God never condones our sin, but He will be faithful and just to forgive us our sin and purify us from its stain (1 John 1:9).

3)  Forgiveness is a decision, not a feeling.

My daughter will still feel pain when she encounters the one who hurt her or remembers the incident. She and I are both learning to take those thoughts captive and make them obedient to Christ (2 Corinthians 10:3-5).

4)  Forgiveness has the power to change our family legacies for generations.

This is good news! Forgiveness affects more than the forgiver. Others take notice because to forgive is supernatural. My daughter’s decision to walk in forgiveness may give her an opportunity to share Christ with others.

5)  Forgiveness and reconciliation are not synonymous.

My daughter’s obedience to forgive may demand healthy boundaries if this person continues to hurt her without repentance. Some relationships between  believers in Christ may not be reconciled until heaven. Forgiveness can occur even if reconciliation does not.

Someone has wisely said, “You cannot give away what you do not possess.” I pray that as God continues to transform me in my practice of forgiving others, my children’s legacy to my grandchildren will be modeling a lifestyle of forgiveness toward others. 

Shawn Lantz is a speaker and author whose most recent work is the popular women’s bible study, Encountering the Healing Power of Forgiveness (Living with Unmet Desires Series).  Lantz is on the women’s ministry team of her home church in Nashville and has been involved in women’s ministry for nearly a decade. Her previous books include Exposing the Many Faces of Jealousy (Living with Unmet Desires Series) bible study as well as Congo Vignettes, a biography chronicling three generations of Lantz’ family as missionaries to the Democratic Republic of Congo.  For more information, visit www.ShawnLantz.com.

Publication date: November 27, 2012