How to Forgive When You Don’t Feel Like It

Forgiving isn’t easy, but it’s what we’re called to do. In this episode, Jeff encourages us to show mercy to others just as Christ has shown mercy to us, and he suggests several concrete actions we can take to forgive those in our lives who have hurt us.

  • All of us have had the experience of being hurt, wounded or in some way emotionally bruised by someone we love or an acquaintance at work or even by a stranger.
  • John 16:33 – “33 These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.”
  • We all run into stumbling blocks. The Greek word for stumbling block is “scandalon.”
    • A stumbling block is that which gives offense, an object of anger or disapproval. Jesus was a stumbling block to some.
    • The “Skandalon” is the name of the part of the trap that you put the cheese. It comes from the idea of a “bait stick” To be offended, is to be trapped.
      • A trap is designed to:
        • Not look like a trap
        • Be stronger than its victim
What happens when we don’t forgive?
  • The biblical idea of exile & return
    • Salvation history is a tale of exile and return.
    • Israel, as God’s firstborn among the nations was called on by God to do to others what he had done for them.
  • Exodus 7:16 – “16 You shall say to him, ‘The Lord, the God of the Hebrews, sent me to you, saying, “Let My people go, that they may serve Me in the wilderness. But behold, you have not listened until now.”
    • God delivered them and expected Israel to treat the nations as they were treated.
      • Jubilee: every 50 years a Jubilee was proclaimed. Slaves were returned to their family and land is returned. Liberty should be proclaimed throughout the land.
        • Israel failed to release and extends liberty and as a result Judah went into Babylonian captivity in 587 BC.
        • Jeremiah 34 describes the whole thing.
Christ forgave us.
  • Luke 4:18–19 – “‘18 The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, 19 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.’ 20 And he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant, and sat down. The eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on him. 21 Then he began to say to them, ‘Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.’”
    • Jesus proclaims the great Jubilee in the synagogue.
  • Jesus forgives us our sin but it doesn’t happen by magic, he pays the price.
    • 1 Peter 1:18-19 – “18 You know that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your ancestors, not with perishable things like silver or gold, 19 but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without defect or blemish.”
    • Matt 27:21- “21 The governor again said to them, ‘Which of the two do you want me to release for you?’ And they said, ‘Barabbas.’”
      • Barabbas means “son of the father”
    • John 19:30 – “30 When Jesus had received the wine, he said, ‘It is finished.’ Then he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.”
We are called to forgive others as Christ forgave us.
  • Matt 6:12 – “12 And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. 13 And do not bring us to the time of trial, but rescue us from the evil one. 14 For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you; 15 but if you do not forgive others, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.”
    • The topic of forgiveness is so central to the gospel that it’s one of the main tenets of the Lord’s prayer. “Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.” The concept that Christ is communicating is that we are to forgive, whether debts, trespasses or sins against us. And it all comes down to the fact that Christ has forgiven us and given us the ability to forgive others.
A Parable About Forgiveness
  • Matt 18:23-35 – “23 “For this reason the kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who wished to settle accounts with his slaves. 24 When he began the reckoning, one who owed him ten thousand talents was brought to him; 25 and, as he could not pay, his lord ordered him to be sold, together with his wife and children and all his possessions, and payment to be made. 26 So the slave fell on his knees before him, saying, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you everything.’ 27 And out of pity for him, the lord of that slave released him and forgave him the debt. 28 But that same slave, as he went out, came upon one of his fellow slaves who owed him a hundred denarii; and seizing him by the throat, he said, ‘Pay what you owe.’ 29 Then his fellow slave fell down and pleaded with him, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you.’ 30 But he refused; then he went and threw him into prison until he would pay the debt. 31 When his fellow slaves saw what had happened, they were greatly distressed, and they went and reported to their lord all that had taken place. 32 Then his lord summoned him and said to him, ‘You wicked slave! I forgave you all that debt because you pleaded with me. 33 Should you not have had mercy on your fellow slave, as I had mercy on you?’ 34 And in anger his lord handed him over to be tortured until he would pay his entire debt. 35 So my heavenly Father will also do to every one of you, if you do not forgive your brother or sister from your heart.”
    • Talent = 15 years wages
    • Denarius = a day’s wage
    • “Jailers” in Greek is “torturers”
  • Matt 18:21-22 – “21 Then Peter came and said to him, “Lord, if another member of the church sins against me, how often should I forgive? As many as seven times?” 22 Jesus said to him, “Not seven times, but, I tell you, seventy-seven times.”
  • “Forgiveness is to pardon someone who offended, hurt, or attacked us. It implies there is guilt in the offender, regardless of whether or not there is repentance, sorrow, or contrition. We can forgive those who have not even ask for our forgiveness. We are asked to forgive our enemies, to love them, and to pray for them.” (The Catholicism Answer Book)


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1 Comment

  1. Amazing podcast. Making changes in my life immediately.



  1. Ascension Press Twenty-fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time - […] Fr. Mike Schmitz Podcast) How to Forgive When You Don’t Feel Like It (The Jeff Cavins Show) Forgive That You…

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