Looks Like Forgiveness

We talk a lot about forgiveness this time of the year…
for good reason.

For those of us that have received the forgiveness of Christ,
we really have no excuse not to forgive others.

But I have to admit,
I struggle with forgiveness.

I struggle to let go of things when people hurt those that are closest to me and dearest to my heart.

It’s always more of a struggle for me to forgive when it’s someone close to me that’s hurting than when someone has hurt me directly.

I tend to want to protect those that are closest to me…even more than myself.

And so I battle to forgive.
To forgive others and to not let bitterness harbor in my heart.

I’ve come to realize that forgiveness usually requires an action.

Sure, we have to deal with forgiving others on a personal level with God, but it usually requires we take action to move past the hurt with the person that caused it in the first place.

  • We reach out to them even though they may not deserve it.
  • We pray for them to be blessed and see growth.
  • We take the first step to repair the relationship.

Forgiveness usually requires action…it usually looks like something.

For Jesus it looked like a cross, 3 nails, and an empty tomb.

Where does forgiveness start for you?

What does forgiveness look like from a practical standpoint for your life situation?


  1. To me forgiveness starts w/ ME apologizing. 99.99% of situations require an “I am sorry” from both parties. By apologizing I am taking ownership of my part and opening my heart to forgive the other person without them even asking.

    1. Becky


      But what if the other person is the one that needs to apolgize–and you’ve done nothing wrong? It is sooo much harder to forgive someone when they don’t seem to even be the slightest sorry for what they’ve done. That’s why we need to remember the Cross–because Christ forgave us when we were still snners–when we weren’t sorry either!!

  2. Forgiveness starts in different places for different people. I think the key isn’t where forgiveness starts, but that it starts. More often than not when people aren’t “able” to forgive someone else it means they haven’t even tried. I know that’s how it works for my life. Normally if I don’t want to forgive someone then I don’t even try to start the process.

  3. evie

    It starts with me realizing I need to because as much as I ignore or justify it as ok to be angry, bitter etc. God’s extended so much mercy to me I never deserve. I think forgiveness looks like God’s favor for us and then our choice to love him & obey and extend the same to those who’ve hurt. It’s not the forgiveness so much or realizing I need to forgive that gets me as much as my struggle to truely move on and let go. I’m challenged by that.

  4. Powerful post, Jonathan.
    I’m a lot like you – I can forgive people who hurt me, but when you hurt those closest to me…yea, that’s very hard for me. It takes a while for me to take action and forgive them.


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