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Mommy and the Joyful Three

About This Blogger

Erin James is the author of a mom blog on She is a mother of three whose passion is helping other moms and dads with positive parenting.

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Visit Erin James' Blog on's Family Section

Forgiveness is God's Gift to Us

God tells us to love and to forgive those who persecute us. However, forgiveness is not that easy; and the line between forgiving the person and accepting the hurt can be a difficult one to determine.

My daughter recently had some trouble with a friend. When I told her God tells us to forgive, she asked me, “So, it’s OK what she did to me?” Then, I explained to her that forgiving someone does not mean what they did was justifiable. When you forgive, it does not mean you are opening the door to being hurt again.

We aren’t perfect. We can’t easily forget painful memories. Unlike us, God can. His forgiveness wipes our slates clean.

Recently, I began a conversation with a woman about some mutual pain and hardships. She allowed me to get out some of the pain that has plagued me.

Her kindness towards me has been a very big part of my healing. I soon realized that God gives us people in our lives who help promote growth and healing. He knows that forgiveness is not easy for us. Leaning on the gift of loving people can help us move past the hurtful moments we endure.

One of the things I admire most about her is her ability to stand strong on the foundation of truth. She does not allow lies and gossip to tie her down. She protects her children with love and actively moves on, past hurts. Not enabling those who have hurt you, but loving them from afar is something I learned from her.

Not long ago, I blogged about my biological father and how it was hard for me to forgive him. It took years for me to open my heart to him. I realized that we are all make mistakes and we cannot be chained to each others’ problems. My lack of forgiveness wasn’t even affecting him. Forgiveness is a part of our well-being. Being hateful can make us sick on the inside. That was the case for me.

I had to learn to forgive myself for my own mistakes as well. I try so hard to teach my oldest daughter to forgive herself. She constantly gets angry at herself for things she has done wrong. I explain that these small mistakes do not define us and that God wants us to be free of them. We must learn from our mistakes and, like this kind woman, teach others how to forgive.

Unforgiveness can ruin you. It can become an obsession to validate your feelings. Know that God has given us the gift of forgiveness, so that we do not become bitter and angry.

Do you struggle with forgiveness? I would love to hear your own thoughts.

Print      Email to a Friend    posted on Tuesday, October 02, 2012 5:17 PM

Comments on this post

# RE: Forgiveness is God's Gift to Us

I recently had an experience where I was able to feel forgiveness toward my mother for the first time in my life. I have said the words before, but it was always more intellectual and never from my heart.

I have been praying for several months for God to forgive my sins. I asked God to not just forgive me, but role model forgiveness so that I could learn from Him how to forgive my parents. I have a long list of things that my parents did to cause pain in my life.

What I did not expect during my prayers, was that God would begin to show me the long list of things that I did to cause others pain. It's truly a humbling experience. The process of memories coming to the surface, feeling the pain of guilt and regret, telling God how sorry I am, and asking for forgiveness.

Erin, it's so good that you are teaching your daughter how to forgive while she is young. It truly is an extraordinary gift from God.
Left by Randi on Oct 10, 2012 7:51 PM

# RE: Forgiveness is God's Gift to Us

I am having a hard time with this area right now. Friday, I was involved in an accident with my infant son. It was my birthday on top of it. I had rolled my car. My son was fine (thanks be to God) but I am pretty banged up. She finally called around 7:30 at night and while in the middle of me telling her what happen she stops me and ask if she can call me the next day. What kind of mother does that? She never did! My problem with her is she plays favorite betweens her kids. She basically raises my sister's kids and really doesn't have much have much to do with my kids. I have forgiven so many times but it hard when it doesn't seem to change. I keeps going back out of respect for my great auntie. She asks me to. My kids don't really know her and really only get gifts from her and I really don't even want that. Is it wrong to say I forgive you but I am not going to deal with this anymore?
Left by deborahmumma on Oct 11, 2012 12:47 AM