Have you ever been hurt by someone else that you needed to forgive? Have you ever hurt someone else and needed to ask their forgiveness? Do you find the forgiveness process difficult? Could unforgiveness be keeping you from peace and joy in your life?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, this book is for you. Forgiveness impacts everyone of us—every relationship, every family, every business, every culture. And the truth is, no one benefits more than us when we forgive, and no one suffers more than us when we don’t.
Okay, so you know you’re supposed to forgive, but how do you actually do it? Forgive Your Way to Freedom lays out a highly practical, biblical process that helps you walk, step-by-step, through the journey teaching you to:
- Release your power of forgiveness
- Resolve the pain of your past
- Restore your peace in the present
- Reclaim your purpose for the future
Forgiveness has the power to transform lives, restore relationships, heal families, unite businesses, and rebuild nations. Because when we forgive, we are most like God. When you forgive your way to freedom, there is nothing you can’t do!
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About the Author
GIL MERTZ is Assistant to the President at the Family Research Council in Washington, D.C. He has been involved with full-time Christian service for nearly forty years and draws from a vast background of ministry with international missions, humanitarian causes, public policy, and consulting. He is a former pastor and radio talk show host. His daily commentaries on forgiveness have been broadcast on more than 300 stations across America. Gil and his wife Patricia reside in southern California and have three children and three grandchildren.
Table of Contents
How Good a Forgiver Are You? 15
Part 1 Understand Forgiveness Unleash Your Power
1 The Power to Set You Free 21
2 The Top Ten Myths of Forgiveness 35
3 The Best Way to Forgive 51
Part 2 Look Back to Move Forward Resolve Past Pain
4 Count the Costs of Unforgiveness 65
5 Show God Where It Hurts 79
6 Do You Want to Get Well? 93
Part 3 Let Go and Let God Experience Freedom Now
7 No Longer a Victim 107
8 Don't Lose Your Temper-Find It 119
9 Remember How to Forget 135
Part 4 The Future Is Yours Rediscover Your Purpose and Hope
10 Restoring Broken Relationships 151
11 Forgive Yourself and Make Peace with God 167
12 Your Fate Is Not Your Destiny 179
Appendix A Evaluation 193
Appendix B Resources 197
What People are Saying About This
Praise for Forgive Your Way to Freedom
Forgiveness is a core tenet of the Christian life, but it’s also one of the most difficult biblical commands to put into practice! In this thoughtful and inspiring work, Gil Mertz shows us how forgiveness doesn’t just benefit those on the receiving end—it also brings us into greater joy and freedom.
President—Focus on the Family
Gil has identified the most important quality to cling to and to release, forgiveness. Clinging to our own forgiveness through Christ empowers us to release others from being captive to our internal prisons. This is a must-read to understand true freedom.
General Supervisor and Vice-President of US Operations, Foursquare Church
There is no doubt that the issue and the need for forgiveness is paramount to any healthy and meaningful relationship. Far too many people have misunderstood what it means to truly forgive and to be forgiven. In his well-written book, Gil Mertz sets forth the simple truth that receiving God’s forgiveness for yourself and extending that forgiveness to others literally sets you free to live more like Jesus Christ. This wonderful book will enable you to be that agent of change for healing and hope.
Senior Pastor, Calvary Chapel Chino Hills, California
I’ve spent most of my career in Washington, D.C., which is one of the places in America where forgiveness is most needed. I encourage you to get a copy of this practical and helpful book for yourself. You may also want to share a copy with someone you know who needs this message (even, perhaps, with one of your elected representatives). You will both be better off for it.
William Bennett, PhD, JD
Former Secretary of Education, host of The Bill Bennett Podcast, and NY Times bestselling author of The Book of Virtues
One of my great passions is sharing with audiences about the true liberating power of forgiveness. That’s why I’m delighted to recommend Forgive Your Way to Freedom. Forgiveness is such a divine blessing and the biblical truths that Gil brings out are profound, but the steps and tools he provides are so simple. Gil’s book is for anyone who needs to give or receive forgiveness. If you or someone you love wants to experience the power and freedom of forgiveness, I highly recommend you check out this book. It’s full of truth that can set you free.
Star of A&E’s Duck Dynasty, pastor, speaker, and author
Forgiveness is one of the most important things in our lives and yet it’s also one of the most misunderstood. Gil not only makes a powerful case for forgiveness, but he also shows you how. If you or someone you love is ready to be set free from the shackles of your painful past to embrace a new future with purpose, I encourage you to read Forgive Your Way to Freedom and pass it on.
Politician, bestselling author, and host of the “Huckabee” TV show
As a survivor of abuse, I understand all too well how difficult it can be to forgive. I also understand the power and freedom that comes when we can lay down our bitterness and anger and truly embrace forgiveness. Gil Mertz articulates the power of forgiveness so beautifully in this vulnerable and compelling book. It speaks to all of us.
Executive Director, The Mend Project
I am so glad to see Gil Mertz’s beautifully written book Forgive Your Way to Freedom. An important step to recovery is empowering people who thought they were powerless. The many tools in this book give the reader the rare opportunity—the gift—of taking their power back. Gil’s book is loaded with powerful stories, quotes, and techniques that help the reader find the path to the darkness in his or her heart and letting the sunshine in. This is truly healing stuff!
Founder and President of Safe Harbor, home of AlternativeMentalHealth.com
I’ve known Gil for many years and I appreciate his heart for forgiveness, which he has poured into Forgive Your Way to Freedom. This is such an important topic in our world that seems to be growing more divided and cynical every day. I believe this book will not only help people find freedom from their past hurts, but it will also help people develop a lifestyle of forgiveness to give them peace and purpose in their daily lives.
Former congresswoman and presidential candidate
Gil Mertz is a man of grace. He is also a man of forgiveness. Forgiveness is something we all need to give and receive. Gil shows us in this wonderful book how true forgiveness can transform us and free us to become the person God wants us to be. If you want to truly live . . . learn to forgive. If you want to forgive your way to freedom, read this book!
Gospel Recording Artist and Author of Words on Worship
Most Christians know they should forgive, but when was the last time you can remember being taught how to forgive? Gil Mertz provides just such a road map filled with practical advice on the process of forgiving. This book is a must-read if you want to discover freedom from life’s difficult moments that only forgiveness can bring.
Dr. Dick Tibbits, DMin
Author of Forgive to Live
A common mistake travelers make is carrying excess baggage. Unnecessary suitcases not only cost you at the check-in counter, but they wear you out as you carry them around. The same is true with injured relationships. In this practical book, Gil Mertz not only points out the high cost of unforgiveness, but how we can leave the baggage of past hurts behind. If you want to travel through life with a spring in your step, this is the book for you!
J. Kent Edwards, PhD, DMin
Professor of Preaching & Leadership at Talbot School of Theology and BIOLA University
When we think of forgiveness, we often focus too much on the challenges and not enough on the benefits. This is what I appreciate so much about Forgive Your Way to Freedom. Gil helps guide the reader through the journey with practical steps that anyone can do, but he also illustrates the reward at the end, which is freedom. When we are empowered by freedom, there is no limit to what we can do!
Author and President of the Center for Urban Renewal and Education (CURE)
Gil Mertz is one of my favorite human beings on the planet. He’s a gifted communicator and a brilliant writer. Forgive Your Way to Freedom helps us navigate our way to a full life in Christ. But to be set free, we have to be willing to forgive—and Gil shows us the path.
TV commentator and radio host on Fox News Radio
There are few issues today that impact our lives more than forgiveness. The challenge is not if we should forgive but understanding how to forgive, which Gil Mertz addresses so powerfully in Forgive Your Way to Freedom. The practical steps that are clearly outlined in this book can help anyone who is struggling to forgive find the peace, joy, and freedom they need. Well done, Gil! I highly recommend this book!
President/CEO of the Bott Radio Network
When the church leads the way by embracing the power of love and forgiveness between us and God and one another, we will see revival in America like we have never seen before. We are One Blood / One Human Race who can learn to live together as brothers and sisters and not perish together as fools. I'm so encouraged to see this book by Gil Mertz, Forgive Your Way to Freedom. If ever we needed a message on forgiveness, it is now. The tools and principles from this book will have a powerful impact.
Dr. Alveda King, Evangelist
Civil Rights for the Unborn
It is my pleasure to recommend the book Forgive Your Way to Freedom by my friend Gil Mertz. In my travels over the years I have seen the ravages of war between nations, but I've also seen the personal war of the soul when people cannot forgive. I'm a big believer in freedom, and Gil's book offers hope and help to anyone who is looking to be set free through the power of forgiveness.
LtCol Oliver North, USMC (Ret.)
As long as we live with the human condition of sin, we will need to practice the virtue of forgiving others and ourselves, and accepting forgiveness. Gil Mertz's book Forgive Your Way to Freedom serves as a refreshing and much-needed guide in a hurting world about how we can change our lives and the lives of those around us by tapping into the transformative power and freedom of forgiveness.
Arina O. Grossu
Board Member, National Catholic Prayer Breakfast