Heal Yourself: Forgiveness

By: Carol McClain       carol_mcclain

We’ve all been crushed by ruthless (or clueless people). Seeing as everyone sins, Christians included, we often rub shoulders with arrogant, rude, know-it-all, clueless people who tromp all over us.

Sometimes it hits closer to home with more devasting consequences when parents, children or spouses crush our spirits.

We need to forgive.

Forgiveness does not mean approving of their actions.

Forgiveness sets YOU free.

My father loved us, but he hurt his family. In my adolescence, I dreamed he would leave our family so we could live in peace. I think I hated him. I know others did, but it’s kind of hard to say I hated a man who loved us and meant no harm. But harm us he did.

Over time, I recognized his frailty. Destroyed by alcohol and poverty, having come from a broken home, my father lost his way. His sins hurt those he loved most in the world. As he died, I recognized the frailty of this man. I saw my mother’s love and devotion and the ephemeral nature of life. He was my father–the only one I’d ever had and I started the process of forgiveness.

In the end, it changed nothing that happened in my prior life, but it changed me and my view. I forgot the pain and the wrongs. I knew they existed and they had damaged me, but I healed.

How Does One Forgive?

  1. Pray. We are powerless without God’s help. Pray changes things–perhaps not always in the manner we wish, but God hears us. Believe me. I will repeat it because I know many of you don’t believe it. GOD HEARS US.
  2. Read Scripture.  How can you know what God is saying to you unless you understand His mind? God will not lie. If it’s Scriptural, it’s true. Read. Find the verse that resonates.
  3. Forgive. Easier said than done. What works for me is every time I recall the hurt, I’d say, “I forgive.” At first, I sounded like a pathological stutterer. Eventually, it settled down until the pain subsided and the wounds healed over. Scars still remind me, but they don’t hurt anymore.
  4. Get counsel. For most things, not necessary. I know many of you have been raped or beaten or cheated on or betrayed. The pain cuts through to your very core. See a trusted pastor and talk (talking to the right person helps heal). For the horrible wounds humans can inflict, see a therapist. You have one life. It deserves to be lived in peace.

Two Scriptures show the above blog is the truth:

Isaiah 43: 25 says: “I, even I, am he who blots out your transgressions, for my own sake, and remembers your sins no more.”

Ephesians 4:32: “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”

If God forgave us, we can forgive others through the power of His love and His sacrifice.



  1. Tara Cromp says:

    Thank you for the post, Carol. Our stories sound much alike. My alcoholic father was lost and brought much damage to our family. Like you, I often prayed he would go away hoping it would bring peace. He did finally leave, but there was no peace as the alcoholism continued with my mother and step-father. As I grew older I had no real understanding of the impact all of the dysfunction had on me as a human being. But, in Christ and through His love, He exposed the broken areas of my life and over time began to heal them. Forgiveness was the oil used to heal my wounds – some wounds that were self inflicted as well as those left by others. One of the most wonderful things that came out of the healing for me was understanding. I understood how desperately I needed a savior, and how those in my family needed Him as well. It helped me to look at my family with different eyes. For the first time, I could see them through compassion – No longer blaming them for what was lost. There are battle scars left, I am sure, but they have faded with time. For that I am very thankful. Have a blessed Thanksgiving.

    • Carol McClain says:

      Isn’t it wonderful about forgiveness? It doesn’t condone anything, but it heals us. Like you, I see the scars and once in a while, they pinch. Overall, the pain is gone.

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