Published by Good Book Company on December 30, 2021
Genres: Non-Fiction, Christian Life
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How to forgive, find peace and move forward, even when it’s hard.
Life gets messy sometimes. When relationships break down and you’re deeply hurt, it can feel impossible to move forward. But the Bible has wisdom for a way through. Author Wendy Alsup helps us find it in the story of Joseph and his brothers.
Find space to process your emotions, explore what repentance, forgiveness and reconciliation actually look like, and see how peace, freedom and fruitfulness really are possible, even when certain things can’t be fixed.
Readers will also be encouraged by the reminder of God’s ultimate plan for reconciliation and can look forward to being part of it in the new creation.
Includes present-day examples and stories of lives transformed by the power of forgiveness, including the author’s own struggles.
Forgiveness is a difficult and complicated topic, especially since people have so many different definitions for what forgiveness means. Wendy Alsup is clear and biblical, and she is realistic about the differences between forgiveness and reconciliation, while still writing about the possibility of both. Throughout the book, she focuses on the story of Joseph as an example, and she also shares reflections about her own experiences, particularly with an abusive pastor destroying the megachurch she attended. She writes about this situation with grace and appropriate remove, rather than venting or sharing other people’s personal details, but she still shares enough details for readers to understand her experience and its impact on her life.
I Forgive You: Finding Peace and Moving Forward When Life Really Hurts addresses a variety of different factors involved in forgiveness, and Alsup is sensitive to the different challenges that people face while working through their pain. What she writes about “ambiguous loss” is particularly helpful, since she validates the very real grief that people go through when they lose relationships to conflict. She also writes to both offended parties and offenders, directing some of her messages to people who are seeking forgiveness. For example, when she is writing about different stages of Joseph’s story, she will highlight ways that his brothers worked through their own guilt and began to show signs of sincere repentance.
This book will encourage people in a variety of difficult life situations. I would recommend this to Christians dealing with church hurt, unresolved conflicts from the past, and current conflicts with loved ones. Many people will also find Alsup’s perspective on racial issues helpful, since she provides examples about the strain of dealing with past and present racial injustices while working towards reconciliation and justice. Overall, I am impressed with this book’s range, sensitivity, and biblical teaching, and believe it will minster to many people.