Lesson #5: Resolution Is Essential

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#5: Resolution Is Essential

When you experience death, you WILL have people to forgive.
I wrote recently about some “Job friends” related to my death experience. Several asked if I resolved my issues with them. The answer is both yes and no. Yes, I have forgiven them. I have moved on in life, figuratively and literally. At the same time, I find it essential that I continue to deal with the recurring reality of what happened as well as the ancillary issues.
Until you forgive and move on, you will remain stuck in the midst of your emotional malaise. Illness of the soul is as debilitating (if not more) than any physical problem. When a major event occurs, a life changer (you may go through life and not have one of these), forgiveness must be dealt with over the long haul.
Ponder this:

Forgiveness is a process, rarely an event.

It takes a while to move through the gyrations of forgiveness. I’m not sure there are universal steps in this. I’ve read books about forgiveness from people who are well-intentioned. They typically provide readers with steps to follow in order to “completely and utterly forgive” and move on in life. I’m not sure God has simple steps he wants us to follow to gain freedom. Yes, he has in mind that we gain freedom from the chains that bind us. Forgiveness is typically drawn out over a period of time, at least when we are dealing with major life-changing events.

Forgiveness is repetitive.

On life-changing events that go haywire, you will have to forgive repeatedly. Our souls have a way of being disappointed at deep levels. They are slow to snap back to their original states. In the meantime, you will need to forgive over and over. Don’t pay attention to simple-minded people who say idiotic, simplistic things like, “You haven’t really forgiven if that issue is still alive in your heart.” The fact that the original issue is still alive doesn’t mean that you didn’t forgive or that you haven’t dealt with it. It simply evidences that you have deep feelings. You have work to do still as you peel the onion another layer deeper. Remember, it’s an onion, not an apple.

Forgiveness requires divine intervention.

If the Holy Spirit doesn’t empower us we won’t have the wherewithal to move forward. He is the only force who can give us the power and perspective we need to let go.
We have steps to take in the process of seeking and gaining forgiveness. Yet we have to realize that our only hope lies in God showing up and doing the real work of bringing freedom. In the end, our strategy is the simple prayer, “Lord have mercy.”

Lesson #6

Steve has spoken, mentored and modeled to churches and leaders around the world with the simple message that anyone – regardless of their gifting or experience – can be involved in bringing God’s loving kindness to others. His first book, Conspiracy of Kindness has been translated into several languages with more in the works. His first book has sold over 300,000 copies. Altogether his books have sold over 500,000 copies.


  1. When a reckless driver cuts me off in traffic, I simply thank God no one was injured because I understand he doesn’t care what anyone else thinks. Forgiveness is not required because it’s all about him, it’s not about me. Forgiveness for anything of significance is indeed a process and one’s relationship with someone whose action or apathy caused or contributed to life-changing consequences will never be the same. Hate only hurts the one who is consumed by it as the other party probably couldn’t care less, but, forgiveness should usually not include forgetting that individual is dangerous at some level “Hurt people hurt people” and should not be encouraged to keep it up. The greater the offense and need for repentance, the more likely the offender is to be uninterested in forgiveness. U.S. prisons are full of psychopaths who do not believe they have done anything wrong.

  2. Forgiveness can sometimes be an easy process when the “offender” expresses remorse and asks for forgiveness. The challenge arises in layering positive interactions on top of the offense to regain a level of trust with that person. It is often difficult to take the risk of future pain with that person.

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