Common Myths About Forgiveness

by | May 4, 2018 | Man

The first myth about forgiveness is that the person who has sinned against you has to be present to forgive them. Some people don’t believe they can forgive someone unless they are right in front of them. I know personally most of the many people I have forgiven in my life were not present when I forgave them, and yet I was able to forgive them anyway.

I have seen probably thousands of my clients forgive those who hurt them without their perpetrators being present. Some were able to forgive all types of abuses and abandonment by those who were supposed to love them, including their spouse.

Forgiveness is possible whether the person is present or not. Since forgiveness is a decision, this decision can be done without their presence. It’s just as if the president or governor decides to pardon a prisoner who sits in a jail cell.

The prisoner isn’t taken to the president or governor’s office and then pardoned—not at all. The prisoner is in their cell and may possibly be totally unaware that they are going to be pardoned. They might receive a letter demonstrating that they have been pardoned, but they were not present for the pardon itself.

I say this because of the exercises I will share with you shortly. You can forgive someone without the other person being present. This forgiveness can be just as complete in your heart whether he or she is present or not.

The second myth I would like to address is the myth that the other person must repent for you to forgive them. This is not true at all. It’s great if they repent, but it’s not necessary for them to repent in order for you to forgive them.

Forgiveness is your decision alone. When you believe the myth that they must repent to be forgiven, you give your power to forgive over to the person who offended you. Now I don’t think that someone who offended you is the greatest choice to give the power of forgiveness to.

You wouldn’t want them to decide when you get to exercise forgiveness and free you from the impact of their sin in your life. Remember Christ died for us while we were yet sinners (Rom. 5:8). He didn’t wait for humanity to ask forgiveness before He sacrificed himself for the forgiveness of our sins.

No, He exercised His right and power to forgive even though you were not present or able to ask forgiveness 2,000 years ago. So we can forgive without our spouse repenting. Hallelujah, that’s great news that we can free ourselves and offer forgiveness at will.

Remember as a Christian, you are not only allowed to, but also commanded to forgive. This is great that we can forgive without the other person having control of when and where.

The last myth I wanted to address is the myth that they must change before I forgive them. I can’t tell you how many times I have heard Christian men and women say this. Although I believe it’s absolutely great if we all change and become more Christ like, not all people will change.

Them changing is not a prerequisite for you to forgive or not forgive. Let’s get real a minute about some of this self-righteous, moral superiority that some of us have while walling ourselves off from others. That’s just wrong.

Jesus didn’t say to me, “Doug, you change; then I will forgive you.” If he did that, I would be on an endless process of trying to be good enough to be forgiven. No, what Jesus said was, “Doug, I forgive you.” He even knew I would sin again. He even knew I would sin in the same area again. He even knew some sin would take years or decades before I obtained victory.

What was He thinking to forgive a sinner like me before I changed? I think He was thinking His forgiveness would eventually penetrate my heart and that my will to sin would become less and less as He became more and more in me. I think this is a much better approach to forgiveness than waiting for someone else to change.

All that I need is a gentle reminder by the Holy Spirit about how much sin Christ has forgiven me of to be more forgiving towards others. You see, forgiveness can flow from us by our choice, whether they are present or not. What a great force forgiveness can be in your lives. {eoa}

Doug Weiss, Ph.D., is a nationally known author, speaker and licensed psychologist. He is the executive director of Heart to Heart Counseling Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and the author of several books including, The 7 Love Agreements. You may contact Dr. Weiss via his website, drdougweiss.com or on his Facebook, by phone at 719-278-3708 or through email at heart2heart@xc.org.

CHARISMA NEWSLETTERS

Stay up-to-date with current issues, Christian teachings, entertainment news, videos & more.

The latest breaking Christian news you need to know about as soon as it happens.

Prophetic messages from respected leaders & news of how God is moving throughout the world. 


MORE FROM CHARISMA

Shining the Light of Jesus in Hollywood’s Darkness

Shining the Light of Jesus in Hollywood’s Darkness

Read Time: 3 Minutes 37 Seconds Most made-for-TV Christmas movies are like eggnog and sugar cookies—way too sweet, yet extremely addictive for a lot of viewers. But these Hallmark-style movies—the ones with predictable love stories that always end with jingling bells...

Prophecy: Goodness Is Following You, Turn and See

Prophecy: Goodness Is Following You, Turn and See

Read Time: 1 Minute 51 Seconds At a recent gathering where a member was struggling, I heard and declared by the Spirit of the Lord, “Goodness is following you, TURN and see; embrace His goodness in this moment and watch the shift!” There was an immediate shift and...

Man Who Spent 23 Minutes in Hell: You Came From God

Man Who Spent 23 Minutes in Hell: You Came From God

Read Time: 2 Minutes 25 Seconds If you search the phrase, “where does life come from?” the first explanation reads: “The origin of life is a result of a supernatural event—and readily arises from nonliving matter in short periods of time, today as in the past.” The...

Raise Your Praise!

Raise Your Praise!

These are the days that may leave you feeling defeated. You may be wondering when these present trials will end or how can you strengthen your faith for the battle as you wrestle against powers and principalities that come against you, in addition to the challenges...

7 Elements Needed for Revival That Will Usher in Reformation

7 Elements Needed for Revival That Will Usher in Reformation

Read Time: 1 Minute 9 Seconds What will turn the nations around? What will restore the world to sanity? There have been revivals from Old Testament times up through the year 2000. Today we need both a revival and a reformation. Here are 7 elements needed to usher in...

RECENT ARTICLES

Messianic Rabbi: The Blessing of Esau Brings Freedom

Read Time: 4 Minutes 55 Seconds Growing up in synagogue, I was taught about the heroes of the Bible: Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, Joshua, David, Solomon and Samson. When I became a believer in...
Mario Murillo: An Era of Mass Soul Winning Has Begun

Mario Murillo: An Era of Mass Soul Winning Has Begun

Read Time: 4 Minutes, 27 Seconds From the very first tent stake we drove into California soil, until now, there has only been one dream. And, after two years, that dream came true in Roseville. Roseville is the victory we have yearned for. It confirms that an era of...

God’s Strategy for His End-Times Church

God’s Strategy for His End-Times Church

Read Time: 2 Minutes 23 Seconds In this webinar, Grant Berry discussed the strategy the Lord is releasing for His end-time plans to reform His Ekklesia/church. God is revealing different focuses of this strategy to various parts of the body, especially as it relates...

How You Can Flow in the River of Living Water

How You Can Flow in the River of Living Water

Read Time: 5 Minutes, 2 Seconds A river is a source of life. As it is in the natural, so it is in the spiritual. Jesus told His disciples that if we believe in Him, "rivers of living water" will flow out from within us, from our hearts. "Anyone who believes in me may...

Cindy Jacobs Prophesies: Trust That He is There

Cindy Jacobs Prophesies: Trust That He is There

Read Time: 2 Minutes 42 Seconds It’s very interesting how the Holy Spirit will use things that you’re going through to not only prophesy to you, but also to prophesy over the body of Christ. In listening to other people and hearing what’s been coming out of their...

Have We Departed From the  Simplicity of Christ?

Have We Departed From the Simplicity of Christ?

Recently I heard a pastor say the following: "When I was pastoring and saw little fruit, I began to call those with potential to reach others for Christ to our home and to mentor them one on one. That's where massive growth happened in the people." Local pastors and...

Pin It on Pinterest