Miles McPherson: How to really forgive

Kelly Sikkema

Sometimes we withhold forgiveness from others, hoping that it will hurt them.

In a moving Father’s Day message, Miles McPherson led Rock Church attendees through the “ABCs of Fatherhood:”

  • A: Affirmation. Fathers should affirm their children: And suddenly a voice came from heaven, saying, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” [Matthew 3:17]
  • B: Blessing. Fathers should bless their children: Therefore God also has highly exalted [Jesus] and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Philippians 2:19
  • C: Covering of Protection. Fathers should provide a protective covering for their children: Or do you think that I cannot now pray to My Father, and He will provide Me with more than twelve legions of angels? [Matthew 26:52]

If a father fails at one of the above God-given responsibilities, his children will suffer. That suffering can drive a wedge between fathers and children, and can only be overcome through forgiveness.

“Now, let me explain forgiveness,” said Miles. “(It) is not approval of what happened – at all! Forgiveness is not: ‘Hey, it’s okay! No problem!’ – no! Forgiveness is saying: ‘You hurt me, it was wrong, but I am no longer holding you responsible to heal me.”

“…forgiveness has children (and) unforgiveness has children. It has bitterness and jealousy and anger and resentment. Those are the children of unforgiveness.”

Sometimes we withhold forgiveness from others, hoping that it will hurt them. In reality, that’s like taking poison, hoping that it’ll hurt someone else: “…you’re thinking it’s hurting them, but really it’s only hurting you.”


Examine your own life. Who have you withheld forgiveness from? Decide to no longer hold them accountable for healing you, and ask God to heal you instead.


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