The Eleventh Commandment: Freedom through Forgiveness



Life’s disappointments can be a challenge to forgive. After my parent’s deaths, I had to learn to forgive in order to move forward in my life. There is no Band-Aid for grief, loss, or offense. We’ll have questions about the challenges we face in life, of course. The problem is not having a question. The problem is not that our question remains unanswered. The problem is that we expect, or even demand, resolution and find ourselves offended because of this apparent disconnect between what we thought we were getting and what life gave us.

Jesus said offenses would come because expectations are a given. Hurt, loss, disappointment and offense are woven within the natural flow of relationship and commitment. As Jesus told the disciples of John, “Happy is the man that I can’t offend.” I don’t think happiness comes because Jesus decides not to offend us with His ways. I think the happiness happens when we acknowledge Jesus’ teaching and, instead of trying to duck or deny the offense, we forgive and release it.

Forgiveness. It’s what I like to call The Eleventh Commandment.

About the Author: Andy Smith holds a master’s degree in Family Science from the University of Maryland College Park with a bachelor’s degree from the U. S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland. Andy and Melinda have pastored across the Eastern United States for over twenty years. Helping individuals and families achieve relational health and holistic wellness–spirit, soul, and body–is their passion. They love hiking and pizza night with their two other passions EG and JO.

Andy and Melinda Smith offer seminars, coaching, mentoring,and on-site training for personal and relational wellness.

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