Watch Out for These Common Myths About Forgiveness

by | May 22, 2019 | 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 that 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 like if the president or governor decides to pardon a prisoner who sits in a jail cell, regardless of their crimes.

The prison 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 to receive the pardon.

I say this because of the exercises I will share with you shortly. Your spouse can forgive you without 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 they 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 your spouse or anyone else for that matter 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: 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 want 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 Christlike, not all spouses will change. Even if you are the greatest, most loving spouse God ever created, that doesn’t mean they will choose to change.

Your spouse 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 some of us have while walling ourselves off from our spouse or 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 be years or decades before I obtain victory over them.

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 my spouse to change.

All I need is a gentle reminder by the Holy Spirit about how much sin Christ has forgiven me of to be more forgiving of my precious but slightly flawed Lisa. 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 and your marriage. {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

How You Can Have a Perfect Heart

How You Can Have a Perfect Heart

Your heart is the most important part of you. It’s not only a physical organ that keeps your blood pumping, but when the Bible refers to the heart, it’s talking about who you really are. Each person has an inner and an outer life. There’s the person we show to...

How the FBI Raid on Mar-a-Lago Is Spiritual Warfare

How the FBI Raid on Mar-a-Lago Is Spiritual Warfare

It's been a few days since the FBI raided President Donald Trump's home in Mar-a-Lago, and the Biden Administration has yet to explain to the American people why they did what's never been done in American history—the government raiding the home of a former president....

How the Holy Spirit Can Restore Your True Sanity

How the Holy Spirit Can Restore Your True Sanity

Most of my life I tried to avoid one thing—being crazy or insane. When I was growing up my mother had emotional issues and saw a psychiatrist regularly. She was on medication which only seemed to make her mood swings worse. She had high highs, and low lows. When I...

Israel Prophecy: The Enemy is Stirring an Unimaginable Conflict

Israel Prophecy: The Enemy is Stirring an Unimaginable Conflict

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KJFFqAgykmU A cease-fire between Israel and Palestinian militants took effect late Sunday in a bid to end nearly three days of violence that killed dozens of Palestinians and disrupted the lives of hundreds of thousands of Israelis,...

Why Partial Obedience to God is Disobedience

Why Partial Obedience to God is Disobedience

My husband had a saying for our children growing up. “Partial obedience is disobedience.” He wanted them to understand that doing half the plan would not get them the full reward. Another reminder we used to tell our kids was, “Don’t think about it, don’t hesitate,...

Kingdom Economics: Why is America Declining Spiritually So Quickly?

Kingdom Economics: Why is America Declining Spiritually So Quickly?

The Bureau of Labor Statistics released a surprisingly strong July Employment Report.  Total nonfarm employment was 528K (398K previously, 250K expected).  Private nonfarm employment was 471K (404K previously, 230K expected). The headline unemployment rate dropped to...

RECENT ARTICLES

Prophetic Vision: The Lord Says, ‘I’m Releasing My People From Bondage’

I hear the Lord saying, “I’m releasing my people from bondage!” As I waited on the Lord, I felt a deep overwhelming love fill my heart for people. I was taken into a vision and saw chains and very...
Can You Discern Spiritual Wind?

Can You Discern Spiritual Wind?

The wind is a funny thing. We do not know where it comes from nor where it goes. We cannot see it, but we can see and feel its effects. Wind can be gentle and refreshing, cold or hot, strong, and dangerous, and everything in between. When the wind blows, we must...

Messianic Rabbi: He That Has an Eye, Let Him Hear

Messianic Rabbi: He That Has an Eye, Let Him Hear

It is interesting that, as a Messianic rabbi the question I am asked most often by Christians is if I believe that they as Christians have to celebrate, or observe, the biblical Holy Days. They are usually asking about those days listed in Leviticus 23: Shabbat, Yom...

How the Holy Spirit Is Preparing America

How the Holy Spirit Is Preparing America

As the crackdown against Christianity in America grows, it is a cycle believers have seen before. While no one celebrates their religious freedom coming under attack, God has used this persecution to great effect throughout history. Over the centuries, there have been...

Dealing Effectively with the Dynamics of Change

Dealing Effectively with the Dynamics of Change

Change can be challenging. Some people look forward to change and embrace it. Some people dread change and try to avoid it. Since change is inevitable, so here are some of the dynamics surrounding change and the specific strategies to deal with change more...

God’s Holy Interruption Is Coming Soon

God’s Holy Interruption Is Coming Soon

This past weekend I preached at The Roads Church, a charismatic congregation located in the tiny town of Norris City, Illinois. Located amid cornfields, the population is only 1,325, but almost that many people visit the church on weekends. They come from all over...

Pin It on Pinterest

[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]