At some point in your life, you’ve had to forgive someone. A negligent barb hit its mark and replays, ad nauseum, in your mind. Perhaps you’ve suffered a deeper wound caused by someone’s abuse, abandonment, or assault. The ache of such an injury can linger for years, even a lifetime. Actually forgiving someone can be one of the most difficult things to do in your life. But, it’s through forgiveness that God heals our deepest wounds, and frees us from our anger, hate, self-pity, and self-contempt.
But, what does forgiveness really look like?
That’s a question Family Fire co-editors, Deb and Steven Koster, grapple with in a new ebook, The Power of Forgiveness: A Guide to Healing. “The truth is we’ve all been hurt by someone,” says Deb, the principal contributing author. “The good news is there’s healing in forgiveness.” The ebook is designed to help readers navigate the sometimes messy process to forgive, and to seek forgiveness. Beginning with a scriptural exploration of forgiveness, the ebook walks through some critical topics. Why must we forgive? What is, and what is not, forgiveness? How do you forgive someone? And what does forgiveness look like in action?
Forgiveness is at the crux of our Christian faith. Jesus died on the cross for the forgiveness of sins (Luke 24:46-47, Matthew 26:28). It’s this work, that frees us to be in direct relationship with God. In turn, God commands that we forgive those who sin against us: “As the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive” (Colossians 3:13c ESV).
“When we forgive,” explains Deb, “we’re trading the weight of resentment for the joy and peace of restoration. Forgiveness frees us from the bondage of anger and invites us into a life guided by the work of the Holy Spirit. When this happens, the fruits of the Spirit are free to flourish in our lives.”
The ebook explores the process of forgiveness. It’s about facing up to the pain of a past wound, and calling it what is. Forgiveness is not pretending something didn’t happen or just making it okay. It’s surrendering the right to retribution. The Power of Forgiveness takes the reader step-by-step through the process of forgiveness, and gives some guidelines to relating with an offender afterward.
“Many skills can improve our relationships,” adds Steven, “from thankfulness to communication to managing conflict. All of these are good, but forgiveness is the most essential relationship skill; it’s a foundation for all the others.”
Deb, Steven and the team at Family Fire pray the ebook will bless people and that through forgiveness they will experience transformation and restoration in their relationships. You can get The Power of Forgiveness free when you subscribe to Family Fire email updates.