Twenty-Four Forgiveness Myths Busted

I believe that unforgiveness is one of the greatest invisible barriers stopping people from experiencing life as God intends it to be. Freedom will only come as we learn to forgive from the heart.

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This blog post is part 36 of the series Seven Invisible Barriers to Spiritual Growth.
To see all the posts in the series click here
.           To listen to the audio version click here.

Unforgiveness binds you to the past. You will never be free unless you learn to be a forgiving person.  In trying to help people to freedom, I have noticed that there are many myths about forgiveness that keep people from letting go of unforgiveness.

In this post I will bust twenty-four forgiveness myths. In the weeks to come we will look in depth at what the word of God says about forgiveness. 

Open up your heart and receive the truths you are about to hear. It will change your life forever.

Myth 1

Forgiving is easy

Sometimes.
But more often than not it is hard.
The good news is you can chose to forgive, even through the pain.

Myth 2

Forgiving gets easier
every time you do it

Not really.
We can make forgiveness a lifestyle,
but that does not ease the pain we feel when wronged.

Myth 3

Forgiveness comes with time

Forgiveness is a choice.
Time will not cause forgiveness to just happen.
It is something that must be acknowledged and released through forgiveness.

Myth 4

Some things are too big to forgive

No way.
Jesus forgave those who hung Him on the cross and were mocking Him.

Myth 5

Once you forgive that is the end of it

Not always.
There may be legal issues to deal with or boundaries that need to be set

Myth 6

Forgiveness is about the other person

Forgiveness is an issue of your heart between you and God.
Will you be a forgiving person?

Myth 7

Forgiveness means
reconciling with the offender

When we forgive, we release the person
from our anger, judgment, and thoughts of vengeance.
Reconciliation can only take place if the
person repents and seeks to restore the relationship.

Myth 8

Forgiving is ignoring what happened

In order to forgive, something that needs forgiving has to take place. Forgiveness is acknowledging the wrong
and then choosing to forgive the person from the heart.

Myth 9

Forgiveness must
be earned or deserved

We can forgive without the one who hurt us changing.
Forgiveness requires nothing from the person who hurt us
or we would be trapped by their unwillingness to change.

Myth 10

Forgiveness is free

Not a chance.
Forgiveness is costly.
It costs the one forgiving, but it is well worth the price.

Myth 11

Forgiveness is weakness

It takes incredible strength
and courage to be a forgiving person.
It also takes faith in God and His word.

Myth 12

Forgiveness means I will
downplay what has happened

We are never to downplay the wrong done against us.
We can fully acknowledge the pain we have suffered because of the wrong.

Myth 13

Forgiving means forgetting

Can’t happen.
You will always remember what has happened to you.
It will no longer hurt and cause pain.
When you forgive you choose not to bring
the event up again and use it against a person.

Myth 14

Forgiveness can only take
place if they ask for forgiveness

Your forgiveness is not dependent upon
any response from the one that hurt you.
Forgiveness is a choice to forgive as you have been forgiven.

Myth 15

Forgiveness means being a doormat

Forgiveness does not mean that we have to
allow the person to hurt us over and over again.
We can set boundaries and protect ourselves from those who hurt us.

Myth 16

Forgiveness removes
the consequences

When we forgive a person, we release them
from our judgment and desire for revenge but not from God’s.
Vengeance is the Lord’s. He will assure that justice is ultimately served.

Myth 17

Forgiveness requires me telling
the other person they are forgiven

Not necessarily.
It is an issue of your heart.
If the person repents and asks for forgiveness, we can give it.

Myth 18

The person I need to forgive
is dead or will not talk to me,
so I can't forgive them

Your forgiveness is not dependent
on the other person being near.
You do not have to have contact with a person to forgive them.

Myth 19

I must get over my
hurt feelings before I forgive

Forgiveness is not dependent upon being free from pain.
Many times healing comes as we forgive.
Forgiveness is not based upon our feelings, it is a choice of our will.

Myth 20

Forgiveness will
instantly heal my wounded heart

This happens much of the time, but not all of the time.
Sometimes healing take some time.

Myth 21

If I forgive, I will be
disloyal to those who were hurt

Forgiveness has to do with loyalty and faith in God.
Forgiveness does not mean you agree with what took place,
it is a response to the grace of God.

Myth 22

Forgiveness means I
am letting them off the hook

No way.
When we forgive we are turning that person
and the things they have done over to God.
We are trusting Him to bring justice to our situation.

Myth 23

I can’t forgive

Yes you can.
It is a choice of your will.
God will help you forgive.

Myth 24

Forgiveness isn’t fair

Certainly not from a human perspective.
God sees the big picture He will bring justice.

These twenty-four myths are just the tip of the iceberg. I look forward to studying the idea of forgiveness with over the next few weeks. May God bless you as you learn to be a forgiving person.

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About the Author

Terry Tuinder is the co-founder of Experiencing His Victory. His experience includes thirty-one years of pastoral ministry, an earned Doctor of Ministry degree from The King's University, and nineteen years involvement in deliverance ministry. He helps people grow in their relationship with God.

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