Forgiveness: A Path to Freedom

Gold Brush Stroke

In this life, we walk a path of seasons. A season to rejoice. A season to sorrow. A season to gather. A season to sow. A season to grow. A season to rest. A season to love.

And for some of us an extended season of unforgiveness.

Yes, unfortunately even THAT season presents itself for some of us. The one we like to pretend never occurs with a Christian.

And this season is always preceded by one of anger.

But the problem isn’t that the season of anger occurs; the problem is we tend to camp in it. We hold tight to that anger like it is a life raft, and in so doing, drag it into a new season, one of unforgivingness. Here we find nothing of value, only a prison that encapsulates our hearts. 

Unforgiveness forms a prison that encapsulates our hearts. Share on X

In our selfish, flesh nature, it is easy to bear a grudge. To hold onto hurt and disappointment. 

Imprisoned by Unforgiveness

Recently, I spent time in the presence of a woman doing just that. I met her at an event where parents of children with disabilities learn to share their stories.

This mama had fought a long battle with the school system her son attended and eventually won. And although her son was now getting the services he needed, she couldn’t let go of her resentment toward the school and the teachers.

As several of us tried to guide her in presenting something positive to the group about the journey she was on with her child, this harried mother could find nothing good to say. Her hatred of and anger at the school colored her entire attitude. There was no room for empathy, joy, love, or even relief. Unforgiveness stifled her voice. 

Many years ago I also experienced a deep level of anger and resentment. I, and someone I cared for, had been wronged, and I wouldn’t let it go. As I let my anger fester, roots of bitterness wound themselves around my heart.

Whenever I thought of the situation, hatred would rear its ugly head. I was enslaved by my unwillingness to forgive. 

Eventually, I found the path back to freedom. I pray I guided the lady above to the beginning of that path.


Steps to Forgiveness

There are three practical steps in moving beyond unforgiveness: 

  • First, we need to acknowledge that the anger we feel is our own—no one else is responsible. We are choosing to be camped in this season. We may have been hurt by someone else, but we alone decide to be angry and remain there.
  • Second, we must become purposeful about letting go of the resentment we have toward this person or persons. It needs to be an intentional releasing (Often this step has to happen repeatedly.) 
  • Finally, only after all the vestiges of bitterness and anger are released, can we finally find the grace to extend forgiveness. 

Three practical steps to move beyond unforgiveness: own the anger, intentionally release it, extend forgiveness. Share on X

But admitting is hard; letting go is tough; and forgiving, extremely difficult. More so because the world slings lies at us: 

You can’t let them off the hook; they must suffer.

If you forgive them, it is the same as saying what they did was okay.

We catch the lies and make them our truths.

To counter the falsehoods, we must saturate our minds with the real truth, God’s truth. Soaking in the Word is the best remedy for a perpetual spirit of anger and the resulting unforgivingness.

Still, extending forgiveness for a deep hurt is often beyond our ability to do alone, even armed with the Truth. We need the strength of One who begged forgiveness for the entire human population after we brutally beat Him, spit on Him, and crucified Him. We need the strength of Jesus Christ.

With the purposeful steps of acknowledgment and release and the help of Divine guidance and strength, we can finally find the path to forgiveness.

And when we do, we discover the life of freedom we so desperately seek.

Discover a life of freedom you desperately seek: let God help you extend forgiveness. Share on X

“Make sure that no one falls short of the grace of God and that no root of bitterness springs up, causing trouble and by it, defiling many.” (Hebrews 12:15)

Reflections: Are you in a season of unforgiveness? If yes, may I assure you, there is freedom to be found! Saturate yourself with the Word, call on the Lord for help, and become intentional about leaving your anger behind. If no, what additional advice do you have to share? 

This is one of many stories on hope, healing, and finding our voice posted and linked up today on Jo Ann Fore’s blog. They are written by bloggers incredibly excited about Jo Ann’s new book, When A Woman Finds Her Voice: Overcoming Life’s Hurts & Using Your Story to Make a Difference, set to release in October. This week’s topic is on Forgiveness. 

To read more about Jo Ann’s book click HERE. I know you’ll love these inspiring stories! Click the button below to read all of them.

Also, check out the “When A Woman Finds Her Voice” Pledge. With God’s help, you can find your voice and use it to help others and glorify Him. Be encouraged to do just that by signing this free pledge. When you do, you’ll receive a beautiful printable copy to frame. (Be sure to follow all the steps to sign and receive your Pledge.)

Jo Ann Fore
Also linking with:
By His Grace,



  1. Rachel Wojnarowski on October 3, 2013 at 12:32 pm

    Fabulous and practical! Pinned this article to my inspiring board, Friend. Thank you for it!

  2. Krithika Rangarajan on October 3, 2013 at 12:37 pm

    I am just going to say this – you had me in tears with this poignant topic that resonates with each one of us 🙁

    You are a wonderful writer, Julie *hugs*

    • Julie Sunne on October 3, 2013 at 12:55 pm

      You are so kind, Krithika! Blessings to you my new friend.

  3. Shanyn on October 3, 2013 at 4:26 pm

    This was amazing. Your open heart and wise words – your voice. Bless you Julie, you certainly did bless me!

    • Julie Sunne on October 3, 2013 at 5:46 pm

      You sure know how to be an encouragement, Shanyn! Praying blessings your way.

  4. Cheryl Pelton Lutz on October 3, 2013 at 7:52 pm

    Thank you for this, Julie. May you continue to provide a cup,of cold water to wounded souls!

    • Julie Sunne on October 3, 2013 at 8:37 pm

      It’s sweet sisters like you that encourage me to do just that, Cheryl. Blessings, my friend.

  5. Marisa Shadrick on October 5, 2013 at 1:14 pm

    Forgiveness sounds easier than it is, but when you’ve lived crippled by bitterness, you realize it’s easier to forgive than to climb out of the valley of bitterness. Great post, Julie. (I’ve been there, too.)

    • Julie Sunne on October 5, 2013 at 1:48 pm

      True, Marisa. Unfortunately, many of us find ourselves mired in bitterness at some point.

  6. Sarah Knepper on October 7, 2013 at 9:16 am

    Forgiveness leads to freedom…such truth and sometimes so hard to understand! Thank you for sharing!

  7. Forgiveness | The Word Against The World on October 7, 2013 at 12:01 pm

    […] Forgiveness: A Path to Freedom ( […]

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Julie Sunne

Hello, I'm Julie, an imperfect wife and mother of four. Life in this broken world is not always easy. Yet, joy can be found in each day through the grace and mercy of the Lord Jesus Christ.

I find it's easy for our day's blessings to get lost in its happenings. But God's "mercies never end" (Lamentations 3:22) and His "grace is sufficient" (2 Corinthians 12:9).

May the posts and pages on this site offer you a measure of peace and encouragement.

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