Posts Tagged ‘Forgiveness is not an option’

99¢ Sale: One Day Only!

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For 24 hours we’re offering this powerful book for just 99¢! Pick up Anna McCarthy’s honest and touching guidebook Forgiveness Is Not An Option: A Journey to Freedom and Healing for less than a buck for the Kindle during our one-day sale event. After Thursday the price will go up to $2.99 through the weekend and then it will return to regular price.

Forgiveness is not an optionSynopsis: How do you forgive the unforgivable? Is it possible to truly be free from what others have done to you? Each of us has a story and has experienced hurt in some area of our lives. Whether in childhood, adolescence or adulthood, we all have experienced pain and disappointment. If not dealt with, these wounds begin to impact our everyday life at a crippling rate. We live bound by fear, insecurities, anger and jealousy; often chalking it up as “normal”. Yet, in reality, we are being held captive by what others have done to us.  We desire freedom from our pasts and our pain yet struggle with how to attain it; we wonder if it is even possible. Addressing a broad spectrum of issues from common offenses to abuse and betrayal, the author leaves no question as to God’s opinion of mistreatment, and how we can heal and live a life of freedom from our past and present hurts. With practical tools, you will discover that freedom isn’t just possible; it’s attainable. BUY NOW

Should We Forgive Lance Armstrong?

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This guest post on Lance Armstrong’s recent doping confession comes from Anna McCarthy, author of “Forgiveness is Not an Option”:

lance armstrongThere has been a lot of talk recently about Lance Armstrong and his public “apology”. Many say it wasn’t genuine or it was too vague; in summary many are unhappy with his public confession and believe he has not earned their forgiveness.

I’ve wrestled with this too, given there have been many Lance Armstrong’s in my life. Many who wronged me, lied to me, cheated to get what they wanted and left me with a seemingly half-hearted apology that was magically supposed to fix everything. The truth is, when we’ve been wronged and feel as though we’ve been deceived, hearing an apology that doesn’t meet the level of the gravity of the crime, almost seems to make it worse.  I get it and have admittedly struggled with this.

The problem, however, is that if we profess to be followers of Jesus, then we must choose not to be led by our emotion, especially in areas of the heart. Jesus taught that we must forgive; even if the apology doesn’t meet our standards or if there’s no apology at all. We still have to choose to forgive. Here are Jesus’ own words: “For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins” (Matt 6:14-15)

I don’t know about you, but this passage is not easy to read! For some reason, all of us want to defend our reason for withholding forgiveness believing it somehow escapes this Forgiveness is not an optionprinciple. Yet, Jesus didn’t give any clauses; in fact, he goes further on to say that we are supposed to actually do good towards those who aren’t kind to us (Matt 5:44). This sounds nice in a Sunday school class, but when you are in the context of a situation, facing a betrayal and that person doesn’t offer the kind of apology you believe is deserved, this verse can feel like an impossible pill to swallow. This may be one of the reasons Paul prayed this way, “I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power…” (Eph. 3:16-18)

What Jesus asked us to do in the area of forgiveness is impossible without the power of Christ working through us. I know, because I tried in my own strength and failed miserably. However, having embraced his spirit in my heart in this area, I have seen forgiveness and love deepen and grow for those who I may never receive an apology from; and actually found myself able to do good towards them.

So, whether it’s Lance Armstrong’s apology you are wrestling with or someone else’s, I encourage you to pray the way Paul did and ask that Christ’s power may dwell within you, strengthening you to extend his love and grace towards those who may not deserve it.

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The Forgiveness Project: A Study for Churches

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The Forgiveness Project is an 11-week church-wide study of Anna McCarthy’s powerful new book, Forgiveness is Not an Option. In the video and article below Anna explains why she believes this is a powerful tool desperately needed in today’s congregations.

The Forgiveness Project from Voice of One on Vimeo.

Betrayed, hurt and confused. As I sat in church every Sunday, I would ponder what God must have thought of everything I had gone through and if healing and freedom was truly possible. I was broken…yet on the outside everything looked “fine”. I longed for peace; I desperately wanted to believe that God had a plan which included piecing my heart back together, but I was completely lost as to what that looked like or how I could find it.

I had never heard a sermon on how to heal from the kind of hurt I had experienced…the types of heartaches that many of us have endured. How do you forgive the unforgivable? Is it really possible to be “free” from the scars of abuse, betrayal or mistreatment? Can I really love someone who hurt me so deeply? What does God feel about those things?

These questions propelled me into a 3 year journey with the Lord. I researched everything I could in the Bible on forgiveness, hurt, pain, abuse and mistreatment. And, what I found was more than I expected. I not only found healing and the ability to supernaturally love and forgive; I found a side of God that I had never known. I wasn’t simply patched back together, merely surviving with the “hope” of my life eventually changing. No, I was alive again and thriving! I was finally the “me” that I was created to be all along. I was free.

Forgiveness is not an optionThis stirred in my heart a passion to equip the church in this desperately needed area. Because, sadly, I was only one of many, who fill churches each Sunday appearing to be “fine”. Yet, if you scratch beneath the surface it doesn’t take long to see the signs of a life plagued by hurt. Insecurity, fear, anger, depression, anxiety and an inability to see outside themselves are just a few of the symptoms of a broken life. Once you begin to open your eyes, you will see a church that is hungry for this message.

I long to see the church restored and whole again. One that is unafraid to address these issues and offer hope and healing in a much needed area. That is the heart behind The Forgiveness Project, which is an 11 week church wide study of the book, Forgiveness Is Not an Option. This book is filled with scripture and addresses every aspect of forgiveness from the onset of hurt, why broken people break others, God’s perspective of abuse and betrayal, forgiveness, learning to love your enemies, not repeating destructive relationship patterns, healing and restoration.

Our ministry has created a church kit tailored to bring The Forgiveness Project to your church. It comes complete with small group leader study guides, a fully prepared 11 week sermon series, DVDs packed with powerful testimonies of forgiveness and much more. This is an exciting series that you do not want to miss!

Get your church or small group involved! Free study guides and bulk discounts of Forgiveness is Not an Option are available:

  • 11-25 books 15% discount
  • 26-50 books 25% discount
  • 51-100 books 30% discount
  • 100+ books 40% discount

Email Sales@emeraldhouse.com for more information!

Celebrate Forgiveness Day: Who Do You Need to Forgive?

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Forgiveness is not an optionAugust 5 is International Forgiveness Day and August 27 is Global Forgiveness Day. In response to these two holidays we asked Anna McCarthy, author of Forgiveness is Not an Option, to share her thoughts on forgiving in difficult situations.

It’s true with all of us. We hear the word “forgive” and we immediately think of that paramount event in our life that left us crumbled. Where either our heart was shattered, trust was broken or another seemingly unforgiveable act took place. As true as it is that these events do require our hearts to move towards forgiveness, how often do we stop there?

I fear that it isn’t always the tragedies in our life that lead our hearts into bitterness, but often the less noticeable offenses. The ones we are quick to brush aside because it doesn’t seem like “that big of a deal”.  Areas where our pride steps in and readily moves past the offense not wanting to admit we were actually hurt. You see, forgiveness isn’t always wrapped up in a tragedy. The kind of forgiveness that Jesus teaches in scripture is daily…repetitive even. We learn of this kind of forgiveness through Peter’s questioning of Jesus on the subject, “Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, ‘Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?’ Jesus answered, ‘I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.’”. (Matthew 18:20-22) Right here we see that this was an offense that had the opportunity to occur often…even with the same person!

Avoid Bitterness

When someone hurts or offends you on a small level, the first act of forgiveness can come somewhat easily. It is the second, third and fourth time where we start thinking that we either should just toughen up and not let it get to us, or just swallow it and move on because obviously their behavior isn’t going to change. This is where I believe many of us unknowingly open a crevice in our hearts to bitterness. It’s quiet at first, not obvious on the surface and yet over time can lead to one very hardened heart.

Admit to the Hurt

So, what do we do in these moments of mundane offenses? First, we must validate that we are hurt. We can’t begin to forgive someone that we are unwilling to admit hurt us! In that moment when someone’s words or actions sting, stop yourself and internally admit that you are offended. Quietly tell the Lord that you are hurt and why. Then, make the choice to forgive. Tell the Lord that you forgive them. And, what if even after this prayer you still feel angry or bothered? Pray for them. Our hearts are hardwired to soften towards those whom we choose to genuinely pray for. I believe this is one of the reasons Jesus teaches us in scripture to pray for our enemies.

Forgive Daily

This daily act of forgiveness may seem somewhat insignificant, yet this is much more powerful than we often realize. These small acts of forgiveness protect our hearts, keeping them tender, soft and open.

Whether your life has been met with tragedy or not, I encourage you to look past the glaring offenses in your life and dig a little deeper into the smaller ones. Then ask yourself the question, “Who do I need to forgive?”

 

Forgiveness is Not an Option, It’s a Necessity, According to New Book

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Forgiveness is not an optionAuthor Guides Readers to Forgive even the Unforgivable

For immediate release:  Abused, betrayed, scammed, disappointed—most of us have experienced hurt in some areas of our lives. If not dealt with, these wounds begin to impact our everyday life at a crippling rate. Forgiveness is Not an Option: A Journey to Freedom and Healing (Ambassador International; June 2012; $11.99, paperback) provides practical tools for healing and living a life of freedom from past and present hurts.

As a victim of sexual abuse as a child and domestic abuse as an adult, author Anna McCarthy struggled with forgiving many people in her life. “I was left as a very, very hurt 20-something single mom. I was really angry,” admits McCarthy. “This book offers powerful tools to let go of those past hurts just like I had to do.” Anna launched Voice of One ministries with the mission of reaching the hurting and wounded. “The Lord will turn your grief into joy,” says McCarthy. “But you must relinquish control, allowing him to be God and yourself to be human.”

Churches are invited to lead their congregations through The Forgiveness Project, an 11-week study of Forgiveness is Not an Option. A free Leader Study Guide is available at VoiceofOne.net. “We really hope churches will make forgiveness a priority,” says author Anna McCarthy. “Congregations are full of hurting people who need healing.”

McCarthy counsels and disciples others through prayer and one-on-one communication at Life Church in Olathe, Kansas.  To learn more about the author, her book Forgiveness is Not an Option, and The Forgiveness Project visit www.voiceofone.net. For interview requests please contact publicist Alison Storm at media@emeraldhouse.com.

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