9 Myths about Forgiveness

We have now completed our 6 week study in Forgiveness.
If you were with us (or you followed our live video stream), you know that each week, we attempted to enter the conversation about forgiveness from a wide variety of perspectives, ranging from those who are seeking forgiveness, to those trying to grant it, to all points in between.

At the start of each sermon, I shared what I thought were some common myths about forgiveness. These myths are assumptions we make that keep many of us stuck, bogged down, stalled out, and unable to experience the liberating power that forgiveness can bring.

Below is a list of those myths, the truths that counter them, and a link to the particular sermon in which this issue was taught in detail.

Myth #1
Myth: “Forgiving you means I’m ok with what you did.”
Truth: “Forgiving you means I’m not ok with what you did, but I refuse to be imprisoned by it anymore.”

In the sermon, Forgiveness, Part 1: Where Forgiveness Begins

Myth # 2
Myth: “To forgive is to forget.”
Truth: “Some injuries shouldn’t be forgotten. Sometimes the most redemptive thing we can do is forgive and remember.”

In the sermon, Forgiveness, Part 1: Where Forgiveness Begins

Myth #3
Myth: If I seek their forgiveness, it’s like I’m saying they did nothing wrong, and it’s all my fault.
Truth: Seeking their forgiveness is about simply owning up to your part. Even if you are only responsible for 5% of the problem, and they are responsible for 95%. Seeking forgiveness is about taking 100% of the responsibility for YOUR 5%.

In the sermon: Forgiveness, Part 2: Seeking the Forgiveness of Others

Myth #4
Myth: If I seek their forgiveness, I will look weak, and it will mean I lose.
Truth: You’re already losing. Seeking their forgiveness changes the game.

In the sermon, Forgiveness Part 2: Seeking the Forgiveness of Others

Myth #5
Myth: Forgiving family should be easy, since they are the ones you love the most.
Truth: Our deepest wounds can come from those we love the most.

In the sermon, Forgiveness, Part 3: Forgiving Family

Myth #6
Myth: I have to feel “ready” to forgive. Otherwise, it will be insincere.
Truth: Forgiveness is not a feeling. It is a decision.

In the sermon, Forgiveness, Part 3: Forgiving Family

Myth #7
Myth: They have to own up to what they did, in order for me to forgive them.
Truth: Forgiveness is not always about them. Sometimes, it’s about you.

In the sermon, Forgiveness, Part 4: What if “I’m Sorry” Never Comes

Myth #8
Myth: If I keep on forgiving them for the same thing, over and over again, they will never change.
Truth: True forgiveness is not about a change in them. It’s about a change in you.

In the sermon, Forgiveness, Part 5: Forgiving the Repeat Offender

Myth #9
Myth: If I SAY I forgive you, then I forgive you.
Truth: Forgiveness is more than saying words. Forgiveness is taking deliberate steps to release YOURSELF and THEM and IT…for good.

In the sermon, Forgiveness, Part 6: Let it Go

Shaun King
Senior Pastor
Johns Creek Baptist Church

3 Comments. Leave new

  • Susan Hudson
    June 2, 2014 3:49 pm

    In your last sermon on forgiveness, please consider saying something about forgiving yourself.

    Thank you.

    Susan Hudson

  • Marsha Janofsky
    June 3, 2014 12:13 pm

    WOW! This series was just so helpful to so many of us. And I love the way you have summarized with these myths and then pointed back to the corresponding sermon. A really nice little cheat sheet when we need a refresher!

    But UH-OH. Now you have set a precedent. Can we have one of these for EVERY series?? 🙂

  • Michael Snow
    June 3, 2014 9:18 pm

    Good stuff.


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