ACTS International
Home Page of ACTS International
Home Page of ACTS InternationalHow to Find and Know God without having to be religiousLife Help Articles dealing with faith, family, and practical helps for purposeful livingDaily and Weekend Encounters with more than a third-of-a-million worldwide subscribersSupport the Work of ACTS International a not-for-profit organization. Donations are tax deductible for U.S. donorsCurrent report on the ministries and services of ACTS InternationalOnline Store of ACTS ... ACTS CommunicationsAbout ACTS International
ACTS International Home Page Click here for the current issue of  Daily Encounter
         
     
   
Tell a Friend Site Map Share and/or Bookmark
   
         
   
Articles > About God: > Forgiveness: The Power That Heals

Forgiveness: The Power That Heals

Page 2

Furthermore, an unforgiving attitude is destructive to personal relationships. It goes without saying that many close relationships, especially marriage relationships, are destroyed not so much by what has been done but by what hasn't been done—forgiving one another.

Wherever I fail to forgive another, a wall of resentment builds up between us and eventually we become estranged. But once I forgive, feelings of love can be restored if that is appropriate. I say "if that is appropriate" because there are times, such as in cases of abuse or a lack of repentance, when forgiveness should not lead to restoration of the relationship.

However, forgiveness needs to be genuine and not just a religious or sentimental act because it is "the right thing to do." If our forgiveness isn't genuine, resentment will poke its ugly head out at the most unexpected times—like when a couple get into an argument, they start dragging up events from the past that they still feel resentful about. Obviously those things haven't been forgiven. Forgiveness may not forget the past but it can bury it.

Forgiveness can be very difficult if we have been hurt deeply but how do we forgive someone when he doesn't even feel he has wronged us?

According to one author, Susan Jacoby, we can't. She feels that "real forgiveness cannot take place without an acknowledgment of wrongdoing on the part of the person who is chiefly responsible for causing pain."3

If this is so, some of us are going to carry grudges for a long, long time. True, when a person acknowledges his wrongdoing, that certainly makes forgiveness easier. But when he doesn't, which is often the case, forgiveness becomes a choice. We can choose to forgive or not to forgive.

How do we forgive someone when he
doesn't even feel he has wronged us?

We need to realize, however, that forgiveness is essential perhaps not so much for the wrong that has happened to us, but because of our resentment towards the one who has wronged us. Lack of forgiveness is caused by this resentment—a mixture of hurt and anger. Therefore, to forgive genuinely, one needs to face and deal with his hurt and anger.

To resolve our hurt and anger, we need to be totally honest and admit exactly how we feel. Then we need to get these feelings off our chest-not by lashing out and hurting the other person, but by "speaking the truth in love,"4 or by writing out our feelings until they are completely dissipated.

To forgive another, however, is not to ignore justice. Pope John Paul forgave his would-be-assassin, but the man stayed in prison, and rightly so. And where we want others to forgive us, if we are genuine, we will want to do all in our power to make a just restitution.

When God forgives us, he does so on the basis of both his justice and his love. His justice required a just sentence and confirmed death as the penalty or price of man's sin. But his love paid that price when he gave his Son, Jesus Christ to die on the cross in our place as the just retribution for our sins and wrongs. Therefore, God can freely forgive us and not in any way violate his divine justice.

The important thing is that we respond to God's love and forgiveness by acknowledging our sin and wrongdoing and accepting his free pardon. And then, in appreciation to God for his forgiveness of us, let us freely forgive other as we ourselves have been so freely forgiven.5

Forgiveness frees and heals the forgiver. Have you been freed?

For further help be sure to read, "How to Be Sure You're a Real Christian" at: http://tinyurl.com/real-christian, or click on the "Find Peace With God" or the "Know God" link below.

1. Time, Jan. 9, 1984.      2. Matthew 6:14-15, (NIV).      3. McCall's, 1983.     
4. Ephesians 4:15.      5. Colossians 3:12-13.

Back to Page One


All articles on this website are written by
Richard (Dick) Innes unless otherwise stated.



   
    Back to Return to previous page Previous Page    
         
       
   
Site Map   Top
   
     
         
Find Peace With God footer
 
  ARTICLES
About God
About Faith
Relationships
Success/Failure
Solutions
Recovery
Ask the Teacher
Better Living Tips
Friendship
Words of Love
Words of Inspiration
People Power for Jesus
Simple and Effective Witnessing for Christ

SITE TRANSLATIONS
Spanish Espanol
French Francois

  DEVOTIONS
Devotionals
Daily Encounter
Weekend Encounter
Encuentros Diarios
Archives
Subscribe
When God Is Silent
Prayer Partners
  Needed

Special Needs

BIBLE HELPS
Helps and Studies
Today's Reading
Annual Reading

  QUOTES AND TESTS
Today's Quotes
Happiness Test
Stress Test

ACTS IN ACTION

ACTS Websites
ACTS in Action Report

COMMUNICATIONS

Syndicate ACTS Articles
"I Hate Witnessing"
   Audio—No Charge

Opening Closed Minds
Effective Communications
Jesus, the Communicator
Punching Holes in
   the Darkness

  REPORTS
About ACTS
Be an ACTS Friend

MISC.
People Power Invite
Links
Weather
Privacy Policy
Snail-Mail List
Contact Us/Feedback

ACTS BOOKSTORE
Online Bookstore


Site Map
Report problems to ACTS International
All pages in this site © Copyright 2005-2017 by ACTS International
P.O. Box 73545, San Clemente, CA 92673 U.S.A.
 
HOME   Daily Encounter  Find Peace With God