Masters Plan

Go Therefore and Make Disciples


Our Relationship WIth Others


Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.                                                                                                                                        Ephesians 4:32

Corrie Ten Boom (Author of The Hiding Place and World War II concentration camp survivor):

It was at a church service in Munich that I saw him, a former S.S. man who had stood guard at the shower room door in the processing center at Ravensbruck. He was the first of our actual jailers that I had seen since that time. And suddenly it was all there – the roomful of mocking men, the heaps of clothing, Betsie's (Corrie Ten Boom’s sister) pain-blanched face.

He came up to me as the church was emptying, beaming and bowing. “How grateful I am for your message, Fraulein,” He said. “To think that, as you say, He has washed my sins away!” His hand was thrust out to shake mine. And I, who had preached so often to the people in Bloemendaal the need to forgive, kept my hand at my side.

Even as the angry, vengeful thoughts boiled through me, I saw the sin of them. Jesus Christ had died for this man; was I going to ask for more? Lord Jesus, I prayed, forgive me and help me to forgive him. I tried to smile; I struggled to raise my hand. I could not. I felt nothing, not the slightest spark of warmth or charity. And so again I breathed a silent prayer. Jesus, I prayed, I cannot forgive him. Give me your forgiveness.

As I took his hand the most incredible thing happened. From my shoulder along my arm and through my hand a current seemed to pass from me to him, while into my heart sprang a love for this stranger that almost overwhelmed me. And so I discovered that it is not on our forgiveness any more than on our goodness that the world's healing hinges, but on His. When He tells us to love our enemies, He gives, along with the command, the love itself.  


Four Promises of Forgiveness:

Through forgiveness God tore down the walls that our sins have built, and He opens the way for a renewed relationship with Him. This is exactly what we must do if we are to forgive as the Lord forgives us: We must release the person who has wronged us from the penalty of being separated from us.  We must not hold wrongs against others, not think about the wrongs, and not punish others for them. Therefore, forgiveness may be described as a decision to make four promises:

  • "I will not dwell on this incident."
  • “I will not bring up this incident again and use it against you."
  • "I will not talk to others about this incident."
  • "I will not let this incident stand between us or hinder our personal relationship."           


This is the forgiveness that God has bestowed on us and now asks us to give to each other.                


  • Do you find it difficult to forgive certain people more than others?  Who are those people you find difficult to forgive and why do you think that is?
  • Is there a person you need to forgive today?
  • How will you apply the truths in this topic to your life this week?  Be specific.

Additional Quotes

Every man should keep a fair-sized cemetery in which to bury the faults of his friends.    Henry Ward Beecher

Anyone who thinks himself a perfect follower of Christ's teaching and way of life...but who cannot follow Christ in having love and charity towards all, both good and bad, friends and foes, without pretense or flattery, contempt, anger, or spiteful criticism, is indeed deceiving himself.     Walter Hilton

More Video Illustrations

Tenth Avenue North's song about forgiving others.

verses related to this topic

  • Genesis 45:4-5

    Genesis 45:4-5

    Then Joseph said to his brothers, "Please come closer to me." And they came closer. And he said, "I am your brother Joseph, whom you sold into Egypt. Now do not be grieved or angry with yourselves, because you sold me here, for God sent me before you to preserve life."

  • Proverbs 3:3

    Proverbs 3:3

    Do not let kindness and truth leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart.

  • Jeremiah 31:34

    Jeremiah 31:34

    “They shall not teach again, each man his neighbor and each man his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they shall all know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them,” declares the Lord, “for I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more.”

  • Micah 6:8

    Micah 6:8

    He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?

  • Matthew 5:7

    Matthew 5:7

    "Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy."

  • Matthew 5:9,44

    Matthew 5:9,44

    “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,”

  • Matthew 5:23-24

    Matthew 5:23-24

    “Therefore if you are presenting your offering at the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your offering there before the altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother, and then come and present your offering.”

  • Matthew 6:14-15

    Matthew 6:14-15

    “For if you forgive others for their transgressions, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions.”

  • Matthew 18:21-22

    Matthew 18:21-22

    Then Peter came and said to Him, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me and I forgive him? Up to seven times?” Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.”

  • Luke 6:36

    Luke 6:36

    "Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful."

  • 2 Corinthians 5:17-19

    2 Corinthians 5:17-19

    Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come. Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation, namely, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed to us the word of reconciliation.

  • Ephesians 4:32

    Ephesians 4:32

    Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.

  • Colossians 3:12-13

    Colossians 3:12-13

    So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience; bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you.

books related to this topic

  • Forgive and Forget

    Forgive and Forget

    Smedes is one of the definitive writer on the subject of forgiveness. He clearly brings out all the issues in forgiveness from what does not need to be forgiven to all the phases of forgiveness.

  • The Art of Forgiving

    The Art of Forgiving

    Smedes is one of the definitive writer on the subject of forgiveness. He clearly brings out all the issues in forgiveness from what does not need to be forgiven to all the phases of forgiveness.

  • The Hiding Place

    The Hiding Place

    Corrie ten Boom was a woman admired the world over for her courage, her forgiveness, and her memorable faith. In World War II, she and her family risked their lives to help Jews escape the Nazis, and their reward was a trip to Hitler's concentration camps. But she survived and was released--as a result of a clerical error--and now shares the story of how faith triumphs over evil.

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