Forgiveness does not depend on feeling forgiving; rather it is a matter of the will, determining to extend forgiveness and asking the Lord to help our emotions line up with our actions.


We see a powerful example of this in the life of Corrie ten Boom, a Christian whose family harbored Jews from the Nazis in Holland until someone betrayed them. Corrie, her sister, and her father were arrested and sent to a concentration camp, where her sister and father died. Many years later Corrie spoke to an audience in Germany, and the very guard who had been involved in her sister’s death approached her, thanking her for her talk and asking her for forgiveness for what he had done. When the guard extended his hand, everything in Corrie’s being recoiled. Then she prayed that Christ would forgive him through her, and she extended her hand. In that act Christ flooded Corrie with forgiveness for this man who had been the instrument of such cruelty and suffering for her. Christ loved him through her and forgave him through her. Christ can and will do this for us, if we ask.


What can we do when we remember sins ­committed against us that we have forgiven? We can thank God that we have forgiven that person. This is humility: to choose to forget and, when we cannot forget, to choose to continue to forgive. After all, with every “Our Father” we directly tie our request for forgiveness to the forgiveness we extend to others: And forgive us our ­trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us.


Kimberly Hahn

Kimberly Hahn is a convert to Catholicism and a prominent speaker and author. She is the wife of Dr. Scott Hahn. / From Chosen and Cherished: Biblical Wisdom for Your Marriage. © 2007, Kimberly Hahn, all rights reserved. Published by Servant, an imprint of Franciscan Media.

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