Read (from the New Living Translation)

Matthew 18:21-22

21 Then Peter came to him and asked, “Lord, how often should I forgive someone[a] who sins against me? Seven times?”

22 “No, not seven times,” Jesus replied, “but seventy times seven![b]

Go Deep

What do you do when you know you’re not in the wrong? Do you have to forgive then? That’s tough! 

This happened to Wally from The Wally Show after a huge disagreement with his brother-in-law. He discovered that bitterness changes more than just yourself or the person who wronged you…

Complete This Reading

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

114 comments
  1. Profile photo of Brooke

    Thank you so much for sharing your story it was really helpful. It gave me a new perspective on forgiveness that I had not thought of before.

  2. Profile photo of Pamela-kerns

    Sometimes it takes someone at the end of a journey to help kickstart the beginning of your new journey.

  3. Profile photo of Katie
    Katie

    One of my best friends we had a really rocky start and it took forgiveness and moving on like Wally said and to this day we are solid great friends! Praise God for our friends😊

  4. Pamela Anne McCoy

    Thank you Wally! This has hit really close to home. I have been estranged from my father for a couple of years ago over pretty much the same thing. My father is physically disabled. To the point that he needed 24 hour care. He was in a nursing home for 2 1/2 years when he decided he wanted to go home. My sister and I fought it knowing that there was no way we could do it. He was also a prescription drug addict with a history of overdoses. We fought him to the point of going to court for guardianship, which we lost, and he went home. Our relationship was broken and there were about two years of no communication but God has been on the move in restoring this relationship and a about 5 months ago my dad called and said he wanted his family back. My pastor and I went to his house and it didn’t go well. You could call it a stalemate. I was convinced that it wasn’t going to work but I did reach out on his birthday and Thanksgiving to call him. I hadn’t talked to him since then when a couple of weeks ago, he called me. I was getting ready to have surgery and he wanted to be there. He told me he loved me and wanted to be there for me. He didn’t make it to my surgery because his ride backed out at the last minute but he did call me the day I got home from the hospital to check on me and to tell me he loved me. We have talked a few times since then and I know it’s only by the precious and mighty power of God that we are communicating again. I have forgiven my dad. I have learned that we cannot let the past consume us or Satan will seep in and start his web of hate and anger. Thank you for your testimony this morning and for reaffirming the power of forgiveness.

    • Profile photo of Rebie WAY-FM

      Thank you for sharing and reaffirming the power of God, as well!

  5. Profile photo of bwilliams38

    Wow! I’m hearing this and realizing that I feel like I’m at the 7th of 70 times. I know I’m not but it sure feels like that. I’m glad this was the devo for today. I am facing this at my job and in my home. I needed to hear this.

  6. Mel

    Where there is forgiveness there is unity and where there is unity it is impossible for our enemy to sow discord. With forgiveness God is more concerned with our obedience then who is right or wrong. Good word Wally

    • Profile photo of Spechuls

      When I was raising children, one of the most consistently enforced rules in our home was regarding the use of four letter words. I taught them that the worst four letter word you can use is “HATE” and it was regarded as an obscenity.
      When we don’t do the work that it takes to truly forgive, both ourselves and others, we allow our hearts to be filled with contempt… a contempt that grows into hate. Hate displaces joy and invites the enemy to occupy your life.
      Forgiveness cleanses and renews your heart. Forgiveness and gratitude are the most significant reflections of faith and both will change the direction of your footprints. When you walk in an awareness of God’s grace, your capacity for Joy is awesome.

    • Jennifer

      Great perspective, Mel! God is only concerned about our obedience, not who is right or wrong. Thank you for that! I needed to hear it.

  7. Charlene Jones

    I have a friend that i love dearly and hold on to as i have no family or children. Sometimes she will let anything come out of her mouth or i feel like I’m walking on eggshells around her as i have to figure out what side of the bed she woke up on that day before i say anything. Any time we’ve had an argument I’ve always been the one to reach out to her first and it hurts my feelings. From today’s message i got that no matter how many times we forgive, God says do it 70×7. And in yesterday’s message i was reminded that God has forgiven my sins and mistakes….and there are many. Thank you Lord!

  8. Profile photo of Kim Zulock

    I teach children’s church, and the month of March was devoted to teaching on forgiveness. I taught on this verse, this past Sunday, but never really thought about it from this perspective. We discussed having to forgive someone that has wronged us, even if they keep doing the same thing over and over again, but never thought about having to forgive someone who doesn’t seek it out. Thanks for the lesson!

    • Profile photo of cameran_smith

      I bet we use the same curriculum. Forgiveness has been the topic of our children’s ministry during March, as well!

  9. David

    My problem is with me. I can’t forgive myself,which then makes me angry with myself, and that anger gets taken out on family and friends, sometimes just because I’m being so quiet and brooding over things. They can tell something is wrong but aren’t sure what, so it makes for some uncomfortable times. It’s a little hard for me to put into words.

    • Jennifer

      Share your struggles with them. They are who you should turn to in your time of need and when you need prayer. I get what you are saying because I am there often. I have learned I can’t do it on my own. I need to go to God in prayer and ask others who I trust to pray for me.

    • Profile photo of Pastor Dave WAY-FM

      David, forgiveness is so all-encompassing, isn’t it. I encourage you to forgive yourself because God has already forgiven those who ask of Him. Don’t let any grass grow beneath your feet any longer on this. I pray you trust God’s power to release this to find His true freedom in the beauty of forgiveness. Your “cross to bear” [Luke 9.23-26] is not to hang onto it, but to give it to the Lord. Your load will be lighter; your journey more joyful; & your life more blessed … because that’s just what God does. Be strong.

  10. Beth

    Awesome walking that road right now…

  11. Profile photo of Synergetichealg

    God’s timing is perfect because I need this right now. I too am struggling with others who I should forgive when I have done nothing wrong.

  12. Profile photo of Carl
    Carl

    Matt 5:9 “Blessed are those who are peacemakers ….” Sometimes, you just have to make the peace, when peace doesn’t present itself.

  13. Kirsten Borges

    So true! I had hatred in my heart for years towards my stepdad. When I finally let it go I healed. He never asked for forgiveness but I forgave him in my heart and was able to have a better relationship with my mom because of it. Thank you for sharing your story Wally.

  14. Leanne White

    Thank you so much

  15. Profile photo of Kelly
    Kelly

    Thanks for sharing your story. I heard once that not forgiving someone is like you taking poison and expecting the other person to die from it. Makes no sense. I think God knew that (He did create us) and that is why Jesus was so clear that we are to forgive. It not only bridges that relationship, but it removes an obstacle in our growing closer to God.

    • Jennifer

      This is so good, Kelly! Thank you for sharing. I needed to hear this!

  16. Profile photo of chenglis

    Great topic today. I think this is really a relevant aspect of forgiveness in daily life.

  17. Jeffery

    Shameless plug for Brant Hanson’s book Unoffendable. Great resource for discovering how to forgive.

  18. Profile photo of Margie

    Thank you Wally for sharing this with us! I’ve had a tough time with forgiveness myself! It’s good to know when you’re not the only one who has a problem with someone or something that we know God wants us to fix.

  19. Profile photo of Sarah
    Sarah

    While I haven’t had a fight to that extreme, my sister and I have a strained relationship that I am currently working through. God has already shown me some of the fruit from trying to reconnect. Still praying that I can be humble and forgiving.

    • Charlie

      My sister and I are also at odds, she’s bipolar and said & done some really hurtful and insane things. Forgiveness is coming with great difficulty, even though I know the things God’s forgiven me for!

    • Profile photo of Pastor Dave WAY-FM

      Sarah, you are well on your way, and the best part is that our forgiving Savior is right there with you! There will be a lot of celebration ahead, beginning in your heart & life first. You will have a blessed life!

  20. Profile photo of dr pepper

    Have a similar problem with my sister in law. I felt she overreacted to a situation and got mad at me for it. I don’t know if she has not forgiven me or if she has but has just opted to not interact with me as much which, needless to say, puts a strain on a family. I love her and she is a good and faithful person. But we are very different. She was raised more of a “prim and proper” Southern girl. I admittedly am more rough around the edges but believe God made us each to be different. Sometimes I think Christians start to get a fuzzy line between God’s rules and Emily’s Posts social rules! That’s why I love the morning show with Wally and the gang!!! They help me remember God is ok with a sense of humor! [PS: Loved the song that was made out of one of Wally’s critic’s letters!]. I am trying to just be patient and let this situation work itself out and decide when the best time to talk is and, in the meantime, remember she is who she is too.

    • Profile photo of Pastor Dave WAY-FM

      “Love covers a multitude of sin” [1 Peter 4.8] … & it allows God to do His work in the person He has created & knows best. Thanks for your teachable spirit & your wise comments!

  21. Profile photo of pastormatt

    We have had a similar situation in our family. Our family is not nearly as close as we once were. We used to take a big family vacation each year and this is the first year that it will not happen at all.

  22. cmsda

    Wally, Good apology, however it would be improved to not use the word “IF”. If implies that I still did not do anything wrong, and puts the ulnas back on the other party. example: “I am sorry if you were offended by anything I said.” The better and more sincere apology is ” I am sorry for _____ that I said.” Just a thought for accountability.

    • Natalie

      Very good point cmsda. I realize that I often play on words, especially when I do not want to take ownership for a situation I do not feel was my fault. However, we must lead by example and show forgivess. I thank you for pointing this out, because it allowed for me to reflect on how I often speak and fail hold myself accountable.

  23. Profile photo of Andy
    Andy

    Been part of a leadership workshop that taught us to “Disagree agreeably” and it looks a lot like this. Even when you don’t see where you are “wrong” (and you could be completely right about it!) you are half of the argument, therefore you have a part in this.

    • Profile photo of Pastor Dave WAY-FM

      I appreciate your reminder of humility which the Lord always honors. I like the Apostle Paul’s trust in the Lord’s work as seen in Philippians 3.15-16.

  24. Vicki Discenza

    Like many people, I have had some great trespasses committed against me. Healing from a great injustice can be hard, forgiveness doesn’t always happen overnight, but in the life, death, and resurrection of my Lord, I’ve been forgiven more than I could ever comprehend, so to withhold forgiveness would hurt more than heal. In the end unforgiveness looks like your own festering hate, but Forgiveness and reconciliation are not the same things. Jesus did not say we must reconcile seventy times seven, but that we must forgive. I’m glad you were able to reconcile, it’s a beautiful thing.

  25. Carrie

    Thank you all for sharing. I found this at the perfect time of my life. I am going through some tuff stuff but had I not had my faith and this wonderful site I wouldn’t be able to forgive so easily as I do now. All your sharing and stories has me in a great place. God is truly wonderful and loving.
    God bless you all.

  26. Heather

    I have a follow-up question. How do we forgive and get past issues when the offender is no longer in our lives?

    Forgiveness is something I often struggle with when something has gone awry and the offender subsequently leaves to my past. (My local station did a segment talking about how it doesn’t make sense to call them up and tell them they’re forgiven; such an action is likely to be as much retribution as catharsis) Without having that discussion, or even just facing them again, I find it really difficult to forgive. What are some other things that one can do in lieu of talking to the other person about the situation?

    (On the flip side, if we’ve done something wrong and only realize that it was wrong months or years later, how can we properly respond? Or is it proper to respond at all?)

    Best,

    – Heather

    • Profile photo of Pastor Dave WAY-FM

      We sure would like everything reconciled; however, forgiveness always releases me so that God can fill the void with His Grace.
      It’s a struggle, for sure. For me, if I will “strain” toward that, I get God’s “prized” blessing [Philippians 3.10-14].

  27. Profile photo of Lathan Gareiss

    I have had this go so far that I could not remember why I was mad, or what happened to cause us to be upset.

    • Profile photo of Pastor Dave WAY-FM

      Yes, Lathan. I often thank God for my bad memory. I’ll even take that as a gift from Him!

  28. Cody Deno

    This is some challenging Scripture. It basically is saying…it doesn’t matter how many times somebody sins against you or what they do to you, you must still forgive them.

    Forgiveness is the only way to escape the grip bitterness, anger and all sorts of bad feelings; the only way to escape the grip of the Devil

    • Profile photo of Pastor Dave WAY-FM

      Very challenging when you say it that way, Cody … but reassuring that God accounts for unconfessed sin & He knows each person’s heart. We truly have to trust our Just God, Who promises to heal the broken when we come to Him. I’m glad it all matters to Him.

  29. Sarah

    This is so timely for me that I am crying. I just made the decision to file for divorce. I recently found out my husband has been having a long term affair and he does not want to end it. I have struggled with how do you forgive someone who is not sorry and does not want to change even if they are in the wrong. So thankful for this small group

    • Profile photo of Pastor Dave WAY-FM

      Stayed tuned, Sarah. That very important question is part of our journey in this series.

    • Carol

      Sarah,
      I am so sorry. You have to remember that there is nothing wrong with you. His infidelity is his problem, not yours. Try to find room in your heart to forgive his weakness and let go of the hurt.

  30. Rose

    Yes.its very hard.being as humble as possible and remembering to being as happy and pure as possible.and let go of the things that make you unhappy and keep going an enjoying your life and peace.

    • Profile photo of Pastor Dave WAY-FM

      I have to keep reminding myself that God’s benefits far outweigh the work I have to put in. Right?

  31. Terri H Perry

    Forgiveness isn’t easy. It goes against our sinful nature. It is a choice – you either choose to forgive or you don’t. God chooses to forgive us even though He has done NOTHING wrong. He says, “I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.”(Heb. 8:12) Being human, we can’t forget, but we can choose to forgive.
    Some time ago on WayFM, I heard someone say they were told, “Fake it till you make it.” I thought that was absurd until they explained the meaning. You might not feel like forgiving that person, but you talk to God about it and tell Him how you feel about that person. Then you ask Him to help you forgive. Make that choice to “Fake it” choosing to forgive until you “Make it.”
    Philippians 4:6-7 says, “Do not be anxious about anything but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your request to God. And the peace of God which transcends all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.”
    Only through His Grace can you do this. Once you “make it”, what relief! Galatians 5:1! It is for freedom that Christ has set us free!

  32. Profile photo of Susan
    Susan

    I found unforgiveness was only harming me mentally and spiritually, even though I was not in the wrong. The other person never acknowledged the hurt they caused by their words and actions, so I stubbornly held on to my unforgiveness. It took me years unfortunately to truly let it go, but I have a good relationship with that family member now and I never want to go back. I had to live it out to learn the lesson.

  33. Profile photo of Nancy2028

    I loved this message because I also had some problems with my in laws and it was hard because u felt like I would always say sorry but they would never return it. So it took me some time and prayer to heal from it. Thank you for sharing your experience.

  34. Profile photo of Jstnthrgal

    How True you are Wally. It is not always easy to forgive, but by forgiving we also free ourselves. Especially if it isn’t someone that we know very well. They may not even care if we forgive them or not, but we will eat ourselves up over it if we don’t forgive them and let it go. I remember a state by the character of Gil Grissom on CSI, he said don’t let them live rent free in your head. Not forgiving someone does just that.

    I hope your brother-in-law doesn’t see this and think oh so he didn’t think he was wrong? And start a new riff.

    Thanks for sharing.

  35. Profile photo of Nancy2028

    I loved this message because I also had some problems with my in laws and it was hard because I felt like I would always say sorry but they would never return it. So it took me some time and prayer to heal from it. Thank you for sharing your experience.

  36. Profile photo of Knenoff00

    I have not be on the end of having to forgive someone to the point of where Wally was yet. If that time come I pray that I will be able to to before it does put time between me and that person though. We don’t know how long we have with each other and I don’t want to waste any of it.

  37. Profile photo of Michelle

    I know that forgiveness is an absolute in following the ways and truths of Christ, but as the peacemaker in the family it gets exhausting and extremely heartbreaking sometimes. Is walking away, something Christ would be ok with?

    • Profile photo of Pastor Dave WAY-FM

      When we forgive, the offense & the offender no longer hold authority over me. Christ is my authority. I don’t invite “persecution” but I am to love those who persecute me [Matthew 5]. For me, sometimes the Lord allows me to have the distance; other times He prompts me that this is the time He wants me to show His love & grace as His light so that they see His better way to live.

    • Profile photo of Pastor Dave WAY-FM

      Thanks for this great link. God be praised for His great love to us in Jesus Christ!

  38. Profile photo of francesvaldez

    listening to wally brought so much thoughts. in my family we have had the same issues for years and it just seems to keep building you. no one is ever willing to forgive and move on. this truly made me think tonight..

  39. Profile photo of Robin
    Robin

    What brought to my mind is that we are to truly the door that opens the way for God to come through us to other people. We are to forgive others as God forgives us. We are to love love others as God loves us.

    God shines through us via our actions and words to bring people close to Him.

    • Profile photo of Dollar
      Dollar

      What timing God has. We had some friends that were really close, close enough we considered to be family. We had a falling out a few months ago and haven’t spoken but a couple times. But those conversations didn’t go very good. I have forgiven everybody involved, including myself. But my wife and our friend that was a sister to us are not budging. They are both mad at each other and will not consider forgiveness at all right now. The only thing I know to do now is pray about it and be patient. Wally, thank you for this great message. I never thought about forgiveness that way.

  40. Carol

    Jesus is so right! I have seen what anger can do to a family. The person doing the forgiving benefits as much if not more than the forgiven.

  41. Gaary Miller

    Soooo, sometimes people may accuse you of something that appears to them to have been on purpose and you were not even aware you did it and they hate you for it so the initial reaction is to get mad at the accuser of what you did and dislike him and on it goes especially when you know you are going to meet them again and again. Such with me. I delivered a 48″ load of product to United Grocers and I am responsible to separate each item onto it’s own pallet in a certain pattern and only so many layers high. I missed the last 2 items and the guy went and signed my paper work cuz he had already counted it before I finished and he walked away. Next week I showed up and he hated me cuz he had to physically separate the last 36 boxes onto 2 different pallets. He said I did it on purpose and I said no I just missed it. This dislike for me went on for 6 months. Any other truck driver would have hated him back and really I was the only truck driver I knew of that actually liked him. I tried extra hard to prove to him and talk to him and show I liked him as a person and never got mad at him. Finally one day he said I guess I was wrong about you that you really did just forget and not on purpose and I am sorry. This man had to have felt something in his soul or heart to have had a need to apologize. (Fathom that???) I said no worries you probably get a lot of lazy drivers who try to get away with it and I understand how you could feel the way you did. It was worth the 6 months of paying extra attention to his orders and putting up with his dislike for me to win his trust back and be friends with him. He knew all along I was a Christian so it was important for him to see a difference between a Christian person who cares and those who could care less. It was such a great feeling of relief to me that this dislike for me was lifted. I give GOD the Holy Spirit in me the credit and glory for the outcome, cuz he created the outcome. Who knows, may have even created my mistake to get a foothold on this guy???? Hmmm fathom that. Ya never know,,,,,,,,,

    • Profile photo of Rebie WAY-FM

      Forgiveness was part of your testimony to this guy… that’s really cool. Thanks for sharing!

      • Profile photo of Pastor Dave WAY-FM

        |A great testament of Colossians 3.23 … & everyone benefited – the Lord, you, & your renewed friend. What a great story!

  42. Profile photo of Iluv Jesus

    Wow!! This spoke to my heart over a similar situation with my sister that has been a matter of prayer for some time. I plan to contact her and do the same as Wally did w/ his brother in law. Thank you for this blessing and message that seemed to be directed right at me.

    • Profile photo of Rebie WAY-FM

      So glad you’re in the group! Saying a prayer right now thanking God for working in your heart and praying for your sister as well.

  43. Lynda

    The bitterness almost consumed me. One day I looked in the mirror and saw an angry, bitter person. I believe the Spirit allowed me to see what I would become if I held onto the hurt and bitterness. I confessed my bitterness and anger before the Church, and my brothers and sisters prayed for me. It is only by God’s grace that the bitterness is gone, even though the hurt returns from time to time.

  44. Jazrojazro

    Thank you Wally, it hit home. It’s tough when in your heart you know you are right. At first anger than shame. But after a day or two I’ve asked myself what would JC do. Than, guilt. Next, I want to make it right and asked the Lord for help. He comes through when you ask.

  45. Erica

    This is very true. I was recently in a situation with a coworker where we had a disagreement and she said some things to me that really hurt me but I also didn’t react in the way I should have to that situation. It was awkward after that and I was full of anger. Even though I didn’t begin the situation God told me to apologize to her for the way I reacted and to ask for her forgiveness. After I did that the anger I was harboring was gone, and it has been totally normal around one another. It was a hard thing to do but I had to forgive her without her even knowing it and in turn ask for her forgiveness. It was a humbling experience.

    • Profile photo of Rebie WAY-FM

      That’s so cool. Thanks for sharing how God is working in your life!

  46. Profile photo of kskoerner

    Thank you for the wisdom. I thank you for sharing your story and being transparent with a tough moment in your life.

  47. Profile photo of slady
    slady

    Thank you thank you thank you! I needed this more than I can say!

  48. Elizabeth Scott

    This small group topic forgiveness is perfect timing my church group is studying forgiveness in a book from Rick Warren. Great video Wally.

  49. Robbie P.

    My son tells me I need to let stuff go. He is wise beyond his years. I think the most difficult to let go is when you see your child hurt at someone else’s hands.

    • Profile photo of Pastor Dave WAY-FM

      Out of the mouths of kids. I, too, have learned so much from my children. In fact, they show me the patience of God many times. You are a good, teachable father. What a great legacy you are leaving for your kids.

  50. Allison Klingenberg

    What a great message. I had a situation with my own mother. I knew I needed to forgive her for almost ruining my daughter’s wedding. I also knew that talking with her on the phone about this would be unsuccessfully, as I knew she would just hang up. So, I wrote her a long letter, forgiving her, witnessing to and wrote out my testimony. T ok my my dismay, she returned the letter. Later sent her own letter that was filled with hate.my heart broke. We haven’t really spoken for 2 yrs. Sad. I forgive her everyday and pray for.her everyday.

    • Profile photo of Pastor Dave WAY-FM

      I’m praying for that breakthrough, Allison. It’s hard to wait, but the father in Luke 15 saw his son’s miraculous return.

  51. Profile photo of Roberta

    I hear you, Wally. I was accused of something horrendous which did not happen by my sister. Not only did she accuse me, but she also told a large portion of my family that I had done this thing. Consequently I am now a pariah in my family. It saddens me that all of my relationships were taken away by this act, but it has NEVER stopped me from praying for my sister daily. I love her and understand the paranoia which caused her to do this. Unfortunately she will never know that I still love her as she has cut off all contact. But she is forgiven in my heart, and that is the important thing.

    • Profile photo of Pastor Dave WAY-FM

      Satan sure does try to drive his wedge in God’s beautiful creation of family. I pray for a breakthrough for you all.

  52. Lisa Davis

    Thank you Wally for that message. I am praying that I can make the first move with my backyard neighbor who hurt me deeply before Christmas. Hearing say how it helped you because those bad feelings bring out negativity in us. I often go in the back yard and pray he is not out!!! This is not a way to live. We have been neighbors for 16 years! Neither of us are moving soon!LOL So I am working on making the first move. It will be hard since he is the one who made this problem. Thank You again for your story God Bless you and All your co-host 🙂

  53. Profile photo of Bsykes12

    What are you supposed to do when the person you are trying to forgive will not speak to you. We were good friends about 5-6 years ago but both did things we shouldn’t have and it got to the point of we couldn’t even be near each other. She turned everyone against me by telling lies about me and I tried to make her look bad. This all happened before I knew Jesus. Since I got saved I’ve tried countless times to fix our relationship or at least not be enemys anymore. She will not answer my calls, text, emails. And even ignores me face to face. I’ve apologized and forgiven but can’t move on till I get her to give in and let go of the grudge. She continues to try to bring me down and I just don’t know what to do. Any advice?

    • Profile photo of Pastor Dave WAY-FM

      No of us invites hurt, do we? Even though the hurt returns from time to time, forgiveness lets us move on, so God can do His work in that person’s heart & a new work in mine. It’s God’s work, not yours. Confession & reconciliation might never happen with your friend. God feels that pain also … People will continue to reject Christ all the way to hell. It grieves Him Who wants all people to be saved [1 Timothy 2.4]. Forgiveness is such a release into the handiwork of God.

  54. Profile photo of Lgalo21

    Thank you Wally for sharing. I’m in a similar situation and it has driven our family apart. I have been praying about this and how to come to humble myself enough to forgive someone who’s caused a lot of heartache to part of our family.

  55. Profile photo of lorilu

    So appreciate the sharing! Forgiveness is so difficult sometimes. Humility is not always easy either. So thankful God is with us, and for us!

  56. Profile photo of Dori
    Dori

    This one really hits home for me. I have been the one in the right, but literally begging for my family’s forgiveness for over a year. My nephew was trying to commit suicide by alcohol, and my parents and his father were “afraid” to do anything because he might hate them for it. In a final act of desperation, while my brother shut off his phones and hid, I committed him to an alcohol detox program, and literally tore my family apart. Everyone, the alcohol counselors, the doctors, even the lawyers said I’d done the right thing, and tried to convince my parents of it. But they were so ashamed and angry that the “dirty little family secret” was now aired for anyone to see that they couldn’t see how Satan hides in the shadows, and God ONLY lives in the light. I pray, and wonder how far I go with begging for forgiveness- will it just give them the excuse they need to ignore his alcoholism again??

  57. Tina

    This hit home big time. Found out my dad was having an affair & didn’t know when he was going to tell my mom. My sisters & I drove out of state to tell my mom. Mom has Huntingtons disease(brain disease that is said to be like having Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s & ALS at the same time) & can’t live by herself. We moved her in with my younger sister within a few days of telling her about dad’s affair. Dad was angry that we messed up his timeline. It has been 21 hard months. Dad has since broken up with his mistress. Parents are going through divorce process, with my younger sister being very put in the middle because she is my mom’s caretaker. So hard to forgive my dad for all the hurt he has & is continuing to cause. I now know more what Jesus meant about denying yourself & taking up your cross daily (Luke 9:23).

  58. Celesta

    Thanks Wally. I am in a similar situation with my sister. For years there seems to be some sort of tension between us that I am not sure what it is. Our mom died about 10 days ago and I think that is the only thing that was keeping us together at all. Since Mom’s death I have had this on my mind a lot. I promised mom before she died I would keep the family close. I have been praying for things to change. I was on a retreat this weekend and now know that I have to make the first move and talk to her and let her I know I love her unconditional.

  59. Jennifer L Evans

    Such a great message. I know in my life it has been difficult to forgive, but what was even harder for me was to love after the forgiveness. In a personal experience through many painful instances from my father, at the end of his life I had to remember that he was still my dad. I have been asked by people why I cared for him the way I did after everything he did to our family. I just recently was asked by my aunt and uncle why? My response was, because at this point in my life my dad is gone and I have no regrets. I could have continued to hate him, not care for him when he was dying, and not love him but how would that show him Jesus? I can say that in this particular situation I had to fight to put behind me the hurtful things and love him because he was my dad. It wasn’t always bad, and I believe that because of the good times we had before alcohol I was able to fight through the bad and love him the way Jesus wants me to love. It was only through Jesus that I could do this.

  60. Brandi McFadden

    I am so glad you were able to resolve your issues. My family has pretty much disowned me. I’ve forgiven them for always blaming me for things I had no part of, for spreading lies, for putting me down, even for receiving an email from them telling me of my grandfather’s death 2 days after it happened. What I do sometimes struggle with is why. Why do they hate me? How can they willingly miss out on their grandchildrens’lives? I just don’t get it.

  61. Sharon

    In some cases we don’t have to tell the person themselves. For instance in the case of abuse. When I experienced this I didn’t want the people involved thinking everything was alright. There was absolutely no remorse at their end. In this case forgiveness can be between you and God. I found it helpful to say I CHOOSE to forgive ___. I’d say it out loud too. In the beginning when I did this I would have to say it often, sometimes hourly or more. After a while I noticed I wasn’t angry as much about it. The enemy will eventually realize he’s lost this one. In time choice will turn into feeling. Trust me. God is good!

  62. Profile photo of CarrieAnn71272

    Amazing how God uses tenderness, love and forgiveness to heal everyone!

  63. Tina Ledbetter

    This is so amazing. Apure

  64. Linda

    I am in the same position with my daughter in law I have tried so many times to ask her to meet me and talk and she has so mm e lame excuse… My mom died eight years ago and she never spoke to at the funeral home…I have prayed and prayed about this she is keeping my son and granddaughter away from me….I would like to have things tolerable and I would but she won’t budge….please pray with me and for me

  65. Judi

    What does forgiveness mean? I SAY I forgive them… daily. I do not dwell on the offense. I “give it to Jesus”… for YEARS. Then I see that person, and I realize how strongly I hate them, and remember how much they hurt me. So I start the process all over again… confess, forgive, release blessing, forget about them… see them, cycle repeats. Maddening. Do WHAT does it mean to forgive?????????

  66. Geri

    I struggle with this, but I do keep forgiving. About 2 years ago my daughter got mad at me over a misunderstanding. We talked about it but she wouldn’t let it go. A couple months later she told me to never contact her again, and forbid me to see my 4 grandkids (now there are 5, but I’ve never seen the baby). Until that point I was with them 2-3 times a week. Now…never. every birthday, Christmas, holidays, graduations…hurts. How do you keep walking in forgiveness towward someone, especially your child, who won’t let you in?

  67. Joni DeBord

    Thank you for sharing, Wally. Bitterness in our hearts is never good. This can be hard sometimes. God, help me to be humble so that You are able to love others through me.

  68. Rhonda Schell

    This is so, so hard to do, but it makes me think of Jesus when he hung on the cross and forgave those who put Him there. Jesus obviously wasn’t in the wrong. It was ALL of us. If anybody had a right not to forgive, it was Him. I’m so thankful to God that Jesus did decide to forgive, because I shudder to think of where we would all be otherwise. Wally, you are a blessing to so many. Keep on spreading God’s love.

  69. Profile photo of TVT
    TVT

    Most of the time when if fight, I spend so much time dwelling on the fact that I am right, and not looking past that to forgive. So this was especially helpful to me.

  70. Matthew

    Sorry, the prev. message was from me. I was signed in wrong

  71. Wow I struggle with that also. I know it’s pride and and self righteousness that keeps it going and in doing that I’m made wrong. So there’s only one way to win and that’s to give it to God and let it go ,believing He will make all things right when I surrender to His will .

  72. Adrienne

    I joined this group late. Yesterday my mother and I had an argument. However, my parents and I have had a strained relationship lately. My parents are Christians and have raised me to be a Christian as well. The argument that my mother and I had left me questioning everything about Jesus Christ. I stayed awake last night thinking to myself that this whole Jesus thing may not every really be real. I felt so judged and discouraged about all the choices I had made in my life. I felt like I was only Christian because my parents were and doubts filled my head.
    I was on the search this morning to read the Bible and study up on how real he is. But while sitting in my car I realized that I had started this bible study and thought well I will listen to this first. Tears filled my eyes before I even started this video. He knew that this is what I needed this morning. He knew that I would start here first. How could I question God after he sent me this? None of this is coincidence. I just request pray for our relationship. I love her and I’m giving this to God.

  73. Peggy

    You forgive others for you, not for them. Resentment, hatred, and unforgiveness only changes you. It doesn’t affect the other person. It INFECTS you.

  74. Denise. C

    Thank you for your honesty. It is amazing how narrow our view can becomes the closer we are to a situation. Go Mom!