Read (from the New Living Translation)

Matthew 6:14

If you forgive those who sin against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you.

Go Deep

Is forgiveness a one-time thing? Joy from The Carlos & Joy Show shares how she’s learning to answer this question.

Choosing to forgive someone is not just a pivotal moment, but the beginning of a process.

I wish someone would have told me that a long time ago!

It has always been hard for me to forgive. I can blame it on my overactive emotional memory. I can recall a single moment from years ago and remember how someone made me feel. That is a beautiful gift if the exchange was wonderful, but a curse if it was painful. Maybe you are like me that you can almost relive the moment when someone really truly hurt you in your mind and play back every detail.

Even after I decide to forgive, I am still hurt. I am still angry.

I have read in Matthew 6:14 “For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.” Powerful words that remind me how important it is to forgive. But as much as I have searched and scrounged through scripture, I have never found a verse saying it’s a magic trick to a transformed heart.

When my roommate up and left me all alone in an apartment I couldn’t afford…

When the guy I thought was “the one” broke my heart and left me in tears…

When my friend broke a promise that was really important to me…

I was angry and knew I needed to forgive them. Even though none of them came to me and asked for forgiveness, I knew I couldn’t be free of my own hurt and anger until I learned to first forgive.

Now, I am no master forgiver because some of my hurts took many months of counseling and seeking help to learn to let go of and forgive. But what I discovered over and over was releasing the anger and bitterness towards my offender to God did not immediately take away all the hurt.

I was always surprised to find the emotions would come back when I least expected it and I would have to forgive the person ALL OVER AGAIN!

I felt like I must be doing it wrong until I remembered this scripture, Matthew 18:21-22, “Then Peter came up and said to him, “Lord, how often will my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?” Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you seven times, but seventy times seven.”

I don’t think God just shared that with us to help us keep a better count of how many times people offend us, but because he knows our spirits will need to forgive people over and over. It’s a process but I think that’s the point. Forgiveness is yet another thing that I cannot do on my own, but it is suppose to teach me to rely more on God. Repeatedly giving God my hurt and anger and asking him to help my heart forgive draws me closer to him and reminds me that forgiveness is not something I can rock at on my own.

It doesn’t matter how many times I need to forgive someone as long as I keep doing it. Each time I have brought a situation back to God and realized that I need to posture my heart in a place of forgiveness yet again, God is so good to work away at my hurt until it slowly lessens and eventually heals.

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  1. I grew up in an alcoholic house hold when I was young. My dad eventually died of Liver disease do to that alcoholism. To this day I sometimes think back and think about the way he was and I get SO ANGRY. I totally understand what Joy means by an “Overactive Emotional Memory”. There are times when the anger surfaces and, to this day, sometimes, I just shut myself out and go hide and be angry. Dad died in ’93 but even to this day I need God’s help DESPERATELY to forgive and move on.
    Listening to Wally’s devotional yesterday made me thank God that I have such a great relationship with my Mom and my brother.
    Matthew 18:21-22 and Matthew 6:14 says it all. I have to forgive my dad for the way he treated me and others around me. It is actually the way he treated the other people that angers me more than the way he treated me.
    Thank You ALL @ Way FM for conducting this Small Group. This is the first one I have participated in. I am looking forward to everyday of it. I am not the best at telling my feelings so you will need to bear with me on that.

    Thanks Again
    Wayne Vogt

    • Profile photo of Spechuls

      When we struggle with repeatedly forgiving someone, it’s important to remember that God forgives us as we forgive others. We don’t seek God’s forgiveness for just one incident. Even when we repent and do our best to “walk the walk”, we still all slip up now & then…we ask for God’s repeated forgiveness!

    • Profile photo of Pastor Dave WAY-FM

      Wayne, you are both humble & eloquent. Thank you for encouraging us all today to keep following our Lord!

    • Amelia

      Thank you for your words of understanding and encouragement.
      I am going through a similar process right now with my in-laws. My fiancés father is a binge alcoholic and currently, under a lot of stress and relying heavily on his drinking crutch. It is painful and difficult to see the father that my fiancé wishes to please and make proud verbally abuse his family and call his son a looser and a disgrace over and over again. This environment is something entirely new to me. My father was a very responsible and constructive disciplinarian figure to my siblings and I, if ever he raised his voice it was for a cause and there was always a lesson to learn from it, compared to my fiances father who vents his angers and yells for no cause other than to start arguments and put his family members down. It is a great struggle for me to allow someone to harm the people you love and hold dear but I find strength in my fiancé who loves his dad despite it all and also in my father who, through everything, has counseled me to love despite the circumstances.

  2. Profile photo of Raejean Landis

    Thanks for sharing this. I really have never looked at it this way. I am so glad to know that we have the opportunity to forgive repeatedly even if we think we have already done it once. I know God is able to forgive and forget. As human beings with a sinful nature this is very difficult. I strive to forget and move on but it is very difficult. May we all be refreshed and renewed by the power of forgiveness. Praying that I will do my best to let things go and let God’s love work and move through me!! He loved us enough to forgive us and that is what we need to do for others as well regardless of the difficulty… Be blessed!!

  3. Kathy

    Thanks Joy, I too am in this walk. I forgive and it comes back and I have to forgive again. It is a hard road sometimes but knowing that this is the way of the journey and that turning it back to God and asking for your heart to forgive draws you closer to the father and healing. There are some people that I must forgive and am still walking this walk and cannot fully forgive after almost 50 years as it keeps cycling back around. With this perspective I see that this is the journey that God expects of me so I will continue forward and turn to my father to help me lay it down and forgive. Be Blessed.

  4. Profile photo of Jennie

    Thank you for sharing! It is so difficult when you know you are supposed to forgive but those painful emotions will not go away. When I can’t let go of the anger or the sadness, it makes me feel guilty. Like I am not really a Christ follower in my heart. That leads to a thought that I deserve the pain I am feeling. Thank you for reminding us that you don’t have to deal with the emotions on your own and that you can let God heal them.

    • Renee

      Thank you Jennie for putting into words what is going on in my mind and heart. Turning it over to God will always free us and bring us closer to Him.

  5. Profile photo of Knenoff00

    I have a hard time forgiving myself of past sins. The devil tried to put in my head that that sin isn’t forgivable. That there is no hope. It is something I struggle with often. I forgive others easily but can’t forgive myself.

    • Profile photo of Stephanie Easley

      I agree, I have a harder time forgiving myself! Forgiving others seems to come very easy for me. I am so thankful for God’s grace and love.

    • Profile photo of Pastor Dave WAY-FM

      Side with God, Knenoff00, you always win! 2 Corinthians 10.3-5. You are a warrior … who wins in & thru our Savior Who conquered everything!

    • Lori

      If Christ forgives us, He who was perfect, how can we not forgive ourselves? Dear friend, that’s more garbage from the devil.

  6. Profile photo of Erica

    Good words that go straight to my heart. How do you move on in forgiveness when the one you forgive is not repentant?

    • Jes

      That is so hard. I try to put myself in their situation and try to see if maybe they were hurting and lashed out or if they really thought this was the best way to handle it, etc.. See if I can gain insight into what they were thinking or feeling. Sometimes this helps.

  7. Angela James

    I am so thankful, that I am able to forgive. It took a long time to get there, but I did. I do not forget, however I am at peace. I can think about (and I do) things that have hurt me,horrible things, that I have forgiven others for, and still feel the peace forgiveness has given me. God has been SO good to me! I pray for you Joy, that you may also find peace in forgiveness, and be able to keep that peace. May you always find comfort in Our Heavenly Fathers Love,Grace,Understanding and Forgiveness.

    • Cody Deno

      We can forgive, but only God can truly forgive and forget.

      • Angela James

        That is so very true Cody. God Bless.

  8. Profile photo of bwilliams38

    I was beginning to think that I didn’t know “how” to forgive or that I am doing something wrong. And I guess I kind of am. I need to remember that it is not a one time deal. God is asking me to continually come to Him for help in this area. I think because He wants me to remember that I am not in control nor am I the “better” person because I forgave someone. I am no better than anyone else even if I am right in a situation. This is a great series for me to be involved in. Thank you

  9. Rhonda Dickinson

    Love this perspective!

  10. Carrie Graf

    Wow. Hit me right between my hurt feelings. A process. Imagine that. And a process that makes me rely on God more and more.


  11. This is a great study for me. I have such a hard time dealing with someone hurting me. I am one of those people that keeps things bottled up inside. I stew about it for a while and in my younger years, I plotted a way to get revenge (I don’t this this anymore thank God). This one hit home and I am thankful for the reminder that who are we not to forgive someone who wronged us. Jesus set the bar and we need to follow.

    • Profile photo of Rebie WAY-FM

      Thank you for sharing the way God is changing you! I’m glad you’re part of the group, Subrina!

  12. Profile photo of Lisa

    Thank you. Just reading God’s passage and how it applies to your life, softens my heart. Forgiveness lets you love all kinds of people. That is what God is all about. Love everyone.

  13. Danielle

    Thanks for this! Looking at it this way is amazing. Especially with regards to myself. I can forgive others easily, but I find that forgiving myself is the hardest thing to do. The games and tricks that my mind can play over and over and over make it so difficult . Maybe that is why He said 7 x 70. You are so correct that it is a continuing process
    Thanks again for sharing

  14. Profile photo of Brenda

    Thank you for this reminder. When hurt returns, I doubt the sincerity of the forgiveness I have given someone. It is a blessing to know that others have to forgive again and again.

  15. Profile photo of Chowchowma

    Forgiveness is one of the more challenging commands we are given as Christ followers. Thw increasing peace and joy you gain every time you choose to let go and let God is priceless though!

  16. Pamela Anne McCoy

    Thank you Joy for this reminder. It is hard not only to forgive but to forget. The forgetting part is hard because it brings up the hurt feelings and then the forgiveness has to happen again. It can be a vicious cycle sometimes but our God is patient and loving and his arms are always open. Thank God for his mercy and forgiveness of us.

  17. Profile photo of Joani Pederson

    Wow I needed this today! My youngest daughter has made a mess of her life, drugs, homeless at times, lost custody of her baby girl. She text me last night during one of her panic attacks. I always try to be just an encourager and good listener, last night as what usually happens it all came back to it’s all my fault her life sucks!! Even though I know it’s the drugs talking and it’s by her choice the words still sting! I pray for her constantly. And always tell her she needs to make her way back to Jesus. So forgiveness is a constant with her but like you said Joy, the pain is also there.

    • Profile photo of Rebie WAY-FM

      Joani, that is so hard. I love how Joy shared how forgiveness is something that can continually turn our hearts back to God each day – because we can’t do it without Him!

      Glad you’re a part of this group. 🙂

  18. Maria

    I ask God everyday, how long should forgiveness take? It’s been a few years since my first grandchild went to be with the Lord because of my son in laws negligence which he is now serving time for. I keep saying to myself I forgive him because he was such a good father and husband, but deep down I’m still so broken. I don’t know what truly happened, only God knows. I still grief for my grandchild. Through the years I have been providing for my daughter and second grandchild. Dealing with both of our grief, depression, abandonment and anger. I walked around like a clown, always happy on the outside. I still find myself not being able to shake this brokenness off. But I know while I stay in his word, God always gives me peace and I continuously remind myself I am not perfect and I too was forgiven and must forgive to receive mercy. I felt so at peace especially reading Worlds biggest small group on forgiveness. In my devotion today I read Psalm 28:7 “The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and I am helped.” I feel a sense of compassion. This is how I know God is still working in me.

  19. Deborah

    That was very powerful. I am grateful that you shared this with us. You are absolutely right. Sometimes a situation arises and we need to forgive a person again. I’ve never thought about that verse that way but it makes so much sense. We do not forget the the things that hurt us and sometimes something triggers that memory. We can forgive again when that happens. AMEN!

  20. Gina Mitchell

    This is so true !!!! I’m the same way, I say I’ve forgiven the person who wronged me, but I don’t let it go. The peace of God comes when I surrender it to him & let it go.

  21. Profile photo of Pam Prince

    This perspective on forgiving was an aha moment for me. I’ve always thought when those hurtful memories come swimming back that I didn’t do it right, you know “the forgiving”. But looking at forgiveness as a process not one single event and it’s done, is so freeing for me. I’ve always felt guilty thinking I wasn’t truly forgiving. Now I don’t have to bundle the hurtful feelings with a feeling of guilt when bad memories wash over me. Ahh, burden lifted! Thanks Joy for this perspective.

    • Profile photo of Rebie WAY-FM

      Yes, forgiveness can be something that daily turns our hearts back to God! Thanks for sharing your perspective, too. 🙂

    • Profile photo of Bella1630

      Yes-I agree- I never looked at it quite like this-seventy times seven-so probably more than we can count a number of offenses from someone-but this passage of scripture in the way it is presented says forgive yourself too-each time it comes to mind-call on the name of Jesus for those memories and pain. Thank you Joy and Pam-his forgiveness is sufficient and when it doesn’t quite stick once-practice forgiveness again-even if it is on the same thing. The other thing I have found helpful is not to keep dredging up the offense verbally by “continuously sharing it” with a friend-that only kept the offense fresh. Excellent perspective and very freeing-burden lifted-we are doing this stuff right folks!

  22. Profile photo of Karenwhite717

    Sometimes I think I read the 7 x 70 requirement and think that means I will have to forgive someone for many different things. I had never thought that 7 x 70 might be the number of times I need to forgive someone for the same thing…because the hurt comes back with the memory of the thing….. Good thoughts, good discussion.

  23. Beth

    Preach!!! I’m learning that myself and going thru a current pain…

  24. Profile photo of Carl

    Thanks for sharing your heart!

  25. Profile photo of tiiams11

    Five years ago I lost my younger brother to alcoholism. I was angry at God, and I couldn’t understand why God had to take my brother Matthew. I turned my heart off and started going through the motions. I even turned the music off. I was bitter and cold. My mind and heart was going through a battle of the what if’s, the what could I have done different, and did Matthew really know that I loved him. You see before Matthew died I was pushing him away because it hurt too much to see him the way he was. The day and hour he died, I was talking bad about him to some of my friends.
    One day as I was going through Facebook to find all of Matthew’s friends to tell them about his death and funeral, I came across his friend Ron. I messaged him and told him what happened. Ron then told me that he needed to talk to me and gave me his number so I could call him. I called him and little did I know that God had a plan to use him to again redeem my heart.
    Ron started telling me how sorry he was and asked me for my forgiveness. I didn’t understand why he needed my forgiveness. You see my younger brother when he was younger joined a gang to fit in, and there is a thing called initiation in order to join. He was to shoot someone in order to be let into the gang. They took my brother, blindfolded him and took him to an unknown place. When he got there, they took the blindfold off and there in front of him stood a man tied up. They then placed a gun in my brother’s hands and told him to shoot that man or they would shoot him and come after his family. My brother didn’t want to kill him so he shot him in his leg not knowing that the others would then open fire killing that young man.
    You see Ron was the leader of the gang and the one who handed him the gun. He was the one who gave my brother his first drink and his first drug. Ron told me that he asked my brother into the gang to get close to me because he had a crush on me.
    As I sat on the phone listening to Ron tell me all these things my heart started filling up with so much anger and sorrow. I have never felt like that before. I was angry at Ron, but my anger towards God grew as well.
    My poor brother, I had no clue what he had gone through. You see he started drinking and doing drugs to numb his regret. I remember one night sitting with him at a bar as he drank, he poured his heart out to me asking me how could God love him after everything he did and told me about what he had done. I told him that God is with us wherever we go and loves us no matter what we do. I tried to explain to him about God’s love and redemption, but at the time I didn’t fully understand what that meant for myself.
    Ron started to tell me how he had changed his life around and how he had an encounter with God and is now a pastor. He told me that he had many conversations with my brother and shared the gospel with him. Ron told me that my brother knew just how much I loved him and that he believed that Matthew accepted God as his personal Savior.
    He told me that I need to forgive myself and reassured me that God loved me and that he loved my brother as well. How dare he tell me that I needed to forgive myself? Who does he think he is were thoughts that ran through my mind. Here a man I now hated with all my heart was ministering to mine. He was reminding me of a loving Savor who redeems. My heart broke, and my anger subsided, as I wept. Ron then asked me again for my forgiveness. I sat there for a while arguing with God and telling God everything I was feeling and trust me it wasn’t very nice.
    After some time I got back on the phone barely able to speak, and I said, ”Ron I do forgive you and thank you for reminding me of our loving Father in heaven.” Ron now weeping thanked me and at that moment God’s peace came over my heart, and God gave me a picture of Him taking my brothers hand leading him to heaven.

    • Profile photo of Bella1630

      Oh my-what a tough time-I don’t hardly know what to say-thank you -somehow someway Gods plan was redemption. I feel like you have to share this amazing story on film on something. This true story could touch many hearts in a multi media setting. God bless you.

      • Profile photo of Pastor Dave WAY-FM

        Thank you so much for sharing every word. I am once again rejoicing in God’s amazing grace! Won’t heaven be a wonderful reunion & an eternity we cannot even imagine? We will be with Christ our Redeemer and with those who needed Him so desperately.

  26. Diane

    Thank you so much for sharing that amazing insight! I needed this because I have felt like a complete failure in this area all my life!

  27. Profile photo of sonya

    Thank you very much for this perspective, Joy. I have heard this passage before, many times. I took it to mean that I needed to forgive different situations or different people. I never considered that I need to forgive the same person for the same transgression, more than once. I thought If I I was still angry, I didn’t do it right and needed to try harder. Thanks for showing me that I need to turn to God and ask his help to forgive over and over.

    • Profile photo of Pastor Dave WAY-FM

      Join me in that club, Sonya. Isn’t this a wonderful series in this season of Christ’s great passion for us?

  28. Joy I have the same kind of memory and your right sometimes it can be a curse.
    I’ve had a lot of hurt in my life but I had to learn, though I thought it very unfair to the one who hurt me, I had to forgive for my self to gain my freedom . forgiving those that hurt to users you free and gives God the space he needs to work on my heart as well as the one who hurt me.
    Thank you for this teachings today.

    • Profile photo of Pastor Dave WAY-FM

      I am so glad that God never gets tired of working in my (our) hearts. He is so faithful!

  29. Angela

    I was mentally and physically abused by my step father, it started when I was 8 and continued till I was able to fight back. He had told me that I could not say anything, no one would believe me, because I was a liar and nothing. My mother did not know till I was 15 I told her, she said lets go for a lie detector test, I knew she did not either. Later when I accepted Christ I had to look at my wrongs and ask for forgiveness, then I had to look at others that had wronged me and forgive them. My mother is still married to this man, but when I go around for family gatherings I don’t speak to him unless he says something to me. My kid were never aloud to be around him by themselves. In 2000, my mother finally told me that she believed me but that she loved him. Now I realize that none of my step brothers or sisters would have been able to endure such a thing and by me being the stronger one God let it be me and I am so thankful for Christ dyeing on the cross for me and loving me for who I am and not giving up on me.

    • Profile photo of Pastor Dave WAY-FM

      Angela, I am so glad that you are a wonderful example of the confidence we have through Christ. What a great story of redemption & hope you have!

  30. Erin Howell

    Just what I needed to hear

  31. Annette Kuykendall

    I need this so much. I need to forgive my former spouse for the hurt he placed on me when he, out of the blue, wanted a divorce and then married another in less than a year. He hurt my children too. How do I forgive him? I love him but I need to turn it all loose and give it all to God. I will never forget, but I want to stop thinking about him and her and just be done.

    • Profile photo of Pastor Dave WAY-FM

      I am so glad that Jesus said He is the Author & Finisher of our Faith. He knows how to set your heart to rest & to help you put this awful memory in the past which He has covered with His blood.

  32. Derek A Drouillard

    I have forgiven my ex wife for past behavior but even to this day (we’ve been divorced since 94) when I am around here I find myself avoiding conversation. I don’t have any real animosity towards her but I think what I have discovered us I lack respect for her. After having read some of the comments I can’t help but wonder if I have truly forgiven her. ???

    • Jen

      Christian author Lysa Terkeurst, wrote “Forgiveness is mandatory; reconciliation is optional.” That changed my life, and I hope it helps you. For me, forgiving was letting go of the anger in my heart and being able to extend grace, while knowing that I don’t have to let that person back into my inner circle of trust.

    • Profile photo of Pastor Dave WAY-FM

      Blessings to you, Derek, as you act on His Spirit’s conviction. You will know it!

  33. Erica Jackson

    I have a real impatience with time. I have to admit that I don’t like waiting and have to ask God’s forgiveness for the irritation I feel when his timing isn’t my timing. I struggle to forgive myself, and when that forgiveness isn’t immediate, I get more frustrated. But God’s timing is perfect, and all the struggles we face will be turned around for the good of those who love him. Joy’s message gave me encouragement. The Lord used it to remind me that it’s ok that I’m not perfect yet. I’m a work in progress. He’s still got this, doing what only he can do to make me the person I’m meant to be.

  34. Jen

    It is INDEED a process! I had a coworker, my best friend at work, attack and betray me when I was in my last round of chemo. Yep. To say I was devastated is an understatement – I was at the most vulnerable point of my life. God has taught me more in that situation than at any other time of my life, most importantly, to forgive. It has been almost 4 years now, and He is still healing me – I still have to repeatedly extend grace, daily, because I still work with her everyday. It’s hard soul-work, and it took me 2 years to feel some healing. It gets better and better the closer I walk with The Lord!

  35. Profile photo of Annerich7

    Thank you for this! It’s exactly what I needed to hear at this moment. I find myself becoming so angry with my brother over and over again. I ask myself did I ever fully forgive him the first time if every week or month I find myself angry with him? Reading this, I have now learned that I need to just ask (pray) God to remove these feelings that I have and to replace it with love and forgiveness. It’s not going to be an easy thing for me to do but I am willing! The anger that I experience not only affects me but can affect others as I take my emotions out on innocent loved ones in my family or even friends. Holding onto anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die. Today, I chose forgiveness, understanding, acceptance and love. <3

  36. Carol Castello

    My sister will just randomly decides she hates me, when in reality it is Christ she is rebelling against. I am a christian and she is not, therefore our lives look very different. She has lashed out at me multiple times and said such horrific, hurtful things to me. At one point she told me she was divorcing as a sister. She always comes back like nothing ever happened. I finally realized one day that forgiveness was a much easier rode than spite. It took a long time to get there though. The Lord walks me through it often.

  37. Kayreen

    This is very helpful to read and hear. Thank you for sharing and helping me to identify what it is I need to continue to work on. These words are perfect for me right now. It is a process and not immediate. Thank you for being a vessel for God and enlightening me and many others.

  38. Crystal Natividad

    Thanks Joy that really helped me.

  39. Profile photo of pastormatt

    I have been on this walk for a while. Wronged and hurt by someone very close and the pain , lack of trust, disappointment, self doubt and anger always seem to come back. Makes me feel like a failure in the forgiveness area. Needed this message. Thank you!

  40. becky

    Thanks Joy that helped alot…I am sooo excited about your engagement!!

  41. Profile photo of Doris Ripczinski

    Thank you for allowing the Holy Spirit to use you to give me revelation. Of there is not only one person I need to forgive, after all I am 61 years old. But for years now, after I believed I had forgiven my ex husband For abusing our son, each time relapse on drugs occurred, ( my sons path for a time dealing with his pain) I was hurt and angry once again. I told myself, I must not have forgiven, I must still be in process of forgiving him. Each time asking the Lord for wisdom. Today, after reading your offering of your words Joy, I heard what I needed. It is each and every time an opportunity for me to draw close and rely on Him! Praise God, next time I need to revisit that needed forgiveness, I WILL COUNT IT ALL AS JOY!
    ( 2 kinds of Joy )

  42. Kali Christensen

    Thank you! This is a great reminder that when the past creeps up, we need to show forgiveness again. I have struggled with this, not understanding why my mind wanders back to those moments. I have always thought it is more of a one and done situation with forgiveness. You’ve changed my perspective and understanding of what God wants me to do! Thank you!

  43. Paula Slack

    I have not looked at forgiveness this way. I agree you have to ask God and turn it over and over to him. I’ve had a similar situation where I have (or thought I had) forgiven someone and then something happens similar to before or that person comes around again and all the pain and anger are stirred up again. I’ve questioned “when will the pain and anger stop?” every time I’ve asked God to forgive me. So like we are constantly asking God daily to forgive us, we have to forgive multiple times until we are truly free. And that happens only with God.
    Thank you Joy, I was doing it all wrong.

  44. Profile photo of Pastor Dave WAY-FM

    Joy, in all my years of preaching, I haven’t heard a greater perspective than yours on 70X7. Thanks for getting rid of the guilt in a lot of us!

  45. Margie

    It’s hard to forgive & forget. You think you’re okay & then something reminds you & boom there it is again even though you thought you were over it. I think it’s a process that takes time & a lot of prayer!

  46. Mikey

    Just what I needed

  47. Someone hurt

    I have a real problem with forgiveness for I have been married for a very long time to an alcoholic who doesn’t think he has a problem eventhough my children and I repeatedly stressed our concerns. He thinks he should be able to drink whenever, whatever and as much as he likes and he continuously lies about it. My husband is not one of the friendly drunks, at least not to me or my last child at home for he is mean, cruel and sometimes in the past abusive. He has had several dui’s with the latest totaling his SUV. Mind you we are Christians. I have for years prayed to change him, me, and/or both. I have asked many times for him to leave and even prayed for the Lord to take him home! He will not go and I don’t have the ability to do so. He does fine for a short time then returns back to his old self. My forgiveness i believe is daily for I have not left him. So I really get sick of hearing how I need to forgive and gone on with life that sucks. How am I to continuously forgive when it’s an on going problem that effect my child and me over and over? It’s not like a past transgression that you never have to deal with that wrong doer ever again in life, it’s a person who is in your life daily! I have forgiven more than 70 times 7! God has not changed anything in our lives for the problem is always there, what am I to do….keep living this horrible life and have no happiness until I die?!

  48. Profile photo of Warrior Hawk

    I often find it difficult to forgive and let go. So I tend to find myself questioning God about have I truly forgiven? I find that by not letting go and moving on I am robbing myself of the Joy in life and also missing out on God’s forgiveness and ultimate plan for my life!

  49. Courtney

    Joy you ROCK!
    Saying that “Forgiveness is yet another thing that I cannot do on my own, but it is suppose to teach me to rely more on God.” is amazing, thank you. Yes, also reminding us that it is NOT a one and done request, but to repeatedly giving our hurts and anger to God and asking Him for help. He does promise He will NEVER leave us (Deuteronomy 31:6), Amen!
    Do not be afraid or terrified, for the LORD your God goes with you, he will never leave you nor forsake you.

  50. Profile photo of lorilu

    Joy! You speak to my heart! Thank you for sharing!
    I have had to bring things (people) back to God over and over as I tell myself “ok, I forgive…” but I guess I really don’t because I still hold on to the hurt and resent that person etc. He is so gracious with me, as I keep trying 70×7!!
    I can finally pray for one person I never thought I would be able to, with a genuine heart— all because of Father God! His working on me and my forgiveness of this person through me has brought such peace!
    All credit to Him!!

    • Bornelus


  51. Profile photo of Ebaltoda1

    Thank you Joy. I really needed this today! Forgiveness is such a beautiful thing.

  52. Profile photo of Robin

    Joy, thanks for sharing the repetitiveness of forgiveness. I too was hurt by a professional CPA. I had received some money and had asked if I should pay off my mortgage. I was told that I should not, as I would not have tax deductions. Now, I still have my mortgage plus the rising cost of home owners insurance. Every time this comes to mind, I feel like screaming.

    I will need to forgive this person – many times over. This I can only do through God’s help.

  53. Anonymous

    It’s been a vicious circle. Angered words, and yelling matches. But learning why I feel the I way I do. Why I am so angry and why I’m having such a hard time to forgive. In these last few weeks I have been able to admit the reasons why, but still struggling for the forgiveness part. And I know as a Christian you aren’t supposed to be like this, we are to forgive. I like the part where It was talked about reliving the emotions and anger. I just feel like I’m beating a dead horse. I will eventually let go, and let God.

    • Profile photo of Pastor Dave WAY-FM

      Humility takes a lot of boldness, but it gets a lot of honor from God. Keep up the good work of God in you … and for you.

  54. Sue

    I struggle with forgiving. I shared in the last group my husband of 35 yrs left me to live a gay lifestyle. He only left me a letter. My question is, if and when I feel I can forgive do I have to tell him or just know it in my heart? We have not spoken since he left except through email to complete divorce proceedings. It’s been over two years and I’ve gone on with my life but this subjects haunts me and I can’t get past it.

    • Profile photo of Pastor Dave WAY-FM

      You probably know in your heart before God what you need to do. It might be one of the hardest things you’ve ever done, but your Advocate Jesus stands beside you. Matthew 5.23-24 gives insight from our forgiving Savior. I also believe that reading these many comments will give you the strength to give it all to Him.

  55. Betty Gunnoe

    My dad made very hurtful comments to me when i was a child. He passed away when I was only 14 but I carried that with me way into my adult life and allowed it to effect my life in very negative ways trying to prove that he was wrong about me. When I finally learned to forgive him and listen to what God says about me I found healing and freedom.

    • Profile photo of Synergetichealg

      I can so relate Betty. My dad was verbally and physically abusive to me and pasted away when I was 24. I have been holding onto all that he and my mom have said and done to me, trying to prove to myself and the world I am better than that. The insecurities I hold onto are difficult to break free.

  56. Susan Doss

    Forgiveness….something that we are to do but struggle with so often. I have been in that place where I have had to forgive someone who has wronged me. It was liberating, joyful and released me from the bondage I was in. Just 2 years ago I was put in the horrific position to witness my uncle’s suicide. It haunts me daily and it’s something I struggle with constantly. I know that I need to forgive him and after reading this post I realize it will be a process….possibly a LONG one….BUT GOD…James 1:2-6 reminds us that we are to “consider it pure joy” when we face trials and that the “testing of our faith produces perseverance”. Through Christian counseling, I am learning how to forgive someone who is no longer here and who hurt me so deeply. Thank you for the reminder that God is a loving, healing and forgiving God and that I am not alone.

  57. Wendy

    What about when we have forgiven an action metro us times but for self emotional preservation decide to not let someone back in? Is that still forgiveness? A close family member has cost us a lot of money more than once and then stole money from us. As well as very abusive language at times. I have forgiven the action but have limited contact with the person.
    Does that mean I have not forgiven?

    • Profile photo of Pastor Dave WAY-FM

      Ask God to confirm in your heart that you have forgiven. But someone said this yesterday … “Forgiveness and reconciliation are not the same things. Jesus did not say we must reconcile seventy times seven, but that we must forgive.” Jesus told us to be shrewd as snakes & harmless as doves [Matthew 10.16]. He taught that we are to be wise managers. The Proverbs also speak of wisdom in our associations. What always matters to God is our heart. Study these Scriptures & ask the Lord for His wisdom & will.

      • Wendy

        Thank you for responding because I found out yesterday from my husband that this individual has done something else. My reaction was different than it has been in the past. Instead of anger there was sadness and disappointment. Not only for this person but for my husband. I am now looking at it through his eyes. The hurt that my husband feels is 10 fold my anger. God must have given me Grace and Mercy intstead of anger in that moment.
        Thank God for his love and for all of you.

  58. Profile photo of Kariko

    Powerful and encouraging teaching, I’m enlightened. Glory to God of Abraham.

  59. Profile photo of Stephanie H

    Forgiving is not the same as forgetting. I am reminded often of the hurt of betrayal and the disappointments from the people that I trusted. Every time those memories are triggered, I have to remind myself that I was forgiven and so I need to forgive them. I don’t feel better instantly but I sense a small change in my heart towards them. I can move on and not get stuck in that emotional loop with God’s strength.

    • Christy S

      Your story hits close to my heart as I am in the eye of the storm of trying to forgive my son. I am truly having a difficult time with it

  60. Paula Swope

    Just wanted to say that after 51 years, I have chosen to forgive my mother for leaving me. When I went to see the movie “The Shack” God really convicted my heart through the scenes where Olivia Spencer said “You have not moved on because you have chosen to be stuck in the past of unforgiveness” Wow! Now I know that my forgiveness is truly a gift from God and as I look up into the stars each night, I remember to tell my mother that I love her.

  61. Amanda Morris

    This is me too Joy! I have always felt like even though I have forgiven, my memory can’t let go. The hurt or wrong comes back as if it was yesterday…Thank you for reminding me to continue to forgive and give it to God. And to know I am not the only one 🙂


  62. Profile photo of Jennalou16

    I was in a relationship for 3 years… it was a very verbal abusive relationship… I gained weight, felt less of who I am, very depressed. God stepped in, and I am in a heathy relationship now… but I have felt that forgiveness is hard, I still see the guy around and get stressed at the sight of him, I continue to forgive!!

  63. Sherri

    I recently learned that every time we reply those events or conversationa in our mind, our bodies actually think its happening to us again…that is why the emotions come back over and over. I’m good at reliving those conversations too Joy! This has been so vital for me. After I have forgiven, and when the thoughts com back, I stop as soon as I can and refuse to “relive” or “rehash” it out. Unless God shows me there is more I need to learn or forgive in a situation, its done.

  64. Bornelus

    Good morning. Question? If have to keep forgiving repeatedly, did we ever forgive in the first place?

    • Profile photo of Pastor Dave WAY-FM

      Good question. Have you ever confessed a sin in all sincerity before God & then done it again sometime later? I have. God knows our heart. He deals with me today. I just ask forgiveness (or give forgiveness). I don’t believe He counts; instead, He accepts my sincere humility.

  65. Robbie P.

    This is such s great lesson.

  66. Profile photo of DianeMiller

    This is the BEST article I’ve ever read on Forgiveness! Such insight! I always thought that because those “feelings” kept coming back that I was doing something wrong, never truly forgiving to begin with. Now I understand that the “seventy times seven” is the ongoing forgiveness for the same offense and when I keep giving it to God and forgiving “again” I’m still being obedient and forgiving. WOW! Thank you!

  67. Sandra

    My story is so horrible I am embarrassed to share it but it is eating me alive. Fifteen years ago my dad exposed himself to me one evening as I was visiting at his house. I pretended not to see him and went to my room. The next morning I woke up and my favorite cat had been tortured to death and left for me to find. When I went home to my mother’s house I told her everything. In the following days, she wouldn’t stop bringing up my cat, while I was trying to forget and move on. So within a few days I thought I should leave. I became homeless and lived in shelters for a year. For a long time everyone I told the story to took advantage of me in some way. I have been sexually assaulted after telling a man how bad things were with my parents, taken advantage of by someone who knew how afraid I was of getting homeless again, then months later I was sexually assaulted by a man who I did not know was close friends with the second man. It’s like the story went on and on for a long time and things didn’t calm down until I gained 80 pounds and got very depressed. In hindsight, I see that I should have been friends with women but I didn’t trust them because of the very difficult relationship with my mother and while all this was going on with men every single woman I confided in talked. I have gone to to counseling but have yet to find relief. Every time I have a job, as I do now, I am terrified that I am going to get fired and get homeless again. For years I thought I had forgiven my dad no matter how much it hurt but lately I feel like I have a volcano of rage at him. But I don’t want to go there. He is elderly now and may not have a lot of time left. I need prayer for the depression when the anger and hurt.

  68. Lynda

    What a great group of honest people. Yes, I too have learned that forgiving is a process and as Joy said, whenever the pain returns, I realize I have more forgiving to do. It’s been said I need to forgive someone not only for what they did to me, but also for how it adversely affected my life. As Wayne said, it can be harder to forgive what someone did to a person we love, and how that has adversely affected their life. In one particularly painful work relationship the Lord taught me to pray for the person (not stinging bees and Mack trucks, no No!) But to ask Him to giver Her the very best things I could imagine (!). I was reluctant at first b/c I can be pretty creative 😉 but whenever I would feel the pain, He reminded me to pray for her. And the last time I saw her I was genuinely delighted to see her and hugged her neck. The memory of what she did was still there; but the pain was gone. Glory!! He teaches us what is best for us. Blessings dear ones!!

  69. Profile photo of Synergetichealg

    Thanks for sharing Joy! I needed to hear these words, for I too struggle with forgiving others and still holding onto the hurt. I have heard and read the verse Matthew 18:21-22 over and over again but never looked at it the way you have. I have been hoping for a miracle to let go and forget instantly after forgiving and it hasn’t worked. I see why now.

  70. Jennifer

    I am so similar, Joy. But, you gave me a new perspective. I didn’t think of Matthew 18:21-22 in the same way. But, realizing it is about forgiving them over and over again until God heals my heart is what I need to do! Thank you.

  71. Profile photo of Susan

    Thank you for sharing truth. It is not as easy as just saying you forgive. It is an inside out process that can take time or come immediately. God has allowed me both types of forgiveness, and I am grateful for both!

  72. Profile photo of CarrieAnn71272

    Forgiveness is very much a process. I think I’ve forgiven some one and then I feel a rush of pin out of nowhere. I use to get upset with myself thinking is done “it” wrong. I turn to God for help and realize He is seeking me in these moments. God uses the pain of others and the pain I feel from being wronged to grow me and grow closer to me. What am amazing Heavenly Father we have! It’s only Him that can take things so wrong and not just help right the situation but heal me. Thank you Jesus!

  73. Robin

    Thanks Joy! I grew up in an abusive home! I was sexually abused at an early age and my parents told me I deserve it! I was anger and hurt by their emotional abuse and mental abuse. I too can recall a memory of a hurt and I hurt and ache and cry all over again. Both of my parents are alive and I am the main caregiver for them. It hard to do right by them at times, they nevered changed! But I keep forgiving them sometime multiple times a day. It very hard to honor them and be respective, and to do what is heathy for me!

  74. Faydra

    I love how you said Joy: “I was always surprised to find the emotions would come back when I least expected it and I would have to forgive the person ALL OVER AGAIN!”
    That is exactly the feeling I had. I had forgiven but when those feelings came back I had to find myself forgiving that person again! Thank you for making me feel that I am not alone in those battles.

  75. Tina Ledbetter

    Forgiveness for me is sometimes I feel like a long process. I was in an abusive marriage for 12 years, enduring such emotional and physical abuse. It was so hard to forgive him. He is currently in prison and I pray for him every day that he finds Jesus. I want him to have this peace that only God can give. Even though he hurt me and sometimes I still feel the hurt and anger. I want him to find Jesus because I know that is the only way that he will ever heal from his sickness.

  76. Ne10

    To understand why we don’t forgive easily we must define unforgiveness.

    1. Un-Forgiveness is a form of defense mechanism that we use to protect ourselves from any unforseen hurt and we use it as punishment for the wrongdoing caused by someone else and justify it as not unforgiveness but not forgetting to ensure the hurt doesn’t happen again. UnForgiveness and not forgetting is simply the fear of hurt.

    2. The problem with unforgiveness and not forgetting is that it doesn’t fall in line with loving others as we love ourselves, it causes negative emotions and energy, its stressful, and can lead to mental health issues – depression, overthinking, suicide, anxiety, etc. It is a huge hidden form of insecurity that we justify according to how intense our emotions are about our hurt. It prevents us from giving the grace that we all need and keeps us reliving the past.

    3. We tend to want forgiveness when we need it to release us from our guilt but we are reluctant to give forgiveness because it causes us to be vulnerable and we rather have this wall up to protect ourselves, but this is where God comes in to say if you agree that I am your father and I am righteous obey my words to love others.

    4. To forgive and forget is easier said than done, it takes practice, when the thoughts come flooding in or the offender is a serial offender, or your being oppressed, persecuted, betrayed, etc. Our flesh reacts first to the hurt and covering it with love is not what we think about first.

    5. However it is so essential to forgive and forget as it is essential to live a life free to choose happiness and liberty, through righteousness of course. With forgiveness you choose to understand the other person and their choices and it gives you insight about who they are, you learn their life story and what they understand and practice at this time in their life, and where you can help or pray for them. After all that is what you would want if the shoe was on the other foot. This is the concept God wants us to practice and has done for us through Jesus Christ.

    6. We have to exercise our faith in the Lord that through our honesty and living in truth that we are protected by him when we obey him. There is no need to fear hurt and pain because all things work together for the good of those who love the Lord. Hurt and pain is described as a change that is shaking you to a different path, way of, or lesson to get you to the right track for the will of God in your life. Again easier said then done, but, when you finally train yourself and allow the holy spirit to help in this area it leads you to the oh so sweet rewards of sweet peace, God’s love, courage and hope to move forward with optimistic thoughts and emotions, liberty, brushing off mockery & offense humbly, humbleness, and the gift of giving love, grace, patience, and mercy to others in return you attract the same thing to you.

    So I use these steps to help cope and project positive energy towards the situation

    1. Thank God for wisdom, knowledge, and understanding
    2. Worship him for he is all power, knowledge, and wisdom
    3. Pray to see the person how he sees them (Love)
    4. Pray for repentance of any offense I may have caused or trigger and even if they won’t forgive me
    5. Pray for help to give you a heart that forgive and have compassion, over and over again, even for your enemies
    6. Pray for the person who hurt me -not to cause them to go to hell- but so they can get their heart right and get better in the area they hurt me, because we all are running the race and fighting the good fight of faith and are at Gods will for us and we are to help each other to get into heaven – I may be the closest thing to heaven — because that’s what God wants..he wants all of our souls in heaven.
    7. With it all don’t worry about tomorrow, plan ahead with lessons learn, forget about yesterday, mark the good memories delete the bad memories, and live in the moment.

    Certified by a person who spent 3 years in unforgiveness, resentment, hurt, and lack of emotional intelligence to which caused 1 year of unknown depression,stress, 1 anxiety attack, losts of close relationships, shame, guilt, 1 year of recovery, and still dealing with the aftermath through persecution-blacklisting,gossip, and personal attacks. Unforgiveness is not worth it, but thank God for his unconditional love he gave me a second chance to choose forgiveness, now I have learned a lifelong lesson, how to truly love, that’s the title to my story and I’m happy to share the glory of God. I heard it on WAY-FM and kept missing the website I looked it up and signed up for the newsletter, because I can always improve here.

  77. Joni DeBord

    Wow! Very powerful share! I so appreciate your honesty and deep transparency, Joy. I can so relate to what you’ve said, as I’m sure many others can also. Thank you!

  78. Joni DeBord

    Very powerful stuff you shared here, Joy! Thank you for being honest, open, and real. I can so relate to what you said!

  79. Profile photo of SunnyRae

    I like this one because it made me ask myself where is my heart when I am not forgiving, humble, or living from a fruit of the spirit. Also because from this message and hearing Joy on the radio, I know she and I were cut from the sparkly cloth.

  80. Profile photo of Kmarket

    Thank you for your insight. I have a hard time forgiving myself for how I’ve handled a lot of my last. How I mishandled money and all God’s blessings. I feel that I have to learn to forgive myself to be better at forgiving others.

  81. Kathy

    My biggest problem is forgiving myself. I wasn’t a horrible person. But I made some horrible choices in my life and I feel so gut wrenching guilty. My parents both passed away on 2007. I saw them and talk to them almost everyday of my life. It wasn’t the sit down and get to know them and listen to the stories about their lives kind of talking. I was too all about me and my life.
    I feel guilty for the wrongs in my grown children’s lives. That the bad choices I made have caused them pain in their lives. They both say I haven’t done anything wrong but I beg to differ. There are wrongs that my kids don’t even know about. And it seems to be everything bad even the tiniest thing bad that I did or didn’t do the way I should have eats me up.
    I didn’t abuse my boys or anything like that. I just should have done better. And when they hurt I feel like it’s my fault.
    I pray about this often.

    • Susie

      Pleas try to understand that Jesus has already forgiven you. Mediate on that. I understand. I did something, long long ago that even today I have a hard time forgiving myself for but, Jesus died for me. He paid that price. He poured out His blood for me and my sins. If our Loving Jesus can forgive us, the God of our salvation, we must forgive ourselves. Praying for you and your peace my sister.

  82. Allison

    This is what I needed to hear today! I have been struggling with still feeling hurt & angry with a situation and I keep praying to forgive the other people involved. I have been beating myself up thinking I was doing this forgiving thing wrong, but this made me see that I’m not, but that I am human and God knows my heart and that I am truly working on forgiving and He is walking through it with me. Eveyday, every time I feel the hurt or anger He is there and He knows I am continuously seeking to be able to fully forgive.

  83. Susie

    I am so excited to be part of the worlds biggest small group. I have heard you all talking it up on way fm and finally I joined. I am on my 3rd day and I can’t tell you how its helping me along with Gods Word already. God bless you all and thank you for being Powerful, willing vessels for God to use in this mighty Mighty Way! I love you all!

  84. Denise C

    When we take the first step of forgiveness, taking prayer time to forgive from your heart, feelings aside, God is faithful!!!. From personal experience I can say that although there are times when it feels like forgiveness is only an excercise in obedience, our Heavenly Father makes certain that circumstances arise that will bring about the changes and healing necessary to change our hearts.

  85. sue

    I started this program late, it’s probably almost over for most of you, but I’m so glad that it was placed on my heart to do this, I am struggling so hard right now with the constant need to offer forgiveness both for myself and two co-workers who have so wronged me my husband and our business. having to see them and think about them, knowing what all has happened makes it almost impossible to get through a work day, let alone be productive. But I know that when I’m feeling overwhelmed that if I just turn to God and say “I forgive those who sin against me as I have been forgiven” and that over time, there will be the kind of healing that only He can provide. I have to continually place my trust I him and KNOW. Heavenly Father, I will trust in you in all things, time and circumstance.

  86. Sara

    Forgiveness is hard for me too! Forgiving myself is the hardest! Reading the above scripture made me realize for the first time that I neeed to forgive myself 70×7 times not just others. Boy, it is a struggle letting go of the pain and hurt I have caused myself. I pray that with God’s help and Godly friends and a support group that I can do this! Thanks for this segment. You have given me hope!