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October 24, 2007


Angie Bulic

I felt so hurt by my father that i did not speak to him for 3 years. My father is a talented salesman who is very passionate about his work, and i got to a point where i believed that he loved his job more than he loved me. I held a lot of resentment and bitterness towards him, till God really got on my case about all this forgiveness stuff. I suddenly realised that my Dad probably didn't even know i felt this way, (that i recieve love best through ppl spending time with me) and even if he did, it doesn't change the fact that i needed to do everything i could to reconcile the relationship - despite the consequences. It had been 3 years and driving to his new house was one of the scariest experiences i'd ever undertaken. I had no idea how he would react, but i realised that the most important thing was to make the effort and actually ask for forgiveness from him. I knew he didn't know what he'd done wrong but i'd finally chosen to forgive him, before i knocked on his door. In a some-what prodigal son fashion, my Dad greeted me with a huge bear hug and we cried like babies. It's been 10 months and i haven't yet discussed particulars with him, but we catch up from time to time. The most significant consequences from this would be being able to see him at family functions and not have any hostility towards him, and being able to freely worship God, knowing that to the best of my knowledge, i am not holding any unforgiveness towards people :)


I once knew a person that could never measure up.
No matter how hard she tried she would fail.
She said things, behaved in ways that were unacceptable
People looked at her and thought she was 'good' but I knew she didnt even know the meaning of the word.
She tried, really she did. Some days she would fall asleep confident that finally she had lived in a way that was right, that others, that God, that I would accept her.

But most nights she would fall asleep with regret, asking over and over Why?
'Why did I do this?'
'Why didn't I say that?'
'How could I have failed God so badly?'
Some nights as past sins played over in her head she wept for shame, for anger, out of frustration.

And yet I am learning to forgive, love and accept her despite her failings. You see, that girl is me. Trying to live the perfect Christian life and failing miserably. Avoiding God for weeks on end out of a sense of failure.
Grace is not about me working my way to God, its me learning to accept God's love despite my flaws, and me entering His presense despite my sins.
Jesus has forgiven this girl, I'm learning to forgive her too.

gordon millerick

My fathers taught through teenage years of standing firm and proud. Take control of life and be a MAN. It took years to erode the erroneous sections of these teachings, and a stack of hurt feelings along the way. I grew up strong and solid in opinion and action, even arrogant to abilities over others and jealousies of weaknesses compared to others. I held resentments long and memories even longer. Living with Christian ethics, but without a balanced christian knowledge.
As a balanced Christian knowledge developed, forgiveness replaced resentment, the long memory remained, but the subject matter found the goodness in the experience, forgetting and forgiving mistreatments, lies and deceptions, egotisms, neptatisms, and selfishisms. Struggles occassional still occur, but my Lord understands and allows me to be me. Though I am still my brothers keeper, I am no longer my brothers judge.

Anthony Alcock

Forgiveness is often a journey of healing and restoration which can take many years to come to that place. Having spent my first two years as a Christian in a church were there was systematic spiritual abuse of the congregation by a wayward 'pastor'. It took a further five years of being left on a trumatised rollarcoaster (and many others) to come to that place of healing, restoration and forgivenes. This was by far the best podcast lecture so far with a deep spiritual depth of understanding demonstrated by Prof Neil Ormerod

Stephen Wall

First of all, I want to say thank you to Neil for this last Podcast. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

I guess for me, one of the hardest things I had to do in regard to this topic was having to forgive my pastors for mental abuse.

I was new to a church in Wales and in fact, I was new to Wales. - It was a strange place with people who spoke weird and made jokes about sheep. Right Boyo. I was captivated by the meetings. It seemed like God’s presence was there in power. People cried, sang out loud to songs like “refiner’s fire”, “holiness is all I long for” etc etc. The pastors were friendly, and the people seemed pretty ok, you know, no tambourines, thongs with white socks, and rainbow colour straps on their guitars. Nothing wrong with the songs they sang, I may add, but the problem lay in the tears of pain rather than joy, because of the long term abuse that had been going on by these pastors. For a number of years this abuse had been happening and I came in on the height of it. The youth leader, a young authoritarian and charismatic personality, was into heavy shepherding and here I came, the young upstart from a Pentecostal church in England.

I answered to the question, “how are you?”, “I am good thanks”, cause I truly was but the answer was supposed to be something like, “It’s tough, but God is working in me and what he is doing is making me holy”... this went on for two years. They were better than other churches, holier than other Christians because they were separate from the world. Well years of Pentecostalism, does not just change over night, and I kept my positive spin, whilst trying to find a leader I could talk too. I confided in one of the leaders I worked with and said that I felt there was something wrong but could not work out why or what it was I was feeling. He went to the leadership and told them. That was when my life became interesting... :)

I was eventually called into the office and told that I was acting contrary to the life of a true Christian. I was opposing leadership, I was a poser (ok easy y’all - well maybe I WAS, but healthily, I feel – I mean how can you love others if you cant love yourself, isn’t that right Shane =), I was arrogant, and full of dreams that were pure fantasy – probably some truth but what’s life if you can’t dream as a young man) Then they told me how much my life was hurting the life of the church and that I should leave or get in line.“ I was a lot younger and still impressionable, I mean these guys were pastors, they had their degrees, and were in touch with God on an ever open phone connection... so who was I to argue with them. Maybe I was wrong for once :). They kept doing these meetings, sometimes going into the early hours of the morning. Then one day, the youth pastor called me into the front room after a prayer meeting and told me that if God did have a call or plan for me, then it would come through him as the leader, and until it came, I was to stop seeking for God’s direction, and start to pray that he would break me. All these things, and more were done to try break me. After about two years of this, I did break, and it was not pretty... But GOD, yeah baby - God was watching and he sent a “Moses” into my life to help me out of that land, and put me in a wide space again. However that wide space was terrifying at first. I had lost my confidence, and hated authority that was authoritarian – in fact I still do dislike it intensely, and will steer clear of it or challenge it head on.

Mine was a journey to forgiveness, not an overnight success story, and one I found hard at first. My brokenness, (not of God - I must say but of humanity) did a lot for keeping me in that depressed state of mind. I wanted to be free, but could not get passed my failed confidence. I was so lacking in it that I would not be able to speak to anyone without stuttering. Another example was that even though I had never happened before this time, I could not remember something as simple as my pin code for my bank account because I'd panic and then forget, especially in front of people.

However, one day at a time I was able to get through the pain, till two years later I went back to the area where the church was, which had shut down after all this abuse came to light, and found both the pastors. I confronted them personally and also forgave them for what they had done.

Whether it did anything for them I am not sure, but for me, it meant my heart began to mend and my confidence began to return. For me, keeping a soft heart leads to a merry heart, which is way more freeing than a bitter one; people are attracted to it, God encourages it and I embraced it – one day at a time. Over a lengthy period, I gained the confidence to trust again and to rebuild my life.

I can look back at my life and though it was tough, I would never change what happened for the world. I learned valuable lessons about myself; who I was, over who I thought I was, what the fear of humanity can do to you, and the what “not to does” of leadership, but mostly that even in life’s toughest moments where it seems like the light is out, somehow light manages to shine and what a place to be in when it does... All of those things that intend to destroy us become shadows.

Neil Castro

For me, there’s probably a long list of experiences regarding forgiveness in my life. But probably one of the longest processes that I had to deal when it came to forgiveness was to do with my parents. My birth mother worked in another country as nurse and for the first five years of my life, never really got to be with her as much as any child should. She eventually had an affair with another man and bore another child from it. This resulted in a long process of painful separation between my parents, leading to my dad winning custody over me in court and bringing me to Australia, but the suffering did not come to an end just yet. A couple of years later, although my father remarried, the next several years of my life growing up would reveal the effects of the previous ordeal through a distorted and broken relationship between father and son. I received years of physical and verbal abuse, all the while being told that I had deserved it because of things I had done wrong. Even though it did not make sense, I received it all, but with an intense and growing fear for him. Fast forward to when I was 13. A trip back to my home country meant seeing my birth mother again after 7 or 8 years. It was then that I overheard a conversation between my parents, where she confronted my father about the years of abuse. His response was that everytime he looked at me he saw my mother’s face and was reminded of her unfaithfulness. My father quietened down from his physical and verbal abuse but it was too late. The fear inside me raised its ugly head only to be something else: hate for my father, and anger towards my mother. I blamed them for all the hurt I had received for years.

Even after coming to receive Christ in my life, did forgiveness come easy because God was in my life? Not at all. The next chapter involved a long and painful journey towards forgiveness and reconciliation, but not only to my parents, but to myself because of the person I had let myself become – a good actor who lived the double life of a Christian and a very bitter and ugly product of abuse. God unconditionally loved on me and abundantly poured his grace over me, but I needed to receive it and allow it to heal and transform me. After many years, as an adult, I had finally learnt to truly forgive, despite the many times I tried, and failed. But it was an even more painful process, emotionally and spiritually. It is true to an extent that eventually you have to forgive. I came to learn that it was not for them but for myself. As Neil Ormerod said in the podcast, it is about letting go and moving on from the imprisonment that I had allowed myself to be in. I believe that forgiveness is not an event, but a lifestyle of continual surrender to God’s love and grace. I haven’t seen my birth mother since that time but I do keep in touch with her over the phone from time to time. My sister, who was the product of the affair, is someone I keep in touch with over the internet and phone also. We have a good, long distance relationship. Meanwhile I truly love my family here, including my father, and our relationship is slowly but surely becoming better each time.

Jacqui Bouchier

I have to be honest. Im terrible at forgiving others. Its my worst trait and I am constantly learning and allowing God to teach me to some times lower my pride and say those 3 powerful words, "I forgive you."
My mum says that its from my fathers side..of course...that i seem to hold past hurt and after all they were in the wrong not me. I have no exact story to recall on but rather watching the last couple of movies (Dogville and Dead Man Walking) I can start to see that not forgiving people can lead to worst pain that coming to the action of humbling myself. Its a growing and learning process where I am learning to forgive and hence become more and more like Christ.

cynthia asante


Forgiveness doesn't cross your path until someone has hurt you and maybe you are willing to grant that person forgiveness. You don't necessary encounter forgiveness untill someone has disappointed you. Thus you get too introduced by forgiveness for nemerous of reasons. For example, you are ready to forgive, you don't want to feel captured in your anger towards someone, you want to get rid of your bitterness and emotional pain, or the fact that your saviour has forgiven you and you want to forgive as well. Hence the list is long... ... ...

Often you hear that it is good to forgive and even our greatest hero Jesus also teaches us to forgive. And then the question follows, what is forgiveness and how do you do that?
Granting forgiveness to someone who has hurt you is not easy because of the pain. However forgiveness is the first step to release yourself and the other person for the incident that occurred in the past. Forgiveness, the first step towards your personal inward healing that will help you to move forward and enjoy life better. Therefore no matter how hard forgiveness could be, it is a good act that will be rewarded by the one who showed us firts. Forgiveness is an act of love that is given by the grace and mercy of God for humanity to use. This tool 'forgiveness' is to show and to give one and other love which is the desires of God, UNITY (John 17:20-24).

"I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one -i in them and you in me -so that they may be brought to complete unity (John 17:22-23a)".

Wigand Sugandi

Great podcast...thx for Neil.. It's one of the most important thing in the Christianity's life is to forgive. It is the thing that can be easy to say but hard to do... For me and my experience, to forgive is a decision, is not only decision, but it also need commitment because forgive someone else that may hurt us deeply is a hard thing... We just need to decide that we want to forgive, then ask Holy Spirit t give us stregth... It happens in my experience..When I ave to forgive someone that has been hurt me deeply.. Start from the decision, then do it.. It is hard in the beginning but bring freedom after doing it...

Unforgiveness can bring bitternes and destroy our life and ministry... As Neil said, just let it go.. I agree.. never give chance to the bitternes get into our life...

forgive..forgive..and forgive

Prisca Post

As Neil mentioned in the podcast we should not neglect how hard it is to forgive certain things done by a perpetrator. The hurt and pain that's resulted in some events needs time to be dealt with.
Personally my ability to forgive is eased by the way I lived my own life. Before I became a Christian I messed up so many things that affected the lives of many people. When I forgive others this is something that I keep remembering; If God can forgive me for all I have done who am I to not forgive others.
In the end many bad things have happens to me as well that influenced the way I lived my life, but me not forgiven the people responsible for this will prevent me from living a free life in the promisses that God has for me. I don't want to be hold back from my purpose because of bitterness, hurt, or anything else. So yes please forgive, take time to heal and surround yourself with the right people to fasten this process and in the end forgive and trust that God can turn it around for good :)

Matthew Lowe

There have been two things that have helped me with forgiveness this year. The first was when I was encouraged to say sorry, even though I felt I had been the one wronged. It was liberating. I felt a weight lift off my shoulders. I guess initiating an apology broke down something in me, and God honoured me for that by restoring me. The second was reading 'The Bait of Satan,' which speaks about not allowing yourself to live 'offended.' It really spoke to me about clearing my life of offense and not allowing people to offend me. Great book!

Taijiro (TJ) Adachi

Before I got married with my wife, I had several relationship with other girls including sexual relationship. On the other hand, I was the first boyfriend for her. I felt guilty and she was struggling to deal my past. But we decided to discuss this issue openly and she could forgive me and I could forgive myself before we got married. It was hard and painful experience but now we are having a great marriage with one daughter just because of the experience of forgiveness.

Taijiro Adachi

anna konevitchenko

When i read this question, a slight panic came over me - pretty heavy question at that perhaps i cannot truly fully answer.

Well...i think the person that ive had to forgive most in my life is my mother. As much as i love her beyond all words and measure - shes been such a great source of pain, hurt and frustration. I dont really want to go into the details - seeing as this is a pretty almost overwhelming exercise for me, but learning to forgive is a journey that im still walking out i think...and thats just the honest truth.
There are many aspects that i have let go and forgive - and i can say this much, what enabled me to do so was, the love i do have for her and how much i just want to honor her. So love i guess is truly something remarkable that enables human begins to reach such deep emotional breakthroughs and establish such great emotional connections, its amazing that love is the very factor that is responsible for so much -- ...despite people involved.
Though im not quite sure how this would outwork in other just speaking from my own experience
other aspects of our relationship are yet to be mended...but i guess thats all a part of learning to forgive, and what that truly entails...its an ongoing gradual process motivated by my love and respect for her.

Brittany Tovado

Alright, posting a personal story seems strange on a forum like this. But here goes...

My story of forgiveness is for a series of people connected to a specific circumstance in my life three years ago. I was 19 and had recently moved to Australia to study. It was my second year in the country and I moved in with three girls attending the same college as myself. Within the first two months I became extremely sick for about 4 months and had to pull back my involvement in extracurricular activities (ministry, etc.). I was asked to leave the house for a lack of "the vision," leaving me without a place to stay for the last five weeks of my semester. I know that it was very difficult to interact with those involved in that decision for about a year, due to their place of influence in my community. Forgiving has been a journey and a long time in its totality. I suppose it was more a case of continuing to live, really. In making new friends and reestablishing a home, I was able to distance myself from the betrayal. So forgiving was actually possible for me due to the love I was shown in my new environment (mostly by my lovely boyfriend). Without the love and security of friends and family, however, I imagine it would not have gone as well.

Pete Hordern

After my drama trial night we went to a friends place for dinner.
One of the girls had invited some guy friends that she knew. They were the 'forry boys', white gangsta's, known well around my neighbourhood for enjoyin partying and causing trouble.
Anyway, they came along, were nice guys. That changed all of a sudden when I mentioned I knew a guy from school who they didn't like. The reason they didnt like him was because my friend had been messing around with this guys girlfriend. So they got a lil.. annoyed at me, just because I knew this guy from school. They left the house without anything happening.
As I was walking out of the house to my car, both guys came from the bushes and hit me. Putting up my guard I walked back towards the house with them hitting and kicking me, where upon the girl who knew them came out screaming and crying about what they were doin.
2 minutes after it I was crackin up with laughter because I thought it was pretty darn funny. I made sure none of my hot headed friends would try and get revenge, and I had no trouble brushing the issue aside and forgiving them.
What took me a little longer was the fact that two of my good mates were inside at the time, and knowing something was happening, they didn't come to help. Thats what hurt me the most. But I love my mates, even if they didn't come to help me. I have struggled a few times with not knowing if I'd forgiven them, even now I have the question 'why didn't they come?'. But in the end, I have forgiven them and hold nothing against them, I do hope I am able to be the sort of friend I needed at that time though.

lance davis

Great Pod cast from Shane Clifton and Neil Ormerod--what a Cracker of a combo.

I guess i have two thoughts here. The first is in response to what someone wrote about "Saying 'sorry' even when I felt I was the one who was wronged" it was "iberating." I think this statement reveals a right outcome but is fundamentally flawed due to a slight slant on the true definition of forgiveness.

There is NOTHING "relational" in the act of forgiving (as there is in reconciliation since reconciliation is the "restoration of violated trust in a relationship).To Quote Everett L. Worthington his book, "Dimensions of Forgiveness": "Forgiveness happens inside an individual; reconciliation happens within a relationship.Forgiveness exists as a gift that is granted to someone who has harmed one (although that does not mean that the gift will be received)."

So it's not about saying sorry before the perpetrator has s chance to. (that makes no sense) It's about an inner motivation to detach the pain from whowever the perpetrator is. As Joyce Meyer says, "You can't let somebody else determine your joy." If we held on to the connections of which wrong goes with which perpetrator it would effectively preserve the original pain from each of those persons and we would grow bitter.

Also imagine how the above concept is confounded even more when the person who needs to be forgiven is yourself...hmmmm.

Rachelle Marcos

To ponder upon forgiveness brings enlightment in my spirit. It is forgiveness that gives us hope for the future. Forgiveness in the language of love. Without forgiveness there would be no God-purposed community.

I have witnessed a tragic life of someone I love going in the path of destruction because of unforgiveness. How forgiveness can lead to bitterness and how from that one issue, a destiny of a person is set. My own mother chose the path of unforgiveness of her past. And seeing where she is now, I am reminded not to make the same mistakes.

Forgiveness allows me to look ahead to the future. Forgiveness allows me to give my all to God - my weakness, failures, downs, and iniquities. Forgiveness allows me to admit that people are mere human beings too. Forgiveness tears down my human pride. Forgiveness allows reconciliation but most of all forgiveness exalts the name of Jesus Christ. I don't know how life would be without this most beautiful thing called forgiveness.

Rachel Haynes

Forgiveness is an interesting thing – growing up when my sister and I would argue and be at odds with each other we would have to go the each other and say we were sorry and then we would ask for forgiveness. ‘Will you forgive me? Yes, I will forgive you.’
Thus forgiveness was also a part of my vocabulary yet I don’t think that I truly understood forgiveness. As I’ve gotten older I’ve found that even when I truly believed that I had forgiven someone I would still hold their fault against them which in the end is not forgiveness at all.
I hear a lot of people say that you can’t truly forgive unless you, your self have truly been forgiven and I guess in a sense that is so true. We as believers have all been forgiven from our past, present and I guess future failings and that in itself is huge.
In my world most recently I have been the one in need of forgiveness and it has been given without question and it’s an extremely humbling. And now the ball is in my court so to speak and I must choose to accept that forgiveness and go on from this place and that is actually really hard because in the end I must forgive myself as well.

Chris Morrison

Neil tells in his podcast about how he and his wife worked for some time with victims of spiritual abuse. In the light of this it seems pertinent to reflect here on an event in which I experienced hurt as a result of the behaviour of a pastor.

The person involved had made a habit out of bringing members of the congregation onto the stage during the service so that they may be belittled by them for the enjoyment of the crowd.

I had witnessed this take place a number of times while serving this person's ministry then one night I experienced it first hand and I left devastated and humiliated.

For a number of days I was left to ponder the event and feel the pain of my humiliation. Then a week later I returned to this person's ministry for a final time.

This return was an opportunity for closure as I acknowledged that I had been hurt but that I refused to let the hurt I had experienced limit my possibility.

I have never been back to this persons ministry because I believed that there was a distinct possibility that I could be hurt by the person again.

While I have not had an opportunity to confront the person involved I have taken advantage of opportunities to confront similar behaviour in my peers and I endeavour to ensure that my own ministry is not built on such behaviour.

Four quick thoughts.

1. Admit the pain of the hurt

2. Assess the readiness of the person to be challenged and changed this will allow you to decide the level at which you will permit yourself to be vulnerable in forgiving the person.

3. If the person involved seems unrepentant do not allow yourself to be vulnerable to the person again.

4. Become an advocate for victims of similar abuse bringing challenge and change wherever you can.

Christie Valentine

A person who had hurt a family member with a leadership decision that was unfair in turn hurt our family (within the church). This person realized their error in their decision and apologized to her, asking for her forgiveness. Our family member forgave this person. Even though the decision made against my relative had only involved her, it left an impact on our family. This person realized this and came to each member of the family asking for their forgiveness. It was a momentous and very impactful confrontation and one that will leave an unforgettable memory for the rest of my life.

Tinky Mulchandani

My memory takes me to a time when I had my first ever relationship at the age of 18. I entered into the relationship not knowing what to expect and in my innocence I had no set rules and boundaries in my relationship with this person. I was informed by my boyfriend, at that time, that to be in a relationship with someone required some physical expressions. I did not understand what he meant but the word "physical" perturbed me immensely. As a Christian, I cannot say I had a strong relationship with God or for that matter was familiar with the Word of God at that time. However, the understanding that physical intimacy is a post-marriage act was deeply and culturally embedded in me helping to me resist what he had asked of me many times. Although I did not participate in the act, there were still some regrets I wished I had refrained from. Having said that, I do not think it was my fault for I didn't know any better. I truly didn't. Somethings were said to me to convince me that it was "OK" to pursue physical attachments. I baffled with this a lot during my relationship with this person. Early on in our relatiosnhip, I consulted my pastor back at home and realized that something was not right with my current situation and this had to change. It dragged on until a year and finally it came to an end. I rejoiced over this fact. I was extremely glad that it was all over now. Because I was decieved and, therefore, hurt, some developed wounds required healing. For the first year or so, I hated him. I hated him because he had lied to me and I felt he took advantage of my innocence. He appeared very evil to me. I said to him at the end of our relationship "Don't you do to other girls what you did to me." I realized, though, that I needed to forgive him for my sake. I cannot live life with flashbacks of him and mostly what he said and he did. It took time to forgive him out of my own will with no help from him. He never expressed his remorse and asked me for forgiveness. Yet I knew i needed to relief myself from the horrifics of my past and move on.I did not hurry myself, time was going to help me make things better and of course, God walked with me through it all. Today, I live in freedom of personal guilt but memories remain. I wish everyday of my life to forget him and everything to do with him but I am setting myself up for a dissapointment. On the contrary, I use this experience to help other people, mostly girls, to be cautious in starting a fresh relationship with the opposite sex.

Haakon Skaug

"Forgiveness does not change the past, but it does enlarge the future."(Paul Boese)

One of the hardest things in life is to forgive whole heartedly, and sometimes it even feels impossible. A friend of mine got divorced when he found out his wife was cheating on him. The love of his life and mother to his two children had let him down. Four years after the divorce he still felt hurt and was in pain, but it was a too big task to forgive. He simply couldn`t do it. Then he told me this:

"I couldn`t keep on living life like that. It affected my children, my ministry and and every sphere of my life. I had to forgive, but my heart wasn`t able to. I cried out to God for help, and he heard me. Even though my heart wasn`t ready to forgive, God was, and he lifted the burden of my shoulders, started healing my heart, and now, 2 years later, I can with an honest heart say that I have forgiven her."

“To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover that the prisoner was you.”(Lewis B. Smedes)

You can`t do anything about the past, but unforgiveness affects your now and you future. And even though you don`t think you can, ask God, and He will guide you through it, and in the same process He will start healing your heart.

His grace is sufficient for us, and His power is made perfect in our weakness.(2 Cor 12:9)


When I was in high school, I had a-year-long quarrel with my brother. He was kind of person who was really sensitive and often emotional. To be honest, I didn't know how to relate to him. When I talked to him, I felt like I was touching fragile glass or something like that. One day, when the brother fought against younger brother, I tried to stop him and quarreled with him. It last almost a year and we hadn't talked each other at all. When we faced at home, we were stranger each other. I thought time would reconcil my relationship with him. But it didn't. Only thing we had between us was bitterness and sense of judgement. But through this experience, God has broke my hardened heart and pride to forgive my brother and ask him forgiveness. The night before I moved to the city where I was going to study, I knocked the door of my brother's room and apologized him. I didn't think I was wrong but I just followed what God told me to do so. And it was the moment that I heard the word which I wanted to hear from his mouth for so long,"I'm sorry". I had wanted my brother to say "sorry" to me but as I said to him sorry, I was able to hear the very word that I wanted to hear from him. Forgivenss is not something we give but something we receive, that's what I found through my experience. God forgave us first, that's why we not have relationship with him.

Ribekka Byberg

When I was 4 and my brother was 2, my father left our family. That has been a thing that took me a while to forgive.
To me, forgiving him, involved a big release for myself, a release of bitterness. I don't think that forgiveness is saying that what the other person did to you was ok, but facing what has happened and move on in life. I also believe that forgiving does not equal that you act normally towards the person who hurt you and only have "happy feelings" towards that person. Our actions involve consequences, both for ourselves and for the other person.
I believe that I have forgiven my father, I do not live in bitterness towards him, but there are still consequences of his actions that I have to live with every day...:) Therefore I believe that forgiveness is a choice you make many times.

Oystein Udnes

One of the hardest processes of forgiving I've gone through, is actually that of forgiving myself. After I became a Christian at the age of 20, I struggled to accept myself as a child of God, free of guilt and condemnation. I guess past experiences had set marks on my conscience, and memories and thoughts of defeat followed me long into my walk with God. I didn't really have a great understanding of God's grace, and maybe I thought I had to suffer a bit to make up for past iniquities. A couple of years later, I experienced the father heart of God reach out to me like I had never experienced before, and I started to realise that God did not hold anything against me. From that point on I began a slow process of accepting myself more. An interesting consequence that developed was that I also became more able to see when I really was wrong about things, and when wrong had been done to me. Earlier I was likely to think that everything was my fault (or the opposite; everything was the other person's fault...). So forgiving yourself is as important as forgiving others!

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