By Charles Towne   

Forgiveness is an embrace across all barriers, against all odds, involving all races, all creeds, all religions, all men, in defiance of all that is petty, mean, cruel and vindictive in this life.

Forgiveness enables us to overcome our own sins, flaws, and weaknesses and ignore those of others.

Forgiveness is truly a blessed gift from God.

Christianity extolls the value and virtue of forgiveness, it reveals the character trait of being forgiving as a primary feature of Jesus’ character and God’s very person.

When we withhold forgiveness from another, no matter how real or imagined the wrong, we are placing ourselves above Him, above our God.  How could we dream of doing such a thing?

We must remember that forgiveness blesses more than the one being forgiven, for we, in the very act of forgiving, are blessed, and in that blessing, we are healed.

Forgiveness is taking seriously the awfulness of what has transpired, and it opens the door for the other person to begin again, to be healed and to know true love.  In that light how could we withhold such a gift?

So often we imagine the forgiveness that we offer to another is our gift to the one forgiven, but in reality, it is more God’s blessed gift to us.

Without our forgiveness resentment builds in us, a resentment that turns into hostility and anger, even hatred, and this eats away at our well being and leaves us empty, a mere husk of what God intends, unable to realize the joy of a peaceful heart.

Jesus chose to die for us while we were yet sinners and His enemies, and what does He do as they are nailing Him to the cross?  He calls out to God, “Father, forgive them for they don’t know what they are doing!”

You and I have a much heavier debt of sin before God than we could ever have against one another.  If we don’t forgive a brother or sister, anyone who has wronged us, we should pray in terror every time we ask our Holy God to forgive us.

If we refuse to forgive those who have offended us, by that very act of being unforgiving we are asking God to hold our sins to our account and condemn us to being eternally separated from Him

Forgiveness serves our spiritual interest by preventing bitterness from clouding our ability to love.  Three little words, I forgive you, they mean so very, very much, almost as much as, “please Father, forgive me.”

“O God, dear Father, mighty one, healer, comforter, provider, please forgive me as I forgive others.”  Oh, what a terrible prayer that is, for if by chance I have not forgiven my brother than I am asking God not to forgive me!

If on the other hand, I forgive, and that forgiveness is based on genuine brotherly love, I have every right to expect to be forgiven by Him from whom genuine forgiveness originates.

Father, right now, at the beginning of this new year, help each of us to be like Jesus, for only therein resides true happiness.  Thank you, O Mighty God!  Thanks for loving us, for teaching us, yes, and for forgiving us, and for giving us peace.  In Jesus’ most wonderful name we pray this, Amen.

Charles Towne is first and foremost a Christian. An octogenarian, author, journalist, wildlife photographer, naturalist, caregiver, and survivor, his life has been and continues to be, a never-ending adventure filled with possibilities never imagined. He has adopted the philosophy that to Live fully, laugh uproariously, love passionately, and learn like there is no tomorrow, is a formula for a long and joy-filled life.


  1. Beautiful in expression and reach!. May I add that forgiveness for the one who has been wounded and diminished in an abusive relation will often be a process, not a point, though the process may be punctuated with moments of release. All wounds may take time to heal. Help us understand a healthy healing process

  2. Dear Ernie, It is also interesting to note that if by chance we perceive God as vengeful instead of the Loving Papa God and friend that He is, it is difficult to forgive others that have perhaps injured us. It is a sad statement that we often see the Father in the light of our own hurt. When this happens we end up attributing our own weaknesses to Him, thus creating a very small god in our own image. Thanks so much for your wise words and understanding. Chaz

  3. I agree with Ernie….often times it is a process that takes time. During this journey, we must also learn to be kind to ourselves and practice forgiveness of our own shortcomings. Thank you Charles for the insight and reflection!

  4. Dear NH, Wow! You guys bring out the depth of the issues at stake. Out of a sense of the realization of my own humanity I arrive at the depth of great need for a loving God. As he reveals himself to us in His incredible love how can we not accept that very love He has expressed for humanity in the gift of Jesus. Our worth, our value to Him is beyond our finite ability to comprehend, but, in His merciful forgiveness we find the ability to forgive ourselves. Thanks so much for the thoughtful comments my dear friends, Chaz

  5. Well said Chuck, we are blessed that our creator is such a loving, forgiving God. To feel like you don’t deserve forgiveness can be a very heavy burden. I know that we as humans can’t always forgive so having God willing and ready to forgive at all times can be a lifesaver for those racked with extreme guilt. That guilt can be paralyzing when one has true remorse and want to redeem his/her transgressions. Thanks for another great read Chuck and God bless.

  6. Don, thanks for the thoughtful comment. To my way of thinking, only as we see God in the light of His great love can we have any clue of what real joy is. Blessings on you and yours, Chaz

  7. Dear Patti, you are wise beyond your years. An Unforgiving spirit, anger, resentment, are curses we wish upon ourselves, so absolutely, by omitting these character traits from our live we become kinder, more tolerant, and more loving. The catch is that these changes can only take place as we yearn and pray for the character, mind and personality of Christ. Oh, would it be so for each of us. Blessings on you and yours my friend, Chaz

  8. Yes. You had me pegged. That is one of my favorite topics because it’s so important for our heath, spiritual and physical. And you touched it all. Way to go, chuck

  9. Well Linda, perhaps I haven’t touched on it all but if Papa God gives me the time and the knowledge, I guess He has already given me the will. Praise Him from whom all blessings flow! Thanks so much for the vote of confidence sissy, Unka Chuck

  10. There is a song which often plays on Z88 “Forgiveness” .. the first time I heard the song, it hit a raw nerve, I can remember, I was driving & thinking about some things going on in my life. I listened to the words of the song. There is a line in it “Forgiveness releasing you from pain… “ it stuck with me. I have heard it before but hearing it in the song, hit a raw nerve. I prayed quietly because while driving I was in thought & not feeling my best. I believe there are moments when messages are sent when you are not looking for it.

  11. Diane, you are sooo right! How many times in my life has our Heavenly Daddy spoke to our hearts at just the right moment, for just the right reason. I pray daily that God will endow me with the character and the mind of Jesus! Oh that it had always been so, but I am learning. Those raw nerves you speak of are the tender spots of anointing where God meets us and walks with us. Imagine the Holy one holding you close at such moments… And Diane, your quote, “Forgiveness releases you from pain…” is so apt. Blessings on you my dear sister in Jesus. Chaz

  12. Forgiveness is a personal struggle of mine. Still looking for the How To guidebook (“Forgiveness for Dummies”?). Lord, show me the way!

  13. Dear Gymrat, my friend, please don’t feel like the Lone Ranger. What we are talking about is a human issue that I believe most of us pathetic little mortals fail at. I am thinking that perhaps it is an issue of communication, with God more than each other. What I mean by that is this: perhaps If we were to pray for a Christlike character more, I mean desire it more than anything else, we would eventually become more loving, more patient, more like our Lord. Hmmm, “FORGIVENESS FOR DUMMIES.” It has a ring to it doesn’t it? Yeah, as the Gymrat said, “Lord, show us the way! God bless you dear one, Chaz

  14. Wow its like everytime i read your articles they hit right at home i needed to read this . lord knows there are people i need to forgive thank you for this. Love you papito!

  15. This is such a good article and the comments from your readers are very helpful and comforting. We are all in this together. Sometime it is not given us to know why certain people have hurt us. Or, why we ourselves have done things we truly regret. For me, giving up searching for all of the “why’s” has been very helpful. Thanks for all the lessons and reminders, Charles!

  16. Jose, my young friend, Papa God loves you so very much. I believe that the realization of a need is the first step in its fulfillment. When you express the fact that there are people in your life you need to forgive, that is the beginning of healing. Even though it might seem contrary to what we think we want, sometimes we think we need to forgive, when in reality we need to be forgiven. It is always easier to say, “I forgive you!” Than to say, “Please forgive me!” Please forgive me, is accepting responsibility, but that so often is where the healing needs to began. I am proud of you son, “Papito”

  17. Dear Kristin, I am humbled by the wisdom and honesty expressed by all of you, my readers. I often wonder, how does God stand the hurt, the pain, the anguish of His children? We have all been hurt, and, we have all hurt others, but when it comes to the issue of forgiveness, those three words, “PLEASE FORGIVE ME!” might as well be written in the Klingon language for all the good they do. Please forgive me! O Papa God, please forgive me! O HOLY ONE, PLEASE HEAR MY PLEA, AND FORGIVE ME! In Jesus Holy name we ask it, Amen

  18. Thank you, Chuck, for a very necessary reminder!! Forgiveness does not come naturally to us. It is a spiritual thing and something we must cultivate. The Bible
    tells us to forgive. It doesn’t give us the option, even though at times, it can be quite difficult. Unforgivness is not only disobedience to our Lord, but it does great harm to us mentally and physically.
    I remember a sermon where the pastor left us with a thought to ponder and pray about.
    He said ….unforgiveness does more harm to that in which it is stored, rather than that on which it is poured.

  19. Wow! CSG, You hit the ball out of the park with that one! I believe unforgiveness is like trying to kill a venomous snake by biting its tail, its sort of foolishness, and we would be left with the suffering! There is also that old saying about cutting off one’s nose to spite one’s face. I think Genuine forgiveness blesses the forgiver much more than the forgiven! Blessings my friend. Chaz

  20. Chuck – I’m late to the reading party this week and thoroughly enjoyed not only reading your great inspirational message but also the very insightful comments of fellow readers. It is a shame that more of the world will never benefit from your message. If there was ever a time for forgiveness it’s now.

  21. Mike, thanks my friend. I have always felt that if one person benefits from one of my short articles, to God be the glory. I am deeply humbled my friend. May you and yours be greatly blessed. Deepest gratitude, Chaz

  22. On the nose as usual,Chuck, forgiveness is I think a struggle for every man, woman, and child ever born! He hurt me! They caused me great pain, She ruined everything! Whoever any of these people are they did something that caused us pain, physical, emotional, spiritual and deep in our hearts we all know we don’t deserve treatment like that! We are told the greatest rule is to love one another, greater love hath no man is not just a soldiers prayer,it is for each of us. How could he love us and cause us such pain? A better question is how can we love him and not forgive? The most difficult part to understand is that to truly forgive, we must let go of ourselves and embrace Papa God. Forgiveness for us is not impossible, it’s just soooooo formidable!

  23. Rich, there is a depth to what you are saying that is beyond reasonable. Thanks so much for expanding forgiveness almost to another dimension. Blessing man, Chaz


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