How Forgiving are You? Take the Inventory to Find Out!

How Forgiving are You? This post includes an inventory to help you identify this and then gives you guidance for becoming a more forgiving person and spouse. #marriage #forgiveness #grace #Scripture #Bible #verses #inspiration #quotes #conflict #change

Years ago, I grew very interested in the subject of forgiveness, mostly because I realized how much I needed it in my marriage! So I committed to continuing education and training, as well as applying the principles to my own life with God’s help. This not only profited me with a new coaching niche, but also helped to make my marriage a lot less messy! 😉

How Forgiving are You? This post includes an inventory to help you identify this and then gives you guidance for becoming a more forgiving person and spouse. #marriage #forgiveness #grace #Scripture #Bible #verses #inspiration #quotes #conflict #change

I love this quote by Mark Twain . . .

“Forgiveness is the fragrance that the violet sheds on the heel that has crushed it.”

The reason I love it so much is because it eloquently captures the beauty that forgiveness can bring into our lives. When I was holding onto my anger and bitterness in marriage, I felt powerful. I felt like I was locking my husband up in a prison of sorts, when I was really locking myself away in that prison cell.

[bctt tweet=”Once I surrendered my complaints, criticisms and pain to the Lord, I felt His grace wafting in like the fragrance of a broken violet. #forgiveness #marriage #inspirational #LetItGo” username=”BethSteffaniak”]

My results from the Forgiveness Inventory (click the link to take it!) are along the lines of what I expected, being stronger here than I was in the Humility and Self Inventories. But I still have much strengthening to do!

The questions below are from the inventory and include the Scriptures that I anchored this inventory in . . .

How Forgiving are You?

1. I regularly seek God’s examination to reveal any ways I might be holding onto bitterness and anger in my marriage and life.

Hover over Hebrews 12:15 to read the verse.

I scored a “4” (often) because I’ve developed this habit, realizing how powerful God’s conviction can be to correct my perspective. Typically, I do this after I’ve had a bad argument with my spouse. But initially I did it quite a LOT to deal with accumulated resentments.

If you don’t make this a priority, you’ll begin to accumulate resentments too. That is, unless your spouse is easy to live with! If so, then, your mate might be the one who needs to do this more than you! Lol!

2. Most people view me as a compassionate and empathetic person, especially my spouse.

Hover over Colossians 3:12 to read.

I gave myself a “4” on this because this is something both my husband and I have worked hard to develop in our lives. But I still need to work on this more, letting everyone know how much I feel for them.

If you struggle here, especially in your marriage, you’re probably feeling rather walled out, apathetic or both. Empathy can be the sledgehammer that knocks down that wall.

3. I look to the Lord for the strength to be humble, gentle and loving toward those who irritate, challenge, and/or offend me.

Hover over Ephesians 4:2 to read this verse.

I rated myself a “5” (very often). Even though my internal attitude may not be humble, gentle or patient when irritated or offended, I do look to the Lord to do this through me all.the.time!

If you’re not tapping into the Lord’s power to help you be humble, gentle, patient and loving, you’re truly missing out! Try it the next time your spouse offends.

4. I work hard at not holding a grudge against others—especially my spouse—because I realize God has forgiven me.

Hover over Colossians 3:13.

I gave myself a “5” here because that’s always my motivation for letting resentments go. There’s no way I can withhold forgiveness when Christ forgives me!

5. When dealing with someone who continues to sin against me, I graciously confront, quickly forgive, while also holding him/her accountable to change going forward.

Hover to read Luke 17:3-4.

I gave myself a “5” because that’s the kind of forgiveness the Lord constantly extends to me.

Some people think that this passage means you should forgive only after someone repents. Though that’s ideal, it’s not the way Christ operated. In His sovereignty, He chose to redeem the elect while we were still in our sins (Rom. 5:8). #mindblown

If you don’t do this, you’re cheating yourself of God’s peace infinitely more than you are the person you’re bitter towards.

6. When conflict or disagreements arise, I am able, for the most part, to remain patient and self-controlled.

Hover over this mighty example from Proverbs 16:32.

I gave myself a “3” (sometimes) because I often let my emotions get the best of me when conflicts arise. #goingAWOL

If you do too, then letting God give you the self-control you need might just be what wins the battle for your marriage.

7. I accept that sometimes I may feel angry, but take that as my cue to find the Lord’s perspective and healing, as well as dealing with it promptly and respectfully with my offender.

Hover over Ephesians 4:26 to read this iconic rule-of-thumb.

I gave myself a “5” here because I’ve learned to deal with my anger quickly—not letting things fester. The same is true of any physical infection. Left unmedicated, it could spell disaster.

If you let your anger boil internally or externally, then you’re just asking for a messy marriage! 😉

8. My prayer life often reveals when I need to forgive someone and I’m quick to do so because I don’t want a wedge in my relationship with God.

Hover over Mark 11:25 to see the power of prayer.

I gave myself a “5” because prayer always reveals much more than I realize is there. Then I quickly release my hurts to the Lord so that nothing hinders my relationship with Him.

If you aren’t asking the Lord to reveal the bitterness in your heart, then you’ll surely miss more than you realize as well.

9. When my spouse or others offend me, I make sure to seriously deal with my sin in the matter before confronting them.

Hover over Matthew 7:3-5 to see the tempting route.

I gave myself a “3” because I get caught up in my emotions in the moment and tend to argue or criticize as my defense. Thankfully, I quickly take those ugly moments to God afterward. I just need to get better at zipping my lip and doing my own moral inventory first. 

If you’re more like me here, then you’re probably creating some distance and even damage in your marriage with this one fatal exercise.

10. When someone sins against me, more times than not, I avoid retaliating against them, going on to look for ways to be a channel of blessing in that person’s life.

Hover over 1 Peter 3:9 to see how to replace the “tit-for-tat” strategy.

I gave myself a “3” here because, like #9, I tend to verbally spar due to adrenalin hijacking my brain’s ability to reason. But I know better! Returning evil for evil is never productive nor, more importantly, like Christ!

If you tend to do this, you’re playing a dangerous game that will serve to poison your spouse’s heart against you, not to mention creating a wedge between you and the Lord! 😦

[bctt tweet=”Take my free inventory to find out how forgiving you are. Then use the insights to improve your life and marriage. #forgiveness #marriage #insight #2020″ username=”BethSteffaniak”]

Homework: Take the Forgiveness Inventory. Then focus in on one or two of your weak areas this week, doing what the corresponding Bible verse(s) encourage as your action point. For example: I’m going to work on #9asking God reveal my sin in a conflict before and perhaps instead of confronting.

FYI, if you subscribe to my blog, you’ll receive my Forgive U” e-book, along with access to more than 35 resources in my Subscriber Library! Click the link to find all the posts in this seriesInsight for 2020.

If you’d like some support for “gaining insight,” click on this linkFacebook groupto request to be added today!

Insight FB Group - Want to join a FB group that will offer you the support you need to improve your life and marriage? Click to join today!


 

Which of the 10 ways to be forgiving do you most want to work on and why?

 

What fear or hesitancy do you have about forgiving your mate or a significant offender in your life? 

 


Here are some other lovely linkups I join – Inspire Me MondayKingdom BloggersLiterary Musing MondaysPurposeful Faith, Tell His StoryInstaEncouragements LinkupRecharge WednesdayWorth Beyond Rubies WednesdayTune in ThursdayHeart EncouragementGrace and Truth Faith and Friends Faith on Fire Friday, and DanceWithJesusFriday

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23 responses to “How Forgiving are You? Take the Inventory to Find Out!”

  1. What an inspiring and eye opening post. I feel that I am not as forgiving as I thought I was, especially after taking the forgiveness inventory! Thank you for sharing this great information.

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    1. I’m glad you found it eye-opening, Debbie! I certainly did too and am feeling very encouraged by this series in my own life and marriage! Thanks for stopping by and joining the conversation!

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  2. Oh, this is a good one, Beth! I need to take some time and honestly think about each section of the inventory. We need to model our forgiveness on God, who forgives each one of us, even though we may not always deserve it. Forgiving someone who has wronged us and doesn’t ask for or deserve forgiveness is hard, but we are called to do it.

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    1. I’m glad you think so, Laurie! I hope you do take some time to consider these questions. They’ve really challenged me to zero in on areas I need to work on. Sometimes it’s easy to overlook our weaknesses if we don’t stop to evaluate ourselves. And I so agree about modeling God’s forgiveness and following His call to forgive. It’s hard but with God’s power flowing in, we can do the impossible! Thanks for your encouragement, my friend!

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  3. So much has been taken,
    so much has been wrecked,
    and I stood here forsaken,
    but I did not object
    for gentlemen are patient,
    and gentlemen are kind,
    and when love seems vacant,
    sometimes must be blind
    to the way that things appear,
    and to their very heart,
    holding tight to what is dear
    when things fall apart.
    It was more pain than I could afford,
    but for cancer, I forgive You, Lord.

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    1. I love the line, “And when love seems vacant, sometimes must be blind,” Andrew! Yes, there truly is a need to overlook certain offenses in life and marriage. If we want to truly love our spouses, we also need to extend grace and forgiveness to them–doing so much more than correcting issues, for sure! Thank you for waxing poetic! You never cease to amaze me!

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  4. Beth,
    Like you, my emotions get the best of me and so #6 – Remaining patient and self-controlled is certainly not one of my strengths. I always want to get in my two cents. I can be quick to argue and slow to listen or hear my husband out. I also need to focus more on “him” and less on “me”. It’s easy to get caught up in how a conflict affects me, but I need to walk a mile in my husband’s shoes as well. Also, I can verbally spar with the best of them and need some humbling with regard to this habit. Awesome inventory and questions for reflection!! ps. Are you going to She Speaks in July? I’m thinking of going and would love to see you there…Grandson visit/She Speaks combo??
    Blessings,
    Bev xx

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    1. Yes, that’s a tough one for those of us who are passionate girls! And I think that’s a great goal–focusing on him much more than on yourself. I need to do that with my guy too.

      I wasn’t thinking about going, Bev. But you’ve got me thinking about it! I know my hubby would probably not want me to spend the money. It’s soooo expensive! Lol! Still, I would like to take a crack at the agent interviews again. Maybe I could swing it. I’ll be in touch to let you know soon! But if I don’t go, you have a WONDERFUL time!

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  5. This is SO good and filled with such thought-provoking words of wisdom. Thank for these powerful scriptures! I plan to take the Forgiveness Inventory myself this evening. Thank you for this encouragement!

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    1. Thank you for your kind words, Erin! You’ve encouraged me! And I do hope you find the inventory to be helpful and that it gives you lots of insights to act upon in your life and marriage.

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  6. The Mark Twain quote is powerful. I love the idea of forgiveness being the fragrance that is left behind. The work that you have done to understand forgiveness and the teaching you have shared with us is impactful. The series you have done in the past on forgiveness are some of my favorites.

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    1. I know! I had never heard it before and found it online when preparing for this post, Mary! Thank you so much for encouraging me! You’re too kind! And your support here always blows me away! Hugs to you, my friend!

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  7. Beth, this is such a great guide for helping us to keep our bitterness and resentful feelings in check. I too can let my emotions get the best of me, more times than I like. It can be hard to simply stop your mouth from speaking and slip off to pray and ask the Lord Jesus to help you respond first to His Spirit and then to respond to our spouse with Holy Spirit love and peace.

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    1. Thank you so much, April! I hope it is helpful! I think writers/bloggers probably by and large are an emotional lot. With all of our writing passion flowing out on the page before us, sometimes it gets splattered on our mates in moments of tension and conflict! Lol! I do hope you and I, both, are able to run to the Lord before running off with our mouths! Hugs to you!

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  8. Do I “have” to? Great post, friend.

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    1. Well, no, actually you don’t, Susan! But I think we both know where that will get us if we resist! Lol! Thank you for your encouragement, Susan! Hugs to you!

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  9. Forgiveness is a tough thing, Beth. However, I have found that forgiveness is a gift you give yourself. The person doesn’t have to ask for forgiveness. They don’t even have to deserve forgiveness. But if you can grant it, you will relieve yourself of problems like bitterness, and that’s a gift you give yourself!

    Pinned & tweeted.

    Thanks for linking up at InstaEncouragements!

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    1. Yes! So true! As I mentioned above, there are those who believe that because it says we should forgive after someone repents (Luke 17:3-4) that we should wait to forgive them until they ask. But where does that leave us (in a practical and spiritual sense, that is)? I want to be free of that anger and bitterness. I don’t want anything to come between myself and the Lord! Besides, if Jesus could be bleeding out on the cross and say–“Father, forgive them”–without anyone around Him repenting, then I think we are called to do the same! Thanks for stopping by and encouraging me, my friend! Hugs to you!

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  10. I usually get around to forgiving others eventually, but not as quickly as I’d like. This is a great assessment, Beth. As always, I appreciate you “going first” and sharing your results so authentically.

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    1. I’m the same way, Lisa. In my defense (or justification! Lol!), I want to do a thorough job of forgiving. But the reality is, it all begins with a simple decision to forgive and let the Lord deal with my offender. Easy peasy in the hands of our Lord! Thanks for encouraging me! I love seeing your smiling face in the comments, my friend!

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  11. I need to work on #5. Confronting the person nicely and speaking my thoughts. As a peace lover I am often quick to forgive but often don’t graciously confront because I hate conflict. I am working on being more assertive and stating my position.

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  12. Thanks, Beth, for such a good resource that helps us take a look at reality. The inventory is really beneficial and the verses speak!

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  13. […] continually bring up past hurts it can seem like that’s all they remember. So, work to forgive each other quickly, let go of the hurt, and stick to the issue at hand when you don’t […]

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