WebDef: Forgiveness

Forgiveness /fər-gĭv′nĭs/ –

Noun: An act involving pardoning another for a transgression or debt.

Unforgiveness /ŭn′fər-gĭv′nĭs/ –

Noun: The refusal to pardon another for a transgression or debt.

Toxic Forgiveness /tŏk′sĭk fər-gĭv′nĭs/ –

Noun: An act involving pardon that itself causes injury to the person granting pardon. This pardon may be misplaced, such as to a dangerous abuser who may see forgiveness as permission to continue their harmful action. Or, this pardon may be thought to require a sort of unhealthy selective amnesia, which may hinder the injured party from coming to the depth of understanding that may be necessary to their own healing. Alternatively, the injured party may mistakenly conflate forgiveness and reconciliation. And then there is another form of toxic forgiveness: forced forgiveness, as when one spouse will require another to say "apology accepted" before true forgiveness has had a chance to blossom, and before a true apology has been offered (something with strings attached, such as a forced acceptance, is not a clean apology).

Toxic Unforgiveness /tŏk′sĭk ŭn′fər-gĭv′nĭs/ –

Noun: The refusal to pardon that itself causes injury to the person holding on to the memory of the transgression. It is often said that holding on to unforgiveness is like taking poison, expecting the other person to die. In Christian contexts, our unforgiveness is a barrier to the Father's forgiveness of us. So unforgiveness itself is unhealthy. Where it becomes truly toxic is where a person believes they've forgiven someone, but they still hold on to the anger, such as "Well I forgive them, but they're still a jerk though." Where compassion and love are absent, forgiveness has not yet taken root.

Select Key Bible Verses About Forgiveness

  • Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven (Luke 6:37 KJV)
  • Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye (Col 3:13 KJV)
  • Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you. (Eph 4:31-32 KJV)
  • And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses (Mark 11:25 KJV)
  • He that covereth a transgression seeketh love; but he that repeateth a matter separateth very friends (Prov 17:9 KJV)
  • Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled (Heb 12:15)

What are WebDefs?

WebDefs – simple definitions of key terms relating to ministry and healing arts – are a regular feature of NHM Ministrants. Offered (where applicable) in conjunction with select key scriptural passages and analysis, WebDefs can be a useful starting place for exploring a topic of interest.

See list of WebDefs

We're always looking for fellow Ministrants!

Got what it takes to take the Ministrants Oath? Great!

Learn about the Oath

This website uses cookies for general analytics. Except when you share it with us through our contact form, we do not harvest, ask for, or gather any personal data. By continuing on this site you acknowledge our terms and conditions .