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  • Debbie Howell

Forgiveness as a Boundary

“Nothing clarifies boundaries more than forgiveness.  To forgive someone means to let him off the hook… When you refuse to forgive someone, you still want something from that person, and even if it is revenge that you want, it keeps you tied to him forever.”  (Boundaries, p. 140)


Boundaries aren’t just about not letting other people’s behavior control you.  It’s also about you not letting your behavior allow others to control you.  When we live in unforgiveness, it holds us back from the freedom that healthy boundaries can give us.  We can’t move into a future of freedom if we hold onto the burdens of our past.  We can come up with every excuse in the book as to why the person who hurt us doesn’t deserve forgiveness, but in the end we aren’t holding them in bondage, we are holding ourselves there.


Let’s take steps today, right now, with God’s help to forgive those who have hurt us in the past.  Find Scriptures that talk about forgiveness and pray them every day (it’s important to stick with this even on days when you don’t feel like doing it).


Here are some examples:

Thank You, God, for helping me to forgive others in the same way You forgive me.  (Matthew 6:12)

Help me, Father, to forgive as many times as I need to so I can live in Your will for my life.  (Matthew 18:21)

Thank You, that through Jesus, I have the power to forgive anyone who has hurt me.  (Acts 13:38)

I praise You God, for you have given me the strength to be patient and forgiving to those who have offended me.            (Colossians 3:13)

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