What Forgiveness Can Teach Us About Creating a Thriving Life

What Forgiveness Can Teach Us About Creating a Thriving Life January 23, 2024

Simple Superpowers Series, Part 3: Researchers have identified simple superpowers that help us flourish in our lives and relationships. In week 1 we looked at gratitude. Week 2 focused on curiosity. This Part 3 focuses on forgiveness – and it’s so crucial that we’ve broken it up into two separate posts. This week we focus on why forgiveness is essential. Come back next week for practical tips on why we resist forgiving others, and how to actually do it well.

What is something you do for others, that sets you free?


It’s a bit like a riddle, isn’t it? Most of us would say we absolutely, one hundred percent, cross-our-hearts-and-hope-to-die agree that forgiveness is important to us. But when it comes to actually forgiving … well, now I’m stepping on some toes.

Trust me, my toes hurt plenty.

I’ve had many opportunities to forgive and to seek forgiveness from others, and I haven’t always gotten either right. Maybe you haven’t either. I’ve heard heart-wrenching stories from many of you – situations in which even the most generous, loving person would find it challenging to forgive.

If I’m not careful, my mind can easily dredge up my own deep hurts. (Of course, my memory is somehow mysteriously blanking on those I have hurt!) My heart can turn to personal betrayals from those I trusted, and care about. Or even professional betrayals from other believers.

As one example, our ministry is still, today, living with the financial consequences of a ministry partner breaking agreements and walking away right before the launch of a joint venture Jeff and I had poured much time and money into. Every time my mind even wanders near that situation, I find a sense of tightness in my chest.

Guess what that means? I’m still working on forgiveness.

Yet even in betrayals, hurts, and hardships, we are commanded to forgive.

Why? And why should we even try?

There are many different reasons found in both scripture and science, and in a moment I’ll unpack a few fascinating findings from the research. But one reason is very clear across all of it:

Forgiveness is a superpower for thriving in life and relationships.

This week, let’s take a look at why that is, and why we should forgive. Next week, we will explore why we resist this amazing superpower, and how to actually forgive.

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