Spiritual Practice

Forgiving Family

Jeanine DeHoney

Forgiving isn’t always easy, but it is possible. If you are having a difficult time forgiving a family member, here are some tips that I have found helpful:

  1. Write on index cards some Bible verses about forgiveness. Post them where you can see them every day.
  2. Count the pros instead of the cons. Make a list of what you love and admire about the person you’re trying to forgive.
  3. Learn more about the person’s story. Understanding him or her may help you release your anger and have more empathy.
  4. Write a letter to the person. Explain your feelings using statements that begin with “I feel” or “I think.” (Even if you don’t send the letter, this can be a therapeutic exercise.)
  5. Surround yourself with encouraging family members and friends. Having support makes forgiveness easier.
  6. Remember that forgiveness is a process. It may take time.


WRITE A PRAYER: Ask God to help you find the courage to forgive the person who has hurt you.

—from devozine (March/April 2013). Copyright © 2013 by The Upper Room®. All rights reserved.

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