The Ultimate Reason Behind Unforgiveness

What’s the ultimate reason behind unforgiveness? Part 5 of “Forgive Intentional Sin—Don’t Just Manage Emotions.” Forgiving without excusing is hard, so hard it sometimes seems unforgiveness won’t ever let go. When I stopped excusing my mother’s actions as based on ignorance and inability to help herself, I had to learn something new: forgiving without excusing. […]

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How Confessing and Forgiving are Inseparable

To forgive, combine confessing and forgiving as Jesus taught. Part 3 of “Forgive Intentional Sin—Don’t Just Manage Emotions.” Jesus said something astonishing in the Lord’s Prayer about confessing and forgiving. He said we should pray, Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. Matthew 6:12 In so doing, he linked confessing and […]

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Must I Forgive THIS Sin?

The first step towards forgiving is committing to forgive, but to do that, I need to know: must I forgive this offense? Part 2 of “Forgive Intentional Sin—Don’t Just Manage Emotions.” In my last post on What Forgiving Isn’t, I shared six substitutes that masquerade as forgiving, but which merely manage emotions for a time. […]

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What Forgiving Isn’t: 5 Stand-ins that Masquerade as Forgiving

Forgiving isn’t always what we think it is. Part 1 of “Forgive Intentional Sin—Don’t Just Manage Emotions.” Forgiving isn’t managing emotions. Most Christians know Jesus taught that we must forgive. But when anger and hurt linger, we sometimes turn to forgiveness substitutes that merely manage our emotions—and not all that well. Here are five stand-ins […]

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Learning from Betrayal

A young woman recently asked about betrayal: After praying and fasting, I clearly felt God’s blessing on a dating relationship. But when we were about to get engaged a year later, he confessed the marriage would be a cover for his active gay lifestyle. How does one get past God letting us think he’s leading […]

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Joseph: Triumph Over Betrayal

‘La Tunica de Jose’ by Jose Vergara Gimeno (1726-1799), collection of Joan J. Gavara (Valencia) Most of us have been betrayed. Perhaps we were abused as a child, abandoned by a spouse, falsely accused, denied what was promised, lured into trusting the untrustworthy, or deceived into commitment. Betrayal struck Joseph the son of Jacob more […]

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The Sea Monster of Envy

Angry, I marched into my co-worker’s gray cubicle and ducked behind its low wall so I wouldn’t be overheard. “They promoted the less-qualified person just because they promised her before we were hired.” Her brows furrowed. “Don’t say that! You don’t know their criteria.” I winced—she was right. While it was true that the director […]

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Honest Prayer

Like many Christians I’d memorized verses such as “all things work together for good” and “give thanks in all circumstances (Rom 8:28, 1Th 5:18). When bad things happened, I’d quote these verses, thank God for the good He would work, and push away questions. Trying to trust God, I did something akin to closing my […]

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