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Episode 136 - In 5 Minutes: Redefining Forgiveness


Hello friend. Welcome to episode 136. In 5 minutes I want to redefine forgiveness. I’m going to do a few of these episodes that will possibly be connected in some way, all in 5 power-packed minutes.

So, today I want to address forgiveness in the context of an offender who is not remorseful for their actions, behaviors, or words. This person is not asking for forgiveness and perhaps they’re not even alive any longer to make restitution.

In this case, let me say right away that forgiveness is not done for the one who has offended. Forgiveness is for yourself. To free yourself from the anger and resentment and bitterness that will eventually destroy you from the inside. And will not damage the offender in the least bit. They don’t even care. They’ve moved on to hurt someone else. But you, holding on to the offender and the offense by way of being tethered to it because you cannot forgive will kill you – certainly emotionally, maybe spiritually, and perhaps even physically.

In Matthew 6 verse 14 Jesus said, “If you forgive others their trespasses (or sins against you), your heavenly Father will also forgive you.”

The Greek word for “forgive” here is aphiēmi, meaning to let go, to leave, to send away.

Let’s look at what Forgiveness is not:

Forgiveness is not condoning the behavior.

Forgiveness is not letting someone off the hook.

Forgiveness is not saying “Yes, I’ll be a doormat for your bad behavior.”

And forgiveness certainly does not mean reconciliation will take place.

Then what is forgiveness actually?

Forgiveness is an untethering.

It’s a letting go of the attachment to the person who has harmed you in some way. It is a moving away from or sending away the connection between you and the person. The offense is what ties you to the person. Forgiving is the cutting of the ties. The untethering.

Romans 12 verse 18 says, “If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.”

It’s interesting that this verse begins with “If possible.” That means that sometimes it’s not possible to be at peace with someone else. And that’s because sometimes people are toxic and unhealthy to be around. And again, sometimes because they are an offender without remorse. But one thing you can do is be at peace within yourself. And that sometimes that means letting someone go, sending them away, moving away from the offender and the offense. Untethering yourself.

The Webster’s Dictionary definition of forgiveness is the action or process of forgiving.

So, the root word “forgive” is to cease to feel resentment against an offender. How do you cease to feel resentment? I think it’s found in the actual definition of forgiveness: it’s a process. It’s an untethering, sometimes with a machete like sharpness that cuts the ties cleanly and swiftly. And sometimes it’s with a child’s safety scissors that cuts strand by strand and thread by thread. It’s a process.

Friend, one thing we know is that it is possible to forgive. And that’s because Jesus told us to. So, with Him, we’re able. A good place to begin, always, is to remember that we were once the remorseless offender of the Son of God, hostile in our sin and in our ways. And He loved us at our darkest and went to the cross to buy us back, out of darkness, out of slavery, out of death. He is the reason we’re able to untether ourselves from an offender and offense that has us wrapped up in resentment, bitterness, and anger. And He’s asking you to do it for your own good. For you. For yourself. Friend, are you ready to forgive to untether yourself and free yourself to live in peace? You certainly can.

If you’re finding it difficult to untether yourself through forgiveness, I’d love to help you. Book a free 30-minute call on my calendar so we can chat about Life Coaching together. The link is in the show notes.

And don’t forget to get the listener’s Guide that will help you work through this kind of forgiveness. The link to that is in the show notes, as well.

Have a wonderful week, friends. See you next Wednesday for the next episode of Another Beautiful Life.


What is forgiveness? What is it not? And why should you do it?

On today’s episode, I’m redefining forgiveness so that you can live in peace and freedom.

Get the work-alone Guide here:

Read the Podcast transcript here:

Are you wondering how Life Coaching works? Would you like a free, 30-minute session? Click this link to set up a Consult Call:

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