Learning to Forgive is important.
We all need to learn how to forgive, and we all need to be available to help and encourage others in this area.
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This page contains a transcript of Beth McLendon teaching on
If you prefer to listen to the radio show, click on the player below.
We also have more information and specific tips on "How to Forgive," available on this site. In addition, we now have some extra information not given on this page which is called extra show notes.
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Welcome to our radio show!
The topic today is unforgiveness. I believe that most Christians struggle with unforgiveness. But even if you do not struggle with it, I hope you will listen to this show so that you can gain insights that will help you help others.
I am going to begin with a song that beautifully expresses the subject of forgiveness.
What a powerful song. The name of the song is “A Heart that Forgives” by Kevin LaVar.
I am going to continue the show by reading Matthew 6:9-14. Jesus is speaking.
Jesus says, “In this manner, therefore, pray: Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done..... on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation. But deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever Amen."
Then Jesus goes on to say in verse fourteen, “For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your heavenly Father forgive your trespasses."
That was Jesus speaking.
Jesus said that if we do not forgive,
our heavenly Father will not forgive us.
What if Jesus was really serious about that? What if he really means that?
What if God forgives us only when we forgive others?
I encourage you to seriously ponder the words of Jesus and make learning to forgive - a priority.
When it comes to forgiveness, I cannot express strongly enough that all of us have good reasons not to forgive. You don't have to live very long to find yourself in situations where you have been treated unfairly and even treated in a cruel way.
The truth of the matter is that we have all been treated in mean, cruel ways - and in the future we will all have to face unfair treatment. In addition, we may have to watch someone we love be treated in a cruel way, yet God still commands us to forgive.
No matter how good our reasons are to withhold forgiveness, we are told in the Bible to forgive anyway. So we need to make learning to forgive a priority.
There are Two Main Parts to Forgiveness.
Many people cannot truly forgive a huge wrong in just a couple of minutes by saying a few words. When there has been continual abuse and or a huge wrong involved, forgiveness frequently is only achieved by a journey that takes more than a day and more than an initial decision.
I speak more the journey to forgiveness on my website. On the website, I will give more insights into learning to forgive and the forgiveness process. I will also provide a transcript of this show.
Today I am going to present and refute a couple of myths about the topic of forgiveness.
Learning to Forgive
If I forgive, it means that what was done to me was ok.
(Therefore, this myth means that
what happened to you wasn't all that bad.)
That idea is totally false.
The answer to that is absolutely not! You never have to mentally lower your value as a person in order to forgive.
One of the first steps to forgiveness is addressing the truth of the situation. The truth is that when someone treats you in an unkind way, it is never o.k.
You are a person of great value.
God wants us to treat each other as valuable people.
It may help you to look at Jesus. He was treated horribly. Yet I have never heard ANYONE even attempt to lower his value because of the abuse he endured.
It is sad to say, but in general, the more abuse a person endures, the stronger the emotional attack they experience against their self-worth.
I want to encourage you to accept the truth that you are a valuable person, and no one has the right to abuse you.
Nevertheless, we have to forgive.
Many of you are struggling with emotional pain from abusive situations in your past, and you have the belief that if you forgive, it means you have to admit that your pain was not important. That is not true. The truth is that you can admit your pain was great and that your pain was important and still forgive.
You can forgive while still acknowledging that what was done was wrong and sinful.
Jesus modeled forgiveness even while acknowledging that sin is evil and wrong.
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Learning to Forgive
If you forgive, you must reconcile with the person.
That is not true. Forgiveness is one issue and reconciliation is another. Forgiveness takes one person but sometimes true reconciliation takes two people.
God tells us that we must forgive. He does not say that we have to always reconcile. With reconciliation - each case is different.
Wisdom says to fully forgive and then allow your renewed mind to re-evaluate the situation. If you need help with learning to forgive or with reconciliation questions, I help people with life-coaching in this area.
I will end myth number two with this thought: In some cases – for example some abusive situations - before reconciling, it is sometimes wise to establish that the abusive person has truly repented AND in some cases it is not enough for the person to have just repented but there also needs to have begun the process of renewing his or her mind.
Learning to Forgive
You can have unforgiveness toward one person, and it will not affect your other relationships in any way.
That is false.
The truth is that when you don't forgive someone, your unforgiveness is not totally contained and focused against the offending person. Your anger and resentment toward that person leaks out into your relationship with God, and it almost always leaks out into all your relationships. It may be in very small and subtle ways but it does seep out and it negatively affects other relationships.
When we put on glasses of anger and unforgiveness, it influences everything in our life. We don't want it to affect our good relationships with people we enjoy but it does in small or large ways.
I will comment more about myth number three on my website show notes.
Learning to Forgive
When we forgive, it doesn't necessarily change our negative feelings toward the other person. This fourth myth says that you can forgive and still feel the same toward that person.
The truth is that when you truly forgive,
love begins to grow inside of you toward that person.
Agape love will overwhelm the negative feelings associated with unforgiveness. It may take lots of time, but your feelings toward that person will soften. I am not saying that you will feel just as positive toward the person as you do your favorite people in the world. I am saying that the forgiveness process moves your mind and heart toward wanting the best for that person.
I remind you that God tells us to pray for those who hurt us. If you think you have forgiven someone and you have finished the process of forgiving yet you cannot pray for God to bless that person – then you have not finished the process.
When you have totally forgiven, you want God to bless that person. You want that person to get right with God and be right with others in their life. You want that person to go to heaven. You want to one day – even if it is in heaven – you want to one day have a good relationship with that person.
I am going to put a transcript of this show entitled "Learning to Forgive" on my website and additional “how to forgive” tips. I encourage you to go to my website.
I will end by replaying "A Heart that Forgives."
Learning to forgive is not easy for most people. It is helpful if you read articles and books on this subject. Immerse yourself in the idea that forgiveness is important. Remind yourself that you might not be able to forgive but God can do the impossible through you if you let him. God wouldn't tell you to do it, if there wasn't a path to learning to forgive.
This page began with a transcript from my radio show on the topic of forgiveness. This teaching is entitled - Learning to Forgive.
We have additional show notes available (those notes help you renew your mind to the importance of forgiveness) and we have a "How to Forgive" page that is available now..
That page has helpful tips and strategies for forgiving.
We also have a Bible devotion about forgiving:
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