Tell a Friend  

About the Writer:

Ingenuity, creativity, persistence and gentleness are just a few characteristics of this faithful entrepreneur. Charlotte brings life and love to her work, her writing and to her purpose in life: to serve God with everything she does. As a wife, mother, teacher, journalist and business leader, Charlotte has much to share.


Building Strong Character - Focus on Forgiving

by Charlotte Petty

Typically, I’m an easy going person, quick to forgive and quick to try and right any wrongs, but for a while now I’ve had a real problem with a specific case of forgiveness that I must admit to. First, I must forgive myself for not doing what I should have been doing all alone with this column.

A while back in my quest to work through some issues of unforgiveness where I believe my own character was being assassinated and very much unjustly so, I went to what I thought was the logical place, the Bible and researched some of what it says on forgiveness. I found numerous passages on forgiveness and forgetting. I began to realize that maybe this was also why it has taken me so long to write this column - I wasn’t ready to forget, didn’t want to forgive or in this case just didn’t really know how.

I can never say I didn’t know that I should forgive because even without searching the scriptures I knew, “..But if you do not forgive men their trespasses neither will your Father forgive your trespasses,” Matthew 6:15. I knew unforgiveness was not an option.

Forgiving ourselves and others is a constant. Jesus said, we must forgive an unnumbered number of times, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.” Matthew 18:22.

If any man has a quarrel against any we must forgive even as Christ forgave it says in Colossians 3:13. I know I don’t have the capacity to forgive as Christ forgave, but I do know Hebrew 4:16 says, “Whenever we are in need, we should come bravely before the throne of….God…be treated with undeserved kindness and find help.” I believe God will help me and others.

I’ve heard it said, that when we don’t forgive it can eat at us, make us bitter - become a pain in the neck, literally make us sick. After my experience over almost the last two to three years with this specific issue of forgiveness, I believe it is true. Just as 2 Corinthians 2:7 says, “… ought rather to forgive and comfort him, lest perhaps such as one be swallowed up with too much sorrow.” Unforgiveness hurts us all.

Fortunately I know too that 2 Chronicles 7:14 said, “Then if my people will humble themselves and pray, and search for me, and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear them from heaven and forgive theirs sins and heal their land.” I think this applies to us as individuals as well.

For me I’ve learned that forgiving people I know and care for is not as difficult sometimes as trying to forgive people you’ve never really had a real relationship with, but had hopes of knowing better and are still in regular contact. But no matter who they are, I’ve learned to apply the rule that unforgiveness isn’t an option. It can rob you of your joy and your purpose, by causing you to lose your focus and potentially even my relationship with God. That is too high a price to pay. I want God to forgive me, I must forgive others and so must everyone.

Psalm 86:5 says, “For you Lord are good and ready to forgive and abundant in mercy to all those who call upon You.” Lord forgive me, for being unforgiving.


Charlotte Petty is Publisher of The Spanish Lake Word Newspaper and an instructor at the University of Missouri at St. Louis .


Copyright © January 2006 - Charlotte Petty, All rights reserved.


Back to Articles Main Page : : : : Back to Articles Sorted By Writer : : : : Back to Articles Sorted by Title

Copyright © 2009 - Next-Step-of Faith and its Content Providers. All Rights Reserved.
Website Design by Next-Step-Up Communications