At the beginning of 2016, I made a prediction while teaching a big group. “I promise you two things will happen this year – someone will disappoint you and you will disappoint someone else.” Now, this wasn’t the level of Nostradamus and no sports book in Vegas would’ve taken the bet. But I believed it.
I’m not sure about you, but the prediction came true for me. Has it come true for you too?
Earlier this year, a situation happened where I believed a friend didn’t stick up for me. It felt like injustice and he didn’t stop it. I tried to be “mature about it” and let it go, pretending as if it wasn’t a big deal. But it was. Have you ever been there? When I finally got honest about the hurt, I had to decide – was I going to hold to bitterness or was I going to forgive?
Many of us have been disappointed, even wounded, by others this year. We carry around the pain and hurt with us. We’re shocked by our skepticism about someone else’s authenticity. But we just can’t get over what they did in the past and frankly we expect more of it in the future. We never planned on becoming a cynic, but we also never planned on being hurt so deeply either.
The subject of forgiveness evokes so many emotions. Bring it up in a group and it’s almost like setting a bomb off. Everyone has a story. Everyone has someone who hurt them. And everyone is working on forgiving another and themselves.
We struggle to forgive and the longer we wait, the harder it gets. The longer we wait, the more likely it is we will hurt others like we’ve been hurt ourselves. Have you ever noticed how we tend to punish those in the present for the wrongs of those who hurt us in the past? We can’t punish the one who wounded us then, so we subconsciously take out our frustration on those closest to us now.
Like a untreated wound, the longer we leave bitterness unaddressed, the worse it becomes. Facing our bitterness and forgiving is much more painful than dumping hydrogen peroxide or alcohol on an open flesh wound – the sting in our heart lasts a lot longer than the feeling on our skin.
In my experience earlier this year, I wanted to move on because it was neater and easier. But thankfully, some friends encouraged me to stop lying to myself and deal with my wounds. They pushed me to do the messy and hard thing, even if it scared me. Forgiveness gave me closure and allowed me to move forward uninhibited.
Where Do We Get Help Forgiving?
When we get ready to forgive, we look for help. Truthfully, a lot of forgiveness resources are just plain garbage, especially in the church. They sanitize the process, over-simplify the issues and set up people for further pain and disappointment.
This is why I wrote my ebook, Forgiveness: From Myth to Reality. In the midst of dealing with my own issues, I compiled the lessons I’d learned over 10 years as a pastor. I had forgiven others, walked with friends through releasing bitterness and taught large groups about the differences between forgiveness and reconciliation.
Reactions to Forgiveness: From Myth to Reality
The responses came pouring in.
Jennifer read the ebook and said, “Thanks for this Scott. It’s very timely. I have been dealing with a close friend’s betrayal and no reconciliation. It has been the most difficult thing I have ever had to forgive. I have found that the traditional teachings regarding forgiveness just don’t cut it.“
David also read the ebook and wrote, “Just finished reading your ebook on Forgiveness, Thank you for explaining many questions I have had over the years (including) the anger I had for ex-spouse.”
Amber wrote me this message. “I REALLY liked this book! Short, to the point, full of wisdom, and totally convicting! Your myths and truths were spot on.”
Applying These Ideas Changed My Life!
Long before I recruited a graphic designer to design the cover or friends to find all my typos, two lessons from the ebook changed the way I personally approached forgiveness – myth 5 and myth 7. (In the ebook, I explore 10 myths we believe about forgiveness and the truths which replace these myths)
Myth 5 – “Forgiveness is a decision, an act of the will.” I talked to so many people as a pastor who shared my experience – choosing to forgive someone and then having to choose again and again and again and still feeling like I hadn’t forgiven them. The truth which replaced Myth 5 is “Forgiveness is a decision and a process.” When I made the decision to forgive and engaged in an intentional process, I made more progress.
Myth 7 – “Forgiveness and reconciliation are the same thing.” People had told me if I forgave someone, reconciliation was inseparable and we needed to move forward as friends. But while I released the offense and no longer held bitterness in my heart against them, the pattern of behavior hadn’t changed and they kept moving forward. I had forgiven them and found my own freedom, but I didn’t need to put myself in a place to be wounded again. I discover the truth which replaced Myth 7 – “Forgiveness and reconciliation are very DIFFERENT things.”
These are 2 of 10 myths we must overcome if forgiveness is in your future.
Can I be really honest with you? I don’t think books change our lives, in and of themselves. But when a book can empower us with new perspective and we live from this new perspective, big changes happen.
It’s been several months since I first released this ebook and hundreds of people have read it. I’ve had so many encouraging conversations – in person and over email – with people who’ve found freedom as they moved from the myths they believed about forgiveness to discovering the real thing.
Get Help with Forgiveness Today!
I want you to experience the same freedom I have. I encourage you enter your email at the end of this post, so I can send you a PDF copy of the ebook. You’ll finish reading it in less than time than it takes you to finish an episode of your favorite TV show on Netflix. But the change could last a lot longer than even a whole season of episodes. Reading this ebook could change your relationships in the present and future.
I want to help you discard the inaccurate or incomplete teaching you’ve encountered on forgiveness and guide you towards the truth. I want you to find the freedom I’ve found!
In the book, I’m honest and don’t pull any punches. Forgiveness is never neat, rarely easy, and it’s not for the faint of heart. But when compared with other options (unforgiveness, bitterness, estrangement, and cynicism), forgiveness is the better way.
So, give it a shot. Enter your email and let me know what you think. The ebook is my free gift to you for being a reader on this site. If the book helps you, I’d really encourage you to share it with others.
(If you read the book when it came out, please share it with someone you know who has been hurt. Forward them a copy or encourage them to sign up here.)
I’m praying this ebook will continue to empower you to discover the relationships you’ve always wanted, even through the pain of past heartache.
May you find healing and courage today!
Enter your email address below and I will send you a PDF copy of Forgiveness: From Myth to Reality. Once you enter your email, you’ll need to check your email inbox to confirm your subscription. I’ll deliver the ebook faster than Amazon Now!