This series was written for the person who is mid-journey and struggling to continue to move forward. It is not a memoir from the end of the journey with all the luxuries that hindsight affords. For that reason, this series is not “neat.” That’s because life in a broken world is not “tidy.” Relationships are hard. Simplistic relational formulas only serve to discourage us as we strive to gain our bearings.

With that in mind, there are five qualities this series strives to embody.

  1. Brief – There are many, short chapters instead of fewer, long chapters. When we need to forgive or embrace forgiveness, we already feel overwhelmed. Too many words only make that worse.
  2. Conversational – I write like I would talk in a counseling session. I pose questions and grapple with the implications. You will follow my train of thought better, if you realize I’m writing conversationally.
  3. Honest – My aim is to put into words things we often think but feel bad saying out loud. Our pain and confusion won’t be resolved with silence. Silence only allows pain to echo. If we’re going to find resolution, we have to honest about what makes forgiveness hard.
  4. Vivid –I try to pull from examples of things we already understand. Metaphors, word pictures, and examples fill the pages of this book. You will need to read with your mind’s eye.
  5. Biblical – Forgiveness only makes sense – to the degree it makes sense – in light of the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ to purchase forgiveness. Calvary isn’t a panacea that makes forgiving easy, but it is the foundation that can support the emotional weight of forgiveness.

I hope you enjoy.

  1. Remember, Forgiveness Begins with Pain
  2. 5 Things Forgiveness Is Not
  3. 3 Dimensions of Forgiveness
  4. 3 Things Not to Forgive
  5. Why We Should Not Forgive Misinterpretations
  6. When Discussing Parables About Forgiveness
  7. When Discussing Narratives Involving Forgiveness
  8. When Using Criminal or Traumatic Offenses as Illustrations of Forgiveness
  9. God’s Forgiveness to Us: Unconditional?
  10. “Forgive and Forget” and an Omniscient God
  11. The Uncomfortable Reality: Forgiveness Is Never Deserved
  12. Can Boundaries and Forgiveness Co-Exist?
  13. Trust as a Proportional Virtue
  14. Identifying Wise Trust on a Spectrum
  15. Forgiveness and Manipulative Repentance
  16. Crisis and Post-Crisis Forgiveness
  17. Remembering Well after Forgiveness
  18. Is Embracing Forgiveness from Others Harder Than from God?
  19. Forgiveness and Shame, Not Just Guilt
  20. Intra-Personal Forgiveness: Should I Forgive Myself?
  21. Forgiveness and Assurance of Salvation: Religious Scrupulosity
  22. The Offensiveness of God Forgiving Sins Against Me
  23. Forgiveness and Emotional Freedom
  24. Love Covers a Multitude of Sins
  25. Forgiveness and Leaving Room for the Wrath of God
  26. Forgiveness and Protecting Other Vulnerable People
  27. Forgiveness and Emotional Maturity: Root and Fruit