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Forgiving Unconditionally (Part 6 of 7)

Forgiving unconditionally is different from forgiving with conditions. True forgiveness is a grace—a gift not deserved.

Forgiveness on our part frees the perpetrator who inflicted the pain. That’s where some falter, unable to let go. I understand that, but by letting them go, we also give up all claims to waiting for them to change or to confess they’ve hurt us.

By the simple act of wiping away their evil deeds from our hearts, we also free ourselves. We no longer feel a gnawing ache when the other person is mentioned. The tension leaves our body. It becomes like an old toothache—we may remember the experience, but we’re free from the agony.

I’ve learned that I need to have experienced undeserved pardon before I can pass it on. For me, as a Christian, that’s at the core of my faith. I didn’t deserve divine forgiveness, but I joyfully accept it.

Only as I understand unconditional forgiveness for myself 
am I able to offer it to someone else.

It's Not Up to Them (Part 5 of 7)

“When he admits what he’s done, then I’ll forgive.”

“I’m willing to forgive him for molesting me, after he admits what he did to me.”

We’ve all heard people say those words. What they can’t seem to accept is that forgiveness isn’t dependent on actions of others.

Of course, it’s easier to forgive when the perpetrator expresses remorse. Then we can feel as if we’ve been paid back in some way.

For many, forgiveness is the understanding that we offer to someone—a gift—but it has strings attached. The if-you-will condition is implied.

By adding conditions, they become the chains that bind us to the person who harmed us. We may set the conditions for granting forgiveness, but the person who harmed us decides whether the conditions are too costly.

If we wait for those who harmed us to repent, 
we may never be healed.