Share This Episode
Focus on the Family Jim Daly Logo

Forgiving the Past, Embracing the Future

Focus on the Family / Jim Daly
The Truth Network Radio
August 4, 2021 6:00 am

Forgiving the Past, Embracing the Future

Focus on the Family / Jim Daly

On-Demand Podcasts NEW!

This broadcaster has 597 podcast archives available on-demand.

Broadcaster's Links

Keep up-to-date with this broadcaster on social media and their website.

August 4, 2021 6:00 am

In a discussion based on her book "Forgive, Let Go and Live," best-selling author Deborah Smith Pegues explains what forgiveness is and isn't, and highlights the rewards of having a forgiving spirit. She offers practical suggestions for going through the process of forgiveness.

Get Deborah's book "Forgive, Let Go and Live" for your donation of any amount:

Get more episode resources:

If you've listened to any of our podcasts, please give us your feedback:

If Not For God
Mike Zwick
Running to Win
Erwin Lutzer
What's Right What's Left
Pastor Ernie Sanders
In Touch
Charles Stanley
Kerwin Baptist
Kerwin Baptist Church

Hey this is John Fuller and Focus on the Family is looking for talented writers and editors to help reduce our audio programs and podcasts go to to learn more about these and other job opportunities secured focus decide to take this to my perspective, I'm gonna decide to that guy just guesses me most is not the kind of things the wrong that was perpetrated against me I would have the mindset that says God what is it and how can I grow from this. One of the lessons learned. That's Deborah today and you'll hear more from her today and Focus on the Family your hostess focus president and author Jim Daly and I'm John Fuller for today were to talk about forgiveness.

Now some you just went now.

I don't want to talk about. While some of you said you had to learn that lesson last week, last year.

Couple months ago. Forgiveness is so important to us. Matthew 614 says if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly father will also forgive you. That's kind of interesting that the Lord is saying hey here's how it's done.

Even if you been a Christian for a long time, maybe especially if you been a Christian for a long time. You may have forgotten these really easy.

Well, not so easy to do, but these important principles and working to talk today with a special guest who's written a book, forgive, let go and live and I know you can enjoy you and every time Jim that we come to the topic of forgiveness or audience response.

It just seems as you said to be something really crucial for us to get a hold of and really hard to do and as I said Deborah Begay is our guest as she is a certified behavioral consultant, a Bible teacher and international speaker. She's written I think 16 books. She said, including the one you just mentioned, forgive, let go and live Deborah, welcome to Focus on the Family, thank you so much for having me that we have a mutual friend fun Weaver and you had her do a little endorsement is brief. I want to read it for friends listeners because it it is funny she said this is a must read for all those who have ever held a grudge and then parenthetically, she said, which is pretty much all of that. So true. Yes, I mean, why is the human heart wired that way were wired for crutches might wipe and cry just as much as we wipe injustice and says we felt like justice has to be separate.

That's interesting. So her high justice that may be required for God because I just kinda make it sound that way everybody but God is also it is interesting. It's always one of those dichotomies.

God is a high just as God he's also got a forgiveness absolutely, but we felt like when my heart since I disadvantages us anyway. We feel like that person needs to be no debt has been created and a lot of times a person can't be repaid may be a death involve the loss of a reputation sometimes.

That hurt the pain to disadvantage whatever it can't be repaid and that we get stuck. But if I knew nothing about forgiveness, how would you describe it to me. You're trying to teach me, somebody who knows nothing about forgiveness, what, what's the big picture outside thinking this is just letting go of the desire to avenge a wrong is something is happening to you.

I'm gonna let go of the anger. Let go of my desire to pay back I'm going to leave that to God is not the heart of God. Yes, this feels right.

Because because it has a way getting it and forgiving is getting wet right from the beginning really get into partier story. But what is the benefit of forgiving you know what's is gonna cost me when I get out to get more because it's not cost you a lot and I like the Scripture that you started with because we don't get that's not going to give us so there are many benefits and I like to classify items like for benefits for fight. There's a spiritual benefit because now we were not hindering our forgiveness because if we don't give give us so that's great spiritual benefit. We won't be disconnected from the Lord right yeah but just relationally. It will have good relationships in Alabama to connect with people totally convinced that most people hurt us. A lot of times I don't know that they did so now we can have a warm relationship meaningful relationships when it's all said and done, it's really relationships that really count. That's the bottom line emotionally. If there's a big benefit is people probably hearing you are going while she sounds just like an upbeat person that came from a good home.

She learned forgiveness in her home. That's exactly opposite your story is exactly what was your home like and then how much tension was there and how much unforgiveness.

There was lots of unforgiveness. I always say, not jokingly, that I inherited a legacy of unforgiveness. My mom and my dad fought constantly and they were always fighting about something that happened in the past, making some accusation what you did this you did that happy secular conversations iconic. They never ended in anything positive or a resolution, but there was pain there that was violence there was lots of just chaos in the family and I found that the siblings we we inherited that and I just didn't like what I was feeling anytime somebody did something to make. Now, I am never going to get that how old were you when you have seven kids in in your family.

That's right. How old were you when you begin to say this doesn't feel right about fifth grade.

Yeah, I was like to tell people what I'm thinking your speaker and I just kept thinking to be a better way to have a discussion. It should result in something that should be a purpose. At the end of it not to stand angry, reinforcing that so so where are you in the birth order. Second, and number two and number two but I'm the only girl so they work as boys and one yes yes wow yeah yeah how you survived that always tend to be in charge person that left Sam Bossi, I see that charge for the times I had to take charge at an early age by by the time I was seven I was making benefit intact.

Heavy weight did you have any bitterness about the way to somebody tell me what I just felt was my responsibility to wait was just going up among all that tension because I never knew what today would bring my dad would come home always in a bad mood is always in a bad mood and in retrospect I'm thinking is always in a bad mood because he had so many children to take care of and he would see what the day laborers job was a sawmill person and a can of cutlet all the time. That was the job and I'm sure that was pretty painful for him and having that responsibility, because despite the fact he was abusive. He was very responsible financially.

So we never left the basics but he just created tension in the environment because he believed heavily in corporal punishment that you've been married 3838 years and I am just curious about that family formation on your coming out of this kinda chaos you you sound like such a person of resolution. You know, even as a young child you thought while arguing a circular wave your parents. That's pretty smart. But I had a chip on my shoulder okay and I told my husband when we married. I said now listen, try not to do anything during this marriage that I have to forgive you for because in my family we don't absolutely no forgetting wow yeah your solution. That was don't do anything that would necessitate me having to forgive you because I knew that that was not to be a struggle based on how I interact with other people and even though I let smile somebody did something to me I would never forget it. Okay got to have an incident where this met the road is like what what happened. I'm easy-going what we learned great mentors is not how to communicate learn how to say when you do this, I it makes me feel this way and so that's what we do and we have lasted 38 years with a really harmonious remarriage for the most part anywhere that have to say 9% of our marriage has been a monies I'm not kidding way to lay the law down now because we both can funders write you both can funders note. Sometimes I can get you a little bit of trouble because what we have decided is that and I would become confrontations. I try to do when I practice went okay. Doesn't always work but when there's an issue will say okay you know he has to say. I have my say. And then we believe in submission. I do so if there's ever a big conflict. Note we let him make the final decision and good mentors in this area so I can't take credit for this. I had very mature women who taught me how to have a good marriage how to esteem a man and how to go to God to be that little secret agent that kinda sticks Gnostic God on quiet prayer.

So in the infected mentor yet and you talk about this mentor in the book Juanita Smith Dr. when it is the power mentor. How old were you when Juanita came into your life and was okay. I was 30 questions which we ask you as a mentor. A lot of people don't have a mentor relationship they have lots of friends, but nothing permission given that you can ask the tough question she observed she was saying say you should to a man she said, have you considered very easy in her approach, but very powerful. That sounds pretty good phrase right considered you now and always ask a question never make an accusation and things worked always esteem. She said you have to esteem a man she said God loves man he made them first thing to tell him when he got.

They need to be told there had to be a point though. I mean, you, know that background in your household.

Lots of contentious fighting physical even said with in your mom and dad trace and circular arguments and never coming to a conclusion and the frustration felt was a 10-year-old. In that regard, there's got to be that point. Maybe something in your marriage or something.

Some forgive us worry that story were you didn't do it.

It was the money.

The money okay because my dad was the one in control with the money and my mom what had no education so I was sorry and wanted her money did not want to be my mother and also I had a bad mentor who said never pay more than your half of the bills that would never pin the marriage in the marriage while Christian woman she's out of You make $1 million and he makes Donna never pay more than your half and then my husband's job went on strike and had to pay all the bills to do this but you know by then we had already talked about the fact that we want to become one, financially, we just want to become one, intimately we want to become one, financially, and my husband has said listen to get to the point where everything that comes into the marriage belongs to the marriage right and work fast because we know that financial tension is that one of the top reasons people divorce, but in our marriage. We have already decided we don't need to split this 50-50 is just one we become one, financially, whatever comes into the household belongs to the marriage but I'm coming back to the portion you give me that story were your forgiveness or lack of being able to do it because you didn't see it modeled in your home where word that pop up where you had to forgive somebody inů You're going to do it in my family. Not with my management with my siblings, okay. My father died he left me in charge of the will and the response of the responsible lamb asleep, except for your six brothers were going away and I wasn't the oldest, so some of them felt that he should have left the oldest one in charge and he didn't and and before I was the darling of the family. I mean, I thought I was Jesus's sister really listen.

After that I was the devil sister. I became totally made from the family. They thought I didn't handle the money properly. Even though I know did everything according to the book and I was just so hurting it was it was so distressful to be on the outside like that.

I decided that I was going to forgive because I'm thinking okay you're the one who symptoms claiming to be the Christian you have the power to do it but I wouldn't really want to do and I went to stay a lady from them you listening to Focus on the Family were talking today with Deborah per day in her book, forgive, let go and live in again on the references for folks of just join us to the top of our mutual good friend from Weaver. The endorsement said this is a must read for all those who have ever held a grudge and in brackets. That's pretty much all of us.

I love that statement. If you're struggling with that contact us here. Focus on the Family this is probably one of the core lessons you need to learn as a believer in Jesus because that's what delivers you from bitterness and so many other things.

Deborah, I want to ask you, you mentioned in your book, what forgiveness is and what forgiveness isn't. So let's go to the is what is forgiveness, give us the three or four things you highlight I say forgiveness. First of all it's release the desire to abandon wrong is leaving justice to Jesus and his training deciding to treat everybody like an enemy. What I mean by that. That's not 544 with love your enemies, bless those who curse you, you have to decide to do that is all action verbs do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and let me tell you something you have to act your way to to the feeling and end a big issue here is that most people think that you need to feel that you forgiven before you forgiving you may still be in pain over the hurt but if you just decide I'm going to do this on, but this app and I'm going to do these things because emotions follow behavior. Yes, that's true. Deborah can be hard for somebody ago who has been wounded deeply in their hearing you say that that sounds right but you know what you don't know what happened to me.

I was I was really wanted. I was betrayed by my spouse put that context on it. How does a person really move through the phases of forgiveness out of the first will have the get their hands on the pain dispersed by you understand that everything that has happened in your life. This is hardly got sought before it happened. He sought, before it happened and he saw what was happening and he could've stopped. It is been a big pill to swallow. God saw that he could've stopped it. So it must be something that's going to work together for my good. Ultimately I'm going to grow something good is going happen if you don't take a divine perspective twice that kind of pain to get stuck in it.

You gonna say it shouldn't happen and it probably shouldn't happen but in his divine providence.

God knows and that's always been my thing all the days ordained for me were already written in his book, not the good days the back days to live.

I guess I can relax, knowing that somehow in this so I'm in a choose how I remember this yeah but in that context. The tough thing in words.

I think the help is is that a person that is struggling to get that perspective, they could say will of God is a good God, why would this pain happen to me if he loves me. Why would this happen to me.

Deborah understand when you want by faith.

At some point you gotta start banning the why and just say it did and I'm gonna trust God. It is a question of trust because forgiveness is really not about decisions is the same as the decisions I'm going to decide to take this divine perspective, I'm going decide to let God lead just guesses belongs to God.

I'm not the kind of things the wrong that was perpetrated against me I would have the mindset that says God what is it in this. How can I grow from this. One of the lessons learned. Let me tell you that get you to another place where the lessons learned and focus on that. The thing that I'm trying to tap for that listener who is living in the place of bitterness or vengeance is letting that go letting there may be thousands of people listening right now. Deborah, who were saying you help me in this is been brewing inside of me for years.

What my brother did to me what my sister did to me what my parents did to me what my spouse did to me and I tell you, you can't forgiving your own strength and a lot of times and was struggling with discuss with trying to be like the little engine who could. I think I can. I think I can and I really want to but I just can't know it require supernatural intervention. It takes God is almost like we work out a train and they come and lift the load you just gotta decide to God help me. I want to. I always like to say this God works in you to wield and to do. He gives you that the desire and the power you see a lot of us want to without thinking about I just can't know you canceled, resigned, trying to in your own strength. You don't need a New Year's resolution you can't count to 10. You gotta say, God, help me to spot me on this, so that's what forgiveness is. Now what forgiveness isn't, is not getting first about people say forgive and forget, is not in the Bible you can obliterate something from your memory.

Only God can do that to remember you need to remember so that you can get the lessons learned you can remember so that you can know what not to do next time you and that kind of a situation you need to remember is that is one of the mess that we need to understand.

You don't have to be reconciled and saw a lot of times people say I want to forgive because I never want happened with that person. That person may be so toxic you don't think that person see that's not so.

Sometimes you just don't need to do that and is not an emotion. Don't wait for the feeling you know when I feel better then I'm going to know I forgiving you know. Don't wait for the feeling just started to obey God start to do what you know to do love them sent me wish the highest good.

Bless them means to speak well it means to eulogize just like you would at a funeral speak well of that person don't speak evil because that's not really a form of retaliation you give up this whole concept of trying to retaliate return the punishment right and when you look at our culture. The Deborah the one of the things I concerned about is we do very little to build this kind of spiritual maturity into us were actually working against that we want to dislike this group or that group and were so group oriented in the culture. Generally, the church should be different but the church is one of the most divided places because we can even respect each other's right to differ somewhat this past election day to everybody is just it was just kindness. I respect everybody's right to choose their candidate. You know my name your candidate and when Meg is there somebody out there you still bitter about that what God said to pray for those who are in charge.*Let's come together, but you gotta want to, and in it, it's interesting that even in Scripture, there it says they'll know your mind, because the love they have her unity you have for one another and it's pretty much where the world sees that were not his muscle, so spiritual we have to know that we we initiate that process of bringing unity. I don't care where it is not. I can tell you this amount perspective, as in a growing up in a family going up in a town where there was a lot of racism right all my goodness I but I decided throughout my career I was none initiate the process. I was to make other people comfortable with me. I was no way for them to come to me and assume that they were racist because they didn't come to me I would come to them first.

Hey, we join you see the way that seems right but the Bible has the way he wants us to love each other now so I'm thinking we got to be proactive. We got to reach out we got a reach across the house. We got even within families this and when my family fell apart, and I'm telling you it was bad. People were cursing each other out and I decided that I'm going to be the peacemaker is blessed are the peacemakers, so I decided in my family.

I'm going to be the one who initiates the peace efforts on the peacemaker ice actively seek to make the piece so what is that mean I can't even find my house how close the party.

I'll host the dinner because that was important to me you took on the responsibilities rather than what kind of note no. We gotta do it God's way.

That's why the Bible is so critical, so critical about life and this is good stuff Deborah, you mentioned in the book twelve-step for forgiveness that twelve-step forgiveness strategy point to some of those that are critical in the last couple minutes and you realize that forgiveness is not optional, so we don't we don't have the option of Santa treat it like it like this optional, but we also had to humanize the offenders to step back and see what that person's background perhaps kill that person to be like that, you know, we seek first to understand right that's so important to have a divine perspective.

What we do know it sounds trite, but what would Jesus do you know what what we need to seek first understand that person's actions and you don't rehearse it.

Stop rehearsing it yeah you decide to move forward with the second one they mentioned in the twelve-step forgiveness strategy. Rich caught my make a list of at least five since God is forgiven you for our target because this is like the Pharisees to be a channel of forgiveness that we forget that God has given us many to go on his sin that we want to be a reservoir of forgiveness. When God forgives us we just keep to ourselves when we have been we don't we don't send it out right there. What a great way to arrest that emotion when you're offended you for your first thought can be. How many times God yes forgiven you for something that thought is triggered in your mind right away. You then can respond with gentleness, with understanding what you talk about the difference between embracing that kind of forgiveness without condoning the behavior you need to separate the less we think that if we if we forgive somebody that means that it's okay with condoning that behavior. When Joseph said when his brothers came to him and you know the story how he was sold into slavery, and they came they knew they would meet him and they set forgiveness were sorry and he said listen, you minute for BAP and gotten it for good, you meant evil against me.

He said what the or not I'm not taking God's place in the place of God. I can tell you I have taken God's place. Many times when people offend me. I'm gonna take God's place. What is that mean I'm not advance the wrong version right back. I'm not giving you a start like the Bible says he spake to them and that's important that we read these stories follow that model despite missing evil, but God meant it for good. And if we can just get that one truth that no matter what is happened. Ultimately there some good thinking, let's work towards looking for that you don't get stuck in it shouldn't happen. What good can come from this much better off because of racism become a writer today because I teach a discriminated against me in my grammar class in cottage economy, and he said you in this blah blah blah Type of the a in the class and had to be re-examined to see which one of you would get the eight I never saw my score, I got the BI didn't know that 30 years later I'd be a writer because I decided at that point, when I make on God was setting me up for the audience to think that no matter what is happened God was positioning me you strengthening me was something even greater work towards that. You want to get stuck in the pain of that offense will mean now you're opening up such an area were suffering actually can lead to you becoming a better person and in yet you have to climb out of that pit of suffering. You have to. That's why the psalmist says it's been good for me that I didn't like that mean trouble that I might learn his statues what you learned about God in that process I learned about the grace of God through the process of being alienated from my family. I learned that if you actively take a role that you can influence other people's last because others looked on my nieces looked on it somehow was responding in a set we can't believe the respondent like that and now they are forgiving people.

So it's encouraging them to get in this twelve-step forgiveness strategy, which include in the book, forgive, let go and live. You say that there refuse to be stuck in your story. That's kinda what you say is always say that you forgive and say that out loud.

I believe faith comes by hearing say I release that's on the minute something happens to release that person. Let me ask you this, the person that you have done the right thing, as is the believer and maybe a person may be a believer may not be but they offended you, you attempted to correct it.

You extend forgiveness you done all the right things but they keep wounding you the keep doing it. It's now the eighth, ninth time and they're not hearing you the not listening to you what you do with that. I know the Scripture to ship there's no Scripture that says you must be reconciled to a person list toxic to you like you don't have to be a doormat doormat that's that's not godly that's not God that you hear a lot of people will interpret that as spiritual within the book.

I give 10 ways to know that is time to disconnect the relationship and is just what you just said if the person constantly hurts you. I ignored you. They don't care about your goals your feelings or any of those things that person. It doesn't mean you hate them, you just don't need to be in fellowship with that person. That's kind of scriptural game where you take off the dust on your feet will move the US and it's like I caught the easy principle I have to when I met Emma for my maiden as likely to myself and I said 1980s up on this and she said no.

The fumes I said this and this not how you use easy on you spray and you run away from you, just you not use but you don't stand there and inhale it and some of us we have toxic family members and we always around them, and always being toxic to us, making us feel that we just stand and inhale that toxicity. We don't have to do that right were right in there at the end. Here we make the pitch you are the spokesman for God.

Right in your knocking on the door and you're in front of the home of somebody who has terrible bitterness, terrible attitude toward their neighbor. Whatever might be. They have not been able to forgive the person opens the door. What you said.

I said God sees your pain today. He wants you to have peace. Jesus died on the cross so that you can have the PC he said, let the peace rule in your heart that peace won't rule in your heart until you release this person from the past. So you need to begin to say I release everybody release that person make a decision today and got will help you to do it because it is God who gives you the desire and the power to release every body was ever hurt you. Then you can have a quality relationship and you can enjoy the peace of God Deborah to be your neighbor as you walk around blessed people. I so appreciate what you've done and really that resiliency that you have demonstrated. You are a child of God created in his image and it just verse out of you in every way and I love that no one can keep you down. God wants you and that kind of peace and being up and chocolate is available to all of us. We just have to now he was so refreshing to have some truth boldly spoken about unforgiveness, bitterness in your life and that's just what Deborah pig is done on today's episode of Focus on the Family once again her book, forgive, let go and live is full of stories about people learning how to forgive, as well as tools to help you along the way toward would love to send a copy of the book to you is a way of saying thanks for your generous donation of any amount to the ministry of Focus on the Family were listener supported.

Join the team by calling 800 K in the word 800-232-6459 or just look for the contact info in the officer's on behalf of Jim Daly and the entire team. Thanks for joining us today for Focus on the Family I'm John Fuller inviting you back once again help you and your family thrive by. This is Jim Daly with Focus on the Family. I will let you know about an online experience called sea life, 20, 21 in the six episode video series were sharing stories and encouragement that will inspire and empower you to live out your pro-life views will also discover valuable resources to help step up and get involved in the cause. This is a digital experience, you and your family won't want to miss all the details of Focus on the life

Get The Truth Mobile App and Listen to your Favorite Station Anytime