from work, she’s amazed why I am the one driving our car and when i shut off the door, She will asked me, Where’s daddy?

    My heart is really aching for what had happened. I never think that after all the blessings that Ive got, I can encountered this kind of problem.. it is killing me. Its so hurt. I cant hardly understand why all this things happened to my family. I am matured 35yrs old when I got married again this year bcz I assumed that my decissions are not immatured and this time, I am dealing this kind of problem, I really need help and prayers.

    Thank u Mark!

    Mell

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    • Hi mell

      I am so sorry that you are in this situation. But I am glad that you are looking for help. Wisdom is needed in this situation. May I suggest you contact a counsellor or get help at your church? It is important to keep balance in your life during this time and make wise decisions. For this you need to be around mature, strong and healthy people.

      May God bless you,
      Mark.

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  27. Hi Mark!

    Thank you so much for this site! It helped a lot.. I am in ” “hedged in”. i just recently experienced horrible event inside our home. My 14 yrs old daughter was molested by my present husband now. She confronted me that my husband did nasty things to her inside our bedroom. I was shocked and I cant believed it. we moved in an apartment with my kids. I can say It is hard to accept the things happened.. And how we can start over again to have a happy family together with my present husband with my daughter to him and my kids to my ex-husband?

    he is asking second chance and forgiveness to his wrongdoings BUT he did molested my daughter… So how?

    He said he want us to start again a happy family.
    I was so confused, if how we can start again together with my kids?
    Please pray for me and give me advice.

    Thanks u. More Power and God bless u more.

    mell

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    • Hi mell

      We can and must forgive.

      BUT you absolutely must understand that if you take him back into your house, you may be putting your daughter into danger.

      What reason has he given you to show that he has healed from his sickness? And don’t be fooled, if he has abused once, unless he gets help, he is sure to abuse again. God can and will and does heal, but how do you know that he is? You must know this for sure and only then can you let him back into your house and your daughter is not in danger.

      And SECONDLY, think about your daughter. She has now been abused. If your husband has a sexual spiritual problem then it may have transferred onto her. Now that this has happened to your daughter, she also has been exposed to things well in advance of her years. So she needs to get help too.

      Yes we must forgive, but we also need to have wisdom and be a good caretaker of the people and the things God has given us.

      May God bless you!
      Mark.

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  28. Joyce :

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    My tendency is when someone hurts me, or offends me is to shut off my heart to them. I simply close the door and move on. Unfortunately, this leaves me without friendships and relationships. I want to forgive them but every time I think about them my “coping” shut off skills kick in. I thank you for sharing steps that I can take to learn God’s way instead of my way.

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  29. Hi – First, I’m sorry that you’ve felt so much pain and hurt. It’s a terrible feeling to feel hemmed in by our anger. I, too am working through the same thing, but with a variety in people in my life. I picked up a book from the library called “After the Affair” by Janis Abrahms Spring. She has another one called “How Can I Forgive You?”

    My situation isn’t about an affair, but the first book has a very helpful chapter on forgiveness. It basically states what you were just saying. It’s saying, that a person needs to earn our forgiveness, that it’s not just enough to simply say I forgive you, because that doesn’t truly release our hurt and pain. The book also warns against simply washing over someone’s wrong doing toward us because we want to be nice, we want to let it go. I liked the fact that the author said that this was not healthy and that we would still find ourselves obessessing over the incidents that hurt us. I for one, am carrying around too much pain from the hurt of others, others who did nothing to earn my foregiveness. Just saying “I forgive them”, hasn’t freed me at all because I want them to be sorry, but they are not. One is a boss that unjustly lied about me then fired me, another is my father, who is now dead. I will never see either of them again so I can’t see if they’re sorry. So that has kept me stuck in not being able to truly forgive them. I don’t know if you feel the same with your husband, but at least you have him in your life, where you can sit down together, where you can tell him how hurt you are, and that he needs to earn your forgiveness and aid your healing. I hope either of these books will give you both some skills and tools to achieve that. I for one, know that it takes work to achieve this. Words alone aren’t enough. I hope this helps.

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  30. i’m “hedged in” right now because of unforgiveness toward my husband for his periodic outbursts which make me feel unsafe. i feel forgiving him will be saying it’s ok, and he needs to know it’s not. but i can’t go on with the heaviness and anger this produces in me. i was searching this morning and found your advise and am grateful. i prayed through the steps and feel it’s the right direction. god bless you.

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    • Hi – First, I’m sorry that you’ve felt so much pain and hurt. It’s a terrible feeling to feel hemmed in by our anger. I, too am working through the same thing, but with a variety in people in my life. I picked up a book from the library called “After the Affair” by Janis Abrahms Spring. She has another one called “How Can I Forgive You?” My situation is about an affair, but the first book has a very helpful chapter on forgiveness. It basically says what you were just saying. Basically it’s saying, that a person needs to earn our forgiveness, that it’s not just enough to simply say I forgive you, because that doesn’t truly release our hurt and pain. The book also warns against simply washing over someone’s wrong doing toward us because we want to be nice, we want to let it go. I liked the fact that the author said that this was not healthy and that we would still find ourselves obessessing over the incidents that hurt us. I for one, am carrying around too much pain from the hurt of others, others who did nothing to earn my foregiveness. Just saying “I forgive them”, hasn’t freed me at all because I want them to be sorry, but they are not. One is a boss that unjustly lied about me then fired me, another is my father, who is now dead. I will never see either of them again so I can’t see if they’re sorry. So that has kept me stuck in not being able to truly forgive them. I don’t know if you feel the same with your husband, but at least you have him in your life, where you can sit down together, where you can tell him how hurt you are, and that he needs to earn your forgiveness and aid your healing. I hope either of these books will give you both some skills and tools to achieve that. I for one, know that it takes work to achieve this. Words alone aren’t enough. I hope this helps.

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  31. Thank you for enabling me to seperate my anger from giving forgiveness I knew I needed to do this but until I read the way on your website I was unable to.Thanks be to God for working through you, the enemy has left me.

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  32. it’s almost impossible 2 forgive others who have gr8ly wronged us on our own. ppl fail when they rely on their own strength n after awhile, n just when we thought we have forgiven them d bad memories begins 2 kick in again and we ended up being bitter all over again. we need 2 rely on God’s Holy Spirit. Rmb how Jesus forgave those who nailed Him to the cross? I think nothing hurts more than seeing ur own creation turned their back against u… yet Jesus still forgive n He even died for those who crucified Him.

    Because we often focused on the wrongs and our emotions we failed to see them through God’s perspective. If we realized how much God has done for us how much he desires us to walk in freedom we would learn to forgive.

    If God has died even for the person who has wronged u, how much more He will not desire for you to forgive Him. If we r finding it hard 2 forgive lets remember how much God has done for us n ask God for strength to forgive. Amen

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  33. My tendency is when someone hurts me, or offends me is to shut off my heart to them. I simply close the door and move on. Unfortunately, this leaves me without friendships and relationships. I want to forgive them but every time I think about them my “coping” shut off skills kick in. I thank you for sharing steps that I can take to learn God’s way instead of my way.

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  34. you say releasae them from debt. But, what if they stole your inheritance and humiliated you in the process leaving you without hope.

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    • Annie, I’m sorry, it sounds like someone was very unfair to you. That is a bitter bill to swallow. But, let me share from a voice of experience, if God did not include that inheritance in your life, you don’t want it. It may be impossible to understand right now, but as Mark says above, “in all things God works for the good of those who love him.

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  35. I have been struggling with forgiveness, and so I simply googled how to forgive someone, and clicked this link for some odd reason. I went through the steps and felt this overwhelming weight lifted. Forgiveness, in my case was for me only, because the person who hurt me so bad couldn’t care less. So being able to begin to let go of all the emotion and anger I’ve built up over the year and a half since, it feels so amazing to finally take steps to forgiveness and move on with my life without letting it consume so much of my joy. Only with the power of prayer and God can I go through with this process, and I thank you so much for your insight and guidance.
    Love, Alexa

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  36. Hello Mark- Just wanted to really say thank you. I went on the computer looking for answers, I don’t know what I was thinking but I just wanted to know how to forgive and that is how I came across your website and it was wonderful. I am looking for answers on how to forgive so I can move on and be happy. I have been married for many of years and I love my husband more than I can explain but my husband has found alcooholic an struggle and I can tell he wants the help and has always wanted to be better
    but now he has ran into the law with his alcoholism and it will affect the whole family ( me and the kids) and I don’t want to think about it daily but every time I am with my husband I just have not been able to forgive or forget and it has made it worse. I did take in anything you have said and I really am going to try.

    Thank you and God bless.

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  37. Hi my name is Megan, I’m having a hard time forgiving my ex-boyfriend i have moved on and im with Ryan Greene and i want to spend my life with him but here recently my ex has been randomly popping into my head and i forgot to do one thing when i got over him i forgot to forgive the things and the pain he caused me. I never realized how much pain he caused me ’til now. I never truly took the time to forgive and forget, Im not exactly sure where to begin, this is great advice though. I’m a little confused, I know it’s going to take a long time because I was with him for almost two years. I only stayed with him for so long because that was really the only life i knew and was kind of afraid to leave. But because I didnt leave I guess I kind of brought the pain upon myself by staying so I need to forgive myself also for letting him treat me the way he did, mentally, and physically. I’ve been praying to God to help me forgive him and forgive myself so I can have peace of mind. This is like torture. I also have to work with this person so it’s a little harder. It hit me all of s sudden. I need some more advice please anything will help. I wrote down all the ways i could think of that he hurt me, i was going to burn it but im not exactly sure what that would do but Ryan told me maybe i should write the things down so i did now i don’t know exactly what to do please help me, i just want some peace of mind. Thanks

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  38. Hi Mark,

    I am glad I found your wedsite. I have been trying to move on and forgive my ex-husband for having an affair which
    destroyed our marriage. It has been 3yrs and I feel I am
    not making much progress. Everytime I hear something about him, it brings back old memories and alot of pain.
    I hope your steps will help me through this pain full process.
    If you have any other words of advice please e-mail me!!!

    Dina.

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  39. dear mark

    good day to you, im a filipino guy who works in Dubai.
    i committed a sin to my wife, i fell in love with another woman,
    we’ve live together for five months and after that we decided to be separated, suddenly it came to the knowledge of my wife because the lady whom i’ve shared for five months told all what happened between the two of us, she also show pictures to my wife as a proof of our past.

    my wife is really angry with me to the extent that she wanted separation. Mark, i feel really guilty for what i’ve sinned but how can i ask forgiveness to my wife? i cannot think of proper words to tell her coz its all my fault. please help me mark, i’m really confused right now,

    i want to totally changed my life, please help me.

    thanks and god bless

    ryan

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  40. Mark thank you so much for posting your thoughts on forgiveness. Consumed for days with anger toward my wife over something she did. Most would not consider it a serious sin but none the less she acted without regard for my feelings and it was very, very painful.

    Your post showed me the value of forgiving her, the obligation to do so, and put into perspective why it is important for me. Believe me, the comment about feeling surrounded by darkness is very appropriate for my mental state the last few days. I hope now I will be able to move on and successfully forgive. At least I have some guidance to go by.

    JP

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  41. mark i am sitting here wondering why i am still feeling hinderd in my whole life and i thought it could be unforgivness.. my mothers husband was on drugs almost 2 year and he stole so many things from us and we are the butt of his lies and the anger has been growing into a big nasty mess over almost two years because he shows no remorse for it. but reading this the holy spirit took me into praise and rejoice and some true forgiving and i just want to thank you for being a vessel and sharing your testimony and i will spread the gospel truth in jesus name i trully do love you

    Hi Ashley. Thanks SO MUCH for sharing this with me. May God continue to bless you – Mark.

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  42. I’m having a difficult time forgiving my 23 year old daughter. I recently found out she is sleeping with her boyfriend. It was disappointing to find this out. We’re Christians and believe it is wrong to have sex before marriage. My daughter says she doesn’t care if she’s sinning- and I just need to get over it.

    How can I do this? I can’t just act like everything is the same when obviously it’s not.

    I really need help.

    Hi “Mom”. I’m not a mom, so it’s hard for me to suggest what to do. I can say this though… it’s her life and all you can do is love her, support her and pray for her. Don’t try to control her choices, because when a person controls you, you are even more likely to try and do the opposite. So kick the controlling habit. Pray and love and support. That’s my advice. God bless you! – Mark.

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  43. I was googling how to forgive someone with God and I found your site. I found it encouraging and helpful. I felt I had to write you because I needed you to know that I am going to take your advice. My situation is very hard. Someone I loved betrayed me 3 years ago and just confessed. I want to be mad at the person but its hard because they are not the same person who did the offense against me. How can I forgive someone who isnt the same person anymore. I know because I have seen a spiritual battle in this person. They have grown in christ and we have been trhough so much since then that I cant imagine the person to do what they did again but the fact that they hurt me even 3 years ago still pains me greatly! I look at the person and I want to scream but I’d be screaming at someone who is gone. I felt upset bc it took 3 years to tell me. I never got to confront that person they were and what they did to me right then and there. I never got an option to do anything. I want to forgive them so bad bc my life has been wonderful since the ‘dark days’ that I know this person is talking about. I didn’t know the extent. But God has really blessed us since then. I love this person and dont want them out of my life but now I have to let go and forgive. I’ve made the choice to keep them in my life. Now I have to just forgive them. Thanks for

    Hi Jane. Its up to you, only you know your situation. If they have repented – and that means saying sorry AND changing – then it’s wonderful of you to give them another chance. If they have not repented – remember, it means sorry AND changing their way to stop doing it – then you are not bound to remain there. You CAN protect yourself and move away. But you said: “the dark days are over” and you are feeling “wonderful” and I rejoice with you in that. I’m sorry it happened. I am glad its over. I’m glad you have been kind and strong enough to forgive and remain in the relationship. How wonderful of you. God bless you! Mark.

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  44. I’m so glad I found this blog. I’ve recently been having trouble forgiving my girlfriend for hurtful things that she has done to me over the past year that we’ve been together. But reading what you wrote about the quote from the Bible helped me a lot. I realize now that I want God as well as myself to forgive her. I love her so much and maybe she did those things intentionally, but not intentionally to hurt me and I now realize maybe the reasons she did them. Everything has been building up for a year now and I finally couldn’t take it anymore. I had to get it off my chest and it turned into a big fight. But I think we’re going to be okay. I told her I forgive her…but honestly I still haven’t completely. But now that I have read this, I know what to pray to God for and I have hope and faith that we will get through this and I will soon forgive her. Also, when I finally told her what she had done hurt me so bad, she told me a few things I had done to hurt her. I told her I didnt mean to do those things to hurt her , and I honestly didnt. I dont know if she has forgiven me, but if she has not, I will suggest to her to read this so she can forgive me. Thank you for your inspiration. God bless.

    Hi J.J. thank you for your kind words and ecnouragement. I really appreciate the time you took to do that. It’s great that you are willing to forgive the other person. May God bless you! – Mark.

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  45. HI, I WAS ONCE HURT BY MY FIANCE, WHO IS NOW MY HUSBAND. I LOVE HIM SO MUCH BUT I COULDNT EVER QUIT THINKING OF THE THINGS THAT HE HAS DONE,,, AND EVERYDAY I HAVE TRIED AND TRIED TO BE HAPPY AND JUST MOVE ON AND TO STOP THINKING OF IT,,, BUT AS A WOMAN (NEEDING TO FEEL AS THOUGH IM THE ONLY ONE) I JUST COULDNT THINKING IM BEING COMPARED TO ANOTHER! AND THATS AWFUL FOR ME. AND BEING IN THE FAMILY I WAS BLESSED WITH I NEVER KNEW HOW TO FORGIVE! AND SINCE HE HAS DONE THOSE THINGS TO HURT ME (NOT PHYSICAL BUT EMOTIONAL) I JUST HAVE BEEN DEPRESSED, UNHAPPY, AND JUST NOT ME!!! AND IM A NORMALLY HAPPY GO LUCKY PERSON EVERYONE LOVES, BUT NOT NOW OR THEN,, AND I HAVE WANTED TO FORGIVE HIM BUT I NEVER KNEW HOW, AND THANKS TO WHAT YOU WROTE I CAN FINALLY KNOW THE STEPS AND HOW TO FORGIVE! ITS NOT SOMETHING EASILY DONE, EXPECIALLY IN MY FAMILY, SO I THANK YOU FOR GIVING ME THE INFORMATION AND THE KICK TO MOVE FORWARD AND KNOW THAT IT WILL COME TO MY HEAD EVERYNOW AND AGAIN BUT I JUST DO IT ALL OVER AGAIN! I HOPE YOU HAVE A WONDERFUL, LOVE FILLED, JESUS FILLED CHRISTMAS! I LOVE YOUR WORDS AND GOD BLESS YOU FOR WRITING THEM ON A SITE THAT WAS JUST DROPED INTO MY LAP! HAPPY DAYS TO YOU!!!!
    LOVE
    LOUISE

    Hi Louise. Thank you for visiting and thank you for being so kind and encouraging. May God bless you, Mark.

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  46. Wow……feeling constantly hedged in is EXACTLY how I felt – constantly. I came to your website because I was trying to figure out how a Christian forgives because I WANT to do this. I feel so much anger in me and people would say “I wish you would just let it go” First, I had no idea I was holding on and then I didn’t know HOW to let “it” go. I too experienced intense lonliness and isolation as a child and even still as an adult. I was constantly told by my father how I wasn’t good enough for love, or smart enough to be anything. Then when my daughter’s father died I was angry again. Angry that he left me to do this job of raising a child all alone and he left no insurance behind. Angry at my daughter even though I love her (because its hard work parenting). It was hard for me to let go of that as well. I even noticed how I begrudged him eternity – that he might be spending great times in heaven while I was struggling on earth. I never even realized all these things were fermenting inside of me. Thank you for having this post – It is so hard tring to be perfect. It’s nice (not nice) but nice to know I am not alone with this.

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  47. Thanks for putting this p,this will help get me on track ,God does work through everyone of his children,you prove it.hehe

    God bless.

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  48. Hi Mark,
    Thanks for posting this. I’m going to start today the steps you’ve listed and I believe God has led me to this site to help me forgive those who have hurt me. It’s encouraging to know that you didn’t give up despite taking more than 3 years (?) to let go. God bless.

    That is SUCH fantastic news Natasha! May God bless you!! Mark.

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  49. It’s good to that you’re not telling people to get over it. Sometimes Christians need to know how to apply scripture to their everyday life. I can use this information daily.

    Hi Karla. yeah, there is NO shortcut out. He walks with us THROUGH the valley, not AROUND it. :) You and God can get through whatever it is you are going through. Be strong and let those things go with grace. He is all sufficient for you (meaning, He can supply your needs). God bless you – Mark.

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  50. Thank you for sharing these steps toward forgiveness. I teach Sunday School, the age group is 8 – 13. This quarter we are teaching Love & Forgiveness, while looking for a lesson plan for my class (Topic) Forgiveness of Others. This was not only great for me to share with my class as the lesson for the day, but it has helped me as well.

    Thank you for breaking it down, I will definitely incorporate this into my lesson plan.

    Thanks again,
    Be Blessed.

    Thanks for popping in and for your encouragement Neicy! I am blessed that you’d use this info. – Mark.

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  51. HEY MARK, IVE LOST YOUR EMAIL, hope all is well, Gadget

    Great to hear from you mate! I just emailed you. – Mark

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  52. Dear brother, Thank you for this wonderful site. I have read some of your posts and they have really blessed me. God bless you richly!

    Thanks Stan! You have no idea how much your encouragement means to me. I put myself right out there in my posts… and it is wonderful to hear that people benefit. God bless you! Mark.

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  53. Thank you for your post. I’m working on it….on the spiritual debt part.

    Thanks.

    It took me 2+ years to go from the spiritual debt bit to the next bit, then another 1 year to thanking God. So take it easy. You’ll get there when you get there. Remember, God has grace and mercy for us. – Mark.

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  54. Awesome post! These are things that I’ve had to learn in, what sounds like, a similar way to you. My family – especially my father – have caused me so much pain in my life. I have forgiven them for myself because if I hold on to it it’s only hurting me. What you wrote about your mom is very similar to me too – I used to be very upset with my mom about a lot of things but the older I get the more I realize that she was doing the best she knew how. Her parents weren’t that great of an example and she had to learn a lot of things the hard way too. Hopefully, I am doing an even better job with my kids. :) For me, another thing I’ve told myself is to forgive but that doesn’t mean I have to forget. I protect myself from hurt by remembering what hurt me in the first place and not allowing it to happen again. I hope that makes sense. :) Thanks again for such a great post! I really enjoyed reading it!!

    Thanks for sharing momlovesbeingathome, and thanks for your encouragement. God bless you – Mark.

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