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I grew up in a home that was very critical and negative. Now I find myself doing the same with my children.
Billy Graham writes, "First, ask God to heal your past. I don't know what impact your parents' negativism had on you—but whatever it was, ask God to help you forgive them, and to realize that He loves you and watches over you."
I became a Christian recently, and although my ex-husband and I divorced many years ago, I know it was mainly my fault. Should I ask for forgiveness?
Billy Graham writes, "When we know we've hurt someone, we ought to seek to make it right—and the only way to do that is to admit we were wrong and ask for their forgiveness. This isn't necessarily easy—but it's the right thing to do."
My sister died a few months ago. We hadn't spoken for over 20 years, but now I feel terrible that I never tried to mend our relationship.
Billy Graham writes, "Thank you for your honesty, and also for your concern. Perhaps others who read this have been alienated from a brother or sister, or even a parent or child, and your letter will encourage them to take the first step."
Our parents are getting older, and my brothers and sisters are arguing about who should get what from the estate. How should I react as a Christian?
Billy Graham writes, "I don't know if your parents have made a will, but if not, you should encourage them to take that step. Not only will it help avoid legal difficulties later on, but it could also make clear your parents' true wishes."
I know I've hurt a lot of people, but what good would it do to ask them to forgive me? I know they won't do it, and to be honest, I can't blame them.
Billy Graham writes, "When we have hurt someone, we need to admit it to them and ask for their forgiveness. Whether they actually forgive us is up to them, but we must take the first step."
My rehab program wants us to write to people we've hurt and apologize to them. But the only people I've hurt are ones who hurt me first.
Billy Graham writes, "In my experience, it's almost impossible to sincerely apologize to someone or ask them to forgive us, if we aren't also willing to forgive them."
Didn't Jesus say someplace that we ought to turn the other cheek when people do something bad to us? Isn't that unrealistic?
Billy Graham writes, "The words of Jesus to which you refer are found in what we call the Sermon on the Mount."
Two years ago, my husband had an affair. I think I've forgiven him, but how can I ever forget? And how can I ever trust him again?
Billy Graham writes, "Almost nothing is as devastating and hurtful as being betrayed by a spouse—a spouse who breaks the vow they took on their wedding day and deliberately pursues someone else."
My estranged father sent word to my brother and me that he's only got a few months to live, and he wants to see us. Why should we bother?
Billy Graham writes, "I realize that what your father did was very hurtful to you and your brother, and those hurts are still with you. ... But listen: If you refuse to meet your father now, won't you always wonder why he wanted to see you?"
Someone hurt me very badly a couple of years back and there just isn't any way I can stop hating him for what he did.
Billy Graham writes, "As long as you continue to hate this person, what he did will continue to hurt you. Yes, he hurt you once in the past—but your anger and hatred just keep opening and reopening the wounds he caused."
I know Jesus said to love people, but how can you love someone who has really hurt you?
Billy Graham writes, "Let me assure you that what your father did was a sin, and God detests what he did even more than you do. ... At the same time, have you ever asked yourself what it is costing you to stay so angry at your father?"
Why is it so hard for some people to apologize after they've done something wrong?
Billy Graham writes, "One reason [is] ... it's just easier for him to pretend nothing happened than to face the embarrassment of admitting he was wrong. But a deeper reason is pride."
If we are new creatures, why do we still struggle against sin? Where do we find our liberation? In one word: Grace.
The Power of Forgiveness
Missionary widow Gladys Staines tells of her continuing work and witness in India.
For the Love of ... Prisoners
A minister brings Christ's love to prisoners in Guinea.
Forgiveness—a Mandate, Not an Option
A Columbine survivor says God can accomplish the impossible.