What Missionaries Ought to Know about Forgiveness

  • Approximate Time Commitment: 20 minutes
  • Partner: MissionaryCare.com

What Missionaries Ought to know… does not mean that the author sat down and decided what missionaries ought to know, but that missionaries themselves asked about these topics. During the author’s 35 years of college teaching he learned that if one person asks a question, others probably want to know the same thing—and if two people ask, it was certainly a topic that others need to know about. These are things missionaries need to know because several missionaries have asked about each of them at one time or another.

To read more from the What Missionaries Ought to Know series

Partner: MissionaryCare.com

Resource Description


As fellow missionaries, they were your closest friends. They had prayed with you for the last six months as you developed a plan to reach the people in your city. It was successful beyond your wildest dreams. But now they had a book coming out about your plan-claiming it as their own! Of course, you are glad for the success in reaching people, but how could they have done that? Can you ever forgive them?

Even if you can forgive them, can you ever forget it, or can you ever really trust them again? Let us consider some of these questions.

How could they have done that?

Being hurt by someone you love is inevitable. Sometimes the people hurting you do it intentionally, planning it carefully and then carrying out their plot. Other times they do something without forethought. Most often they do not intend to hurt you and do not even know they have done so. The Old Testament clearly distinguishes between intentional and unintentional sins.

Having your brother or sister turn on you is as old as the human race itself, as found in the story of Cain and Abel in Genesis 4. It occurred repeatedly in the book of Genesis, as shown in the life of Joseph and his brothers who first planned to kill him, but then decided just to sell him as a slave. How could they have done that?

Sometimes you are the one who is amazed at what you do. The first missionary, Paul, wrote about this in himself in Romans 7. He just did not understand why he did what he did. He did not do the things he wanted to do, but he did the things he hated. Paul was saying, “How could I have done that?”


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