Ten Ways to Show Someone You’ve Forgiven Them


What do you do when a friend or family member or a new acquaintance butts heads with you?  As a Christ follower, you have the privilege of forgiving.  Why is this a privilege?  Because you’re showing someone a tiny taste of what Christ did for you on the cross.  That is a privilege!

The following list is lighthearted.  As Christians, forgiveness isn’t an option.  But the outcome of forgiveness looks the same in all circumstances.  This list isn’t meant for cases where someone has wounded you who is dangerous or malicious.

Rather, this is a list of ideas for someone who has said an unkind word, forgotten something that was important you, slighted you, gossiped about you, etc.  The beauty of Jesus’ way of forgiveness is that you do not have to wait to forgive on the other person acknowledging what they did.  You can start forgiving right away.

Here are a few ways you can show that you forgive the one who hurt you.

  1. Invite them out for ice cream, or to your house for lunch.
  2. Send them an encouraging card letting them know you’re praying for them and hoping they’re having a great week.
  3. Give them a little gift.  It could be something personally meaningful to you.  Or, you could give a little “thinking of you gift” (like a candy bar, a single flower tea light, or little stuffed animal).  Or, if they collect something, you could give them one in the series.  You could also give something that is an interest to them, like a set of golf balls for a golf fan, or a skein of yarn for a knitter.  Attach a card with a smiley face, short note, or give them the gift anonymously.
  4. Invite them to a special event or occasion like a ball game, game night at your house, or birthday party.
  5. Be brave and strike up a conversation!  Share a couple of your “favorites” with them in conversation or tell them about a funny childhood memory.
  6. Give a true compliment about them to one of their or your friends.
  7. Invite them to church or a small group Bible study with you.
  8. Don’t tell others about the offense.  You may want to tell a trusted, wise friend as you work through the hurt, but then let it go.
  9. If they know there’s a rift between you and they feel responsible or bad about it, you can say the precious words, “I forgive you.”
  10. If you are responsible for part of the problem (and you can pray about whether this applies to you or not), you can say you are sorry–even if the other person isn’t sorry for their part.  God can release you from bitterness through your humility–and may even use your humility to move in the other person’s heart and release them.

Forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who sins against us. (Luke 11:4, NIV)

Published in: on April 4, 2014 at 7:00 am  Leave a Comment  

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