Wanda’s Journal

The Power of Forgiveness

Have you ever hurt someone’s feelings and needed to apologize but couldn’t find the right words or weren’t sure how they would respond? Or maybe you went to them to say you were sorry, but they wouldn’t accept your apology. Perhaps, you had a disagreement with someone and they wanted you to apologize but you didn’t feel that you had said or done anything wrong. Did you offer an apology anyway?

Maybe you were the one who was hurt by something someone said or did to offend you. Did you expect an apology from them? If they apologized, did you accept it and continue your relationship, or did you decide that it wasn’t worth the effort and cut them out of your life? What did you do if they never said they were sorry? Can a friendship or family relationship remain strong if apologies are never said when problems arise or hurtful things are said or done?

There are many verses in the Bible that refer to the topic of forgiveness. In the Book of Mark, chapter 11, verse 25 (NKJV), Jesus said: “And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses.”

In my Prayer Jar Devotional: Forgiveness, I mentioned that according to Webster’s Dictionary, the word forgive means “to grant pardon for or to.” The Greek word translated forgiveness means “to let go,” as when a person doesn’t demand payment for a debt.

Did you know that when we’re unwilling to forgive, it can make us feel physically and spiritually sick? Sadly, some people hold on to their anger towards someone for years, allowing it to control their thoughts and behavior. Forgiveness has the power to heal both parties involved. Emotional and spiritual healing begins when we choose to forgive.

“And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.” Ephesians 5:32 (NKJV).

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  1. I love the prayer jar series. It seems like I could associate with each one. I’ve both been hurt and wished for an apology, and needed to be the one to apologize before. And I’ve needed healing of the heart and of body. There’s nothing like prayer, it can bring hope,healing, forgiveness and so much more. I’m forever thankful for the power of prayer.

  2. I apologized to my brother and sister for not being a very good sister a few years ago because of things I had done, not spending the time with them I should have, amongst other things. Their reply was that there was nothing to apologize for. They always acted as if I had never wronged them. I have forgiven every person who has ever wronged me and have also asked God’s forgiveness for all of my mistakes in my life. I know He has forgiven me. God is my refuge, my strength, and my Rock in life since re-dedicating my life to Him years ago.

    1. I experienced hurt feelings over the years ,I’ve learned over the years to forgive and love those who hurt me and I made apologies too for letting mouth speak words I couldn’t take back God loves everyone one and he wants us to forgive too just like he loves and forgives us too.

  3. Forgiveness is a must, but yes reaching out and not getting a Forgiveness back is hard too especially when it’s family its sad and i just keeppraying. I love and cherish your Forgiveness series, it touched my heart.

  4. Thank you for the spiritual guidance you have given me and many others. When I get hurt, I want to withdraw from everyone. I want to get away and let self pity take over.
    Your books help me see the world in a better light. Thank you.

  5. It’s so important to offer forgiveness and to seek it. What is not helpful is to feel sorry or take the blame for offenses that are not yours. Sometimes the Lord is working out repentance in another’s life, it’s not our job to assume responsibility for what we have not done. We can pray and be patient as the Holy Spirit does His work.

  6. Throughout my lifetime, many situations have crossed my path. I feel forgiveness is mostly for yourself. I know holding on to grudges can harm you physically and emotionally. It’s so important to let those harsh feelings go. When those bad feelings have left, I find there is much more space for joy!

  7. There is nothing more difficult than living with the guilt of not being able to forgive. And thanks to a loving Father in Heaven we can all overcome this guilt by forgiving others and asking to be forgiven for what we have said or done to others. With His divine help we can find that peace knowing we no longer holding these feelings in our hearts.

  8. Forgiveness, yes, I was hurt by a friend and said some things I shouldn’t have said to her and I apologized and said I forgive her and she said she forgave me but doesn’t want to be my friend any longer. Sometimes God puts people in your life for a season, maybe she was a season.

  9. It’s can be difficult to forgive. But I know I’m can be miserable, until I have forgiven he or she, them.

    As stated we are to forgive so that our prayers will not be hindered.

  10. I’ve experienced both the lack of forgiveness on my pand the other person’s part. It will eat you up and cause much harm to your spiritual walk.

  11. I am sure in life most of us have said things to people that might have hurt their feelings. Sometimes without meaning to . I always wait and replay what transpired, then apologize, sometimes a little jester with the apology helps to let the person know you are serious and not just saying words.. Usually I bake some cookies or a bread that I know the person likes. I do not believe in holding a grudge Life is too short.

  12. I have recently been through some life altering events. Though angry and hurt my faith in Jesus never left me. I have had to forgive alot of people and things, but now through alot of prayer and forgiveness I am blessed beyond measure. Wanda your books are a calm in any storm. Thank you and God Bless

  13. I learned early in life that if I want God to forgive me I must first forgive the one who wronged me.
    I was wronged by someone at work. She must not have liked me as she was always telling unthruths about me. I finally went to her and asked her why she was doing it. She had no answer, but she quit doing it. It helped the atmosphere at work by her stopping to tell stories about me.
    God will forgive, if we forgive first.

  14. when my dad died in 2013, he left the property to me and my sister. well, my sister moved into the trailer with her son. She met a man who was released from prison for drug trafficking. she began to do drugs with him. I didn’t want to be in trouble with my name on the property and them having drugs on the property .so i thought it was best to go to a lawyer and put the property up for sale. I was so mad that she brought drugs into the house and was growing marijuana in my dad’s garage. The property was sold and i haven’t talked to her since 2015. I have forgiven her for what she did but i have washed my hands of her. i felt I was better off without her in my life. it took a lot of prayers to get over the guilt i had over Saling my parents’ property but i couldn’t be in trouble for drugs that i didnt approve of. But forgiving has helped me get through this. God bless.

  15. I don’t have a problem with forgiving others. I do have a hard time forgiving myself. It’s a daily battle within myself.

  16. Yes, I have had a personal experience about a fall out with a family member. I felt I had to reach out with an apology even though we were both at fault. It was difficult but With God’s help, we both moved on from the experience.

  17. This was great. I think it is so hard to forgive sometimes but this is a beautiful reminder why it is so important.

  18. I have a hard time to forgive, but I know I should. It takes me a long time to forgive. I need to work on that. I always need to pray on it first. I believe Prayer Changes Things.

  19. It is important to ask God for forgiveness. He has given me many second chances . In any relationship forgiveness is important.

  20. Words of wisdom that brings healing and restores peace and love. Thank you for reminding us of what our Lord said regarding forgiveness.I so enjoyed reading the prayer Jar series.

  21. Forgiving others is a good thing to do always. If you don’t, it will eat away at you until you do. Thank you Wanda for your good books and inspiration you give for all who reads them. Sending big hugs from Northern Michigan!

  22. I had a falling out with a family member a few years ago. I felt we were both to blame. After some time, with God’s help, I apologized. I didn’t feel that she accepted my apology but things seemed to have gotten better. It is so important to offer forgiveness & give an apology to those we have hurt.

  23. Sometimes forgiveness is hard. For me, it takes a moment to forgive, but rarely forget. For the most part, I will not have anything to do with that person, if I can help it.

    Maybe one day…

  24. It’s hard to forgive sometimes but it’s better than having built up anger and being miserable. God bless you for your journals.

  25. Forgiveness is such an important part of life. There would be no friendships without it. Jesus showed the best example of forgiveness, when the soldiers hung him on the cross and He forgave them for they did to him.

  26. Forgiveness help you feel better when you said something you should not have. It is gods blessing you will receive when you forgive others and maybe yourself.

  27. Forgiveness is a wonderful thing. We must forgive others in order for God to forgive us. Plus it is a wonderful feeling when we forgive instead of dwelling on bad feelings and thoughts and letting them eat away at us. Thank you for the reminder.

  28. Wanda, Thank You for a powerful devotional/Journal entry. Having gone through the hurt and forgiveness or lack there of, it’s a battle. Even though sometimes it still flairs up, as hurt sometimes doesn’t go away, I have to trust in Jesus for leadership and guidance. Thank You for your amazing writings. I just finished the Jar Series, what a great encouragement. God Bless!!!

  29. I can forgive other people and truly feel at peace. Why can I not forgive myself for things I have done? Past memories regularly spring up out of the blue resulting in pain that washes over me leaving me feeling so sad.

  30. I fully believe we must be willing to forgive as God has forgiven us. Lots of times I’ve felt I was wronged by those who say they love me, but thru prayer & Gods great blessings I rise above & ask for God to forgive them for they may not realize what they did. I feel thru prayer I can move on to forgive the treatment I received & love like God wants us too!

  31. Our Son has basically disowned us – I have called him, sent cards, e-mailed – asking WHY? I forgive him, pray for him, still love him dearly – but he will not respond. (It has been almost 12 years). What more can I do? So I have put it in God’s Hands🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻

  32. It seems like forgiveness is as important to a relationship as being honest. Sometimes we can work things out without having to have a serious discussion about what is wrong; but to have a friendship that is good between everybody, we need to air our feelings and be willing to make amends, including apologizing. Being unforgiving as well as being unforgiven brings a sadness to the heart. Many times it takes a good time of prayer to be able to find our way through it all.

  33. Forgiveness . . . the Holy Spirit convicts me that I must confess and ask forgiveness for my sin. He also impresses me that I need to forgive others who have hurt me. I know without a doubt it is the Holy Spirit convicting me, because if I ignore HIM the impression gets so strong that I cannot ignore HIM any longer. Sometimes my own pride gets in the way of my actions to confess or forgive. BUT, I also know that I must be obedient to my Heavenly Father, and follow his commandments to forgive. Thank you, Lord, for you patience with me!

  34. We should all be willing to forgive others when they have wronged us. We too have needed forgiveness and will surely need it again. We should be quick to apologize and forgive others.

  35. I have asked for forgiveness a number of times, okay a lot lol. As I have aged I am more aware of my shortcomings and try to be a better person. But even then I make mistakes and say I’m sorry. I have had people come to me saying they’re sorry, sometimes it is easy to forgive and sometimes it takes a little longer. We are only human but can learn so we don’t repeat mistakes.

  36. Forgiving others is “easier said than done” most of the time. However, I know that God will give us the strength and help we need to be able to forgive those who have wronged us.

  37. Forgiveness is not easy but God commands us to forgive. He has forgiven us so much, how can we not forgive others? It is also important to ask others for forgiveness.

  38. Thanks for sharing the insights of Forgiveness. This is so important. Many years ago a friend said something about my family that hurt very much. I could have walked away and ended our friendship. But with time and forgiveness we have continued our many years together. I feel she made the statement without really thinking. We would have missed so many good years.

  39. Many times I have had to apologize to friends, relatives, or coworkers for things I did or said either intentionally or unintentionally that cased them hurt. I have a horrible habit of speaking before I think and my words don’t come out right. It is a problem I am continually working on. I have apologized and not been forgiven for years, but have continued in prayer. One realionship took many years to mend, and I missed my friend dearly. I always smiled and said hello when we met and left it to the Lord. About 5 years ago she forgave me and we are very good friends to this day. We meet once a month for lunch, take trip together, shop together and chat frequently. I am so happy to have my friend back. God is good.

  40. I love your books! I haven’t read the Prayer Jar series yet but it’s on my list. Keep writing and I’ll keep reading!

  41. Sounds like an interesting book…love to know how you get so many ideas of what to write! Love Autumn: the smells, sounds, and the beauty of such rich colorful skies and turning leaves. Blessings!

  42. My sister and my dad had a falling out many years ago. After my dad died 6 years ago, my sister started in on me because she always thought my dad favored me over her. When my mom passed away almost three years ago my sister totally quit communicating with all the siblings. It’s sad cause none of us know why really. I’ve tried but she has blocked my phone and text so there isn’t much I can do. I just leave it in God’s hands.

  43. I love your prayer jar series. Such a blessing to read it. Thank you so much for writing such wonderful books.

  44. Without naming names, some members of my family are going through this very thing right now. They don’t know where to begin to forgive because they each feel the other persons aren’t remorseful. It’s been hard to witness but I will keep praying for them both. I know Jesus is merciful, and that God is slow to anger, quick to forgive, and abundant in loving-kindness 🙂
    P.S. I love your books and devotionals!

  45. Hi Wanda, yes forgiving is very hard for some people. I can’t imagine holding a grudge for many many years like my mothers family did. It was terrible. The only people that it hurt was the cousin whom no longer got to see each other until they were adults.

  46. I know that I hurt someone a long time ago and the Lord has been showing me I need to write her and let her know I’m so sorry! It may not bother her but it is me!! Thank you for this!

  47. And it’s very hard to let go when you’ve been hurt but I have always tried to think how I would feel if someone didn’t except my forgiveness. Holding onto anger does nothing but kill the spiritual inside of a person. I have found that the hard way
    Letting go brings joy

  48. This year has been such a trying time for me during which I have had to forgive someone I love very much for such a painful betrayal they did to me. It is HARD! But it is possible. God has shown me to forgive means to release the person from a debt they could never repay, just like Jesus paid the debt we could never pay. God also has shown me that part of forgiveness is treating that person as though the offense never happened. I’ll be honest, I’m still working through this part. This blog post was very timely for me and such a blessing! Thank you Wanda for your words of wisdom and I look forward to reading your forgiveness book. Blessings!

  49. I am reading The Prayer Jar Devotional, Forgiveness now. I love the inspiration in this book. I am usually the first person to apologize/ forgive someone, but sometimes the other person doesn’t think they need to apologize, or they don’t think they have done anything wrong. That’s ok, I just pray for them. It can be difficult at times, but sometimes that’s all that can be done at the time. I have learned to lean on my faith❤

  50. Yes Forgiveness is very important in our lives Have a Blessed Day Love your books Would Love to read Farmers Market Mishap

  51. Forgiveness is as much for ourselves as it is for the other person. Even if they aren’t remorseful for something they have done, if we don’t forgive them, we are tied to them and their transgression forever. Forgive them for your own peace and freedom.

  52. Yes I once thought a young woman who been married for a while was expecting. I was so overjoyed for her. No she wasn’t expecting she had gained weight. When I realized my error. I apologized immediately but I was so embarrassed as I had never assumed that about anyone before. She wouldn’t speak to me for months. Now our relationship is not what it used to be at all. If I could take the words back I would in a heartbeat.
    She has been married for several years now and no children. She does have grown stepchildren.
    Thank you

  53. Recently, I did the Forgiveness Challenge and learned the importance of being forgiving. My mother recently passed and I have learned about forgiveness with my siblings…..the older 2 (which I am the oldest) and the younger 3. It was heart breaking to not have any of our suggestions incorporated in the memorial. Why do you divide Mom’s jewelry in August when only the younger 3 were there?? The 2 oldest siblings both females lost out. Younger 3 saw nothing wrong with dividing Mom’s personal items without the 5 of us being together. After her memorial would have been the perfect time. The oldest 2 got nothing of her jewelry or china tea cups. I am trying in my heart to forgive them even though it has been very difficult. I know they are material things and I can’t take them with me. Still brings tears when I think about Mom and how her personal items were divided. I will continue to pray about this, read the ‘Prayer Jar Devotional on Forgiveness’ and draw strength from my close friends. 🙏💜🙏💜

  54. My oldest son died of a drug overdose–the (illegal) drugs were his father’s… I became very bitter, and had to be prayed over at my church to get rid of the bitterness… It is much better to forgive!

  55. Bless God, forgiveness is powerful, absolutely necessary, and healing! In Christ Jesus! And I’m continuing to learn that receiving forgiveness can be, and is, just as important as giving it! In Christ Jesus, we are always to love and forgive, but receiving forgiveness is absolutely vital to our overall well being as well!

    With all due respect, Wanda–no offense–the Ephesians reference at the end is Ephesians 4:32.

    God bless and keep all!
    In Christ Jesus!

  56. I owed someone an apology that had moved away. One day I learned her mother had passed away. I sent the person a sympathy card, and in the card I enclosed a note of apology. A few months later, I received a card from her, saying she accepted my apology and would like to start over. We corresponded for a few years, but now I never hear from her. It makes me wonder if she truly forgave me.

  57. I have had a on and off again relationship with my Mother. Sadly, it’s from her leaving me at a very young age and cutting ties with my brother and I until my half sister came along. Then it seemed like she only wanted me to be around to babysit for her. Still to this day we talk but our relationship is not one set on good grounds. I have forgiven her for walking out on me so many years ago. However, I can never have that Mother/Daughter relationship because I’m too scared to let her in for fear of being hurt yet again.

  58. Forgiveness may be one of the hardest things we have to do. If practiced many of our physical, mental and social problems would be solved.

  59. The power of Forgiveness is such a wonderful gift. I have been hurt too many times in my life and I have come to realize that forgiveness is more for me than the person I am forgiving. It does more harm to me if I do not forgive then it affects the person that I need to forgive. As hard as it is to forgive at times in the long run it really helps physically and mentally.

  60. Sometimes we have to learn to forgive a person without letting them know we do… it’s not for them but for us to heal and try to move on from it

  61. When we forgive, it does so much good and brings healing, not only to our emotions, but to our physical bodies and our relationships. Thank you for helping us all to live a life of forgiveness!

  62. The person I struggle with forgiving the most is myself. It’s so much harder to let go of things when you see the offender in the mirror every morning….

  63. I have been hurt many times from family & friends. An apology would never happen from them. I forgave them, but I never forget what they said or done to me. We may talk here and there but we are not close like we used to be anymore.

  64. I have read the following and try to live by this-paraphrased-” forgiveness does not excuse one’s behavior but rather restricts it from damaging your heart”. Realistically as humans we have all been on the giving and receiving side of saying something painful or performing an act that can be hurtful. If I realize I have done this to another I attempt to apologize as soon as possible. I believe it only festers in both parties until addressed. If I am on the receiving end of a hurtful comment or act, I try to accept apology gracefully and remember we all fall short at times. In my belief life is too short to allow pains to fester because it can quickly consume too much of our lives.

  65. I have been hurt many times over many years by my daughter. I didn’t want to forgive, but God made me realize that it’s the only way I will find my inner peace. We get along much better and I know it’s God’s work in both of us.
    Even my ex husband and I are at very good terms now as well. Forgiveness goes sooo far in healing.

  66. Thank you for this wonderful message. Forgiveness is one thing in my life that I struggle with. I have been working hard on that this year and I feel I am making head way. I visited with my brother that I had not seen or spoken to since 1999. I am glad that I did it.

  67. We just had this as a reading at our church in the last two weeks. Jesus taught, “If you forgive others their transgressions, your heavenly Father will forgive you” (Mt 6:14). Peter asked Jesus how often it is necessary to forgive, and Jesus replied, “Seventy-seven times” (Mt 18:22). I believe we need to forgive. It brings peace and comfort to myself. I believe we all need forgiveness for healing.

  68. I will share that I enjoy each season of each year. I notice more of fall’s changing leaves and entry of brisk weather. Wow! Winter, to me, is integral to making each year complete. Only winter alerts our friendly insects of change. They often try to get inside as some humans do when change comes.

    Just as seasons are important, forgiveness, immediate forgiveness, is as well. Just like you, Mrs. Brunstetter, I place God’s WORD before me and live by it. Ephesians 5:32 is one of my favorites.

    Receive God’s blessings and have much fun!

    Forgiving faithfully,

    —Joan at fullylive@yahoo.com

  69. Hi Wanda,
    I’ve been hurt by someone so bad that it was hard to forgive. I knew I had to forgive them before I would ever have peace again . I know thats what God tells us to do. Once I was able to forgive, I found my piece again. Amen

  70. I struggle with forgiveness to some men in my family for things that they have done wrongly. I need to pray more on this. Your book has encouraged me to do more searching within myself and through God. Thank you for writing this. God Bless and so glad God heard all our prayers for your daughter and answered them as He can.
    Kathy W
    Kentucky USA

  71. I lost my mother on July 24th of this year. I still am very sad without her. I never dreamed that siblings could be so unforgiving. She had wanted no official service but left with her will what she wanted. When there are 5 siblings …. ages 58, 63, 66, 68 and 70, 3 living out of state….Michigan, North Carolina and Maryland and 2 living in New York State where my Mom lived, there were many interpretations as to what she wanted. The younger 3 took over everything and refused to take any suggestions from the older 2. We had a date and I was working on plans to go when the younger 3 up and changed the date and then told the older 2 and never asked if that would work for us!! They basically told us if we could come fine and if not that was too bad. We tried to get the date changed and they wouldn’t have any part of it. From that point on, everything went downhill. I wanted to read Psalms 23 and was told NO. It was going to be their way. PERIOD! My sister was close to not coming. I prayed and prayed. From that date to now, the younger 3 has made our lives miserable. They even went through Mom’s jewelry when the older 2 were not there…I know it is material things but would have been nice for our daughters. I tried giving some forgiveness tips from Wanda’s new devotional on forgiveness to no avail. They continue to completely ignore both of us like we don’t exist. I continue to pray and pray. I am so heartbroken. 💔

  72. I love reading your journal last month I had read 5 of you and your family books I ordered 2 a like that received Sister’s by the Sea and sent one to one of my sister’s who texted she will pass on to another after reading, if I have one of your books already received in contest will pass on to one of my sister’s,these that you had us send a email for new contest do not have love your writing and your family authors too, thank you for the good religious and blessings of your writing and sharing the Amish stories with us

  73. I enjoy all the articles in your news letter. I also thank you for sharing your knowledge of the Amish way of life. I especially enjoyed your article on forgiveness as this is something I always have problems with.

  74. I don’t think any one of us can go through life without having hurt someone else. A willingness to apologize is essential.

  75. Wanda
    I love your books.You was one of the first authors I read years ago and im still eading your books .