Is Forgiveness Part of Human Nature? T. D. Jakes Says Yes

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Jakes says unforgiveness is a learned behavior.

Pastor of the 30,000-member Potter’s House in Dallas, Texas, T. D. Jakes was reported by The Christian Post as saying that people are born with the ability to forgive, and that unforgiveness is a learned behavior.

“We develop our propensity to forgive or not to forgive by what we see illustrated at the early ages of our development. We don’t come here unforgiving,” said Jakes in an interview with CP. “We don’t come here pre-wired to bear this kind of acrimonious type of lifestyle. We don’t come here like that. We come here with a certain propensity to be open, loving, accepting, and trusting. We learn to be unforgiving, doubtful, suspicious, guilt-ridden, and anxious.”

Jakes says since people learn to be unforgiving, they can learn to forgive, and they can start by “resisting the enemy so he may flee from you.”

“We are commanded to forgive, but we are not commanded to trust,” he says.

Jakes’ newest book, Let It Go: Forgive So You Can Be Forgiven comes out this week. In it, Jakes says we cannot embrace God’s forgiveness if we are “so busy clinging to past wounds and nursing old grudges…forgiveness is a gift you must find a way to give yourself.” Some of the reasons he gives as to why people won’t forgive are when we believe our future has been jeopardized, when the act hasn’t been sufficiently atoned for, as a defense to protect our bruised inner selves, when we feel we have been deceived or humiliated, or when personal trust has been violated.

“I think it is important that we rebuild an atmosphere of forgiveness and civility in every aspect of our lives,” Jakes says.

Do you agree that forgiveness is part of human nature? Give your thoughts in the Comment section below.

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  • PBK

    Thank you Bishop Jakes.

  • Astrapto

    Allow me a prod.
    I bet denying sinful nature and total depravity makes it easier to build a megachurch.

  • Josh

    Jesus said Love your enemies, pray for your not repay evil with evil, but evil with good..Apostle Paul expanded on it and said “if you enemy is hungry feed him, if he thirsts give him drink…Does it sound like our society is following the teachings of the Bible in this regard?   Forgiveness is shallow and easily said, but the proof is in the DOING…so I would be interested to c what Mr Jakes would respond to these passages!

  • Paisleyeric

    I’m sorry. I thought we were all born sinners. And because of that, EVERYTIME I am given a choice, I will choose wrong. And also, the last time I checked, FORGIVENESS rest entirely with Jesus. Whereas, I can only forgive knowing that I have been forgiven. It is a gift. From God. 
    All of these “mega” people get more glory than God does. They have cut Jesus’ name out of and off of His own book.

  • Lena

    I agree with Bishop Jakes. We may have been born sinners, but we were made in HIS image. Forgiveness and God is what we are!

  • ot

     I disagree with Bishop Jakes, We are deprave in nature, conduct and speech, it is not in us to forgive.  read Ephesians 2:1-3 (ESV)

    1 And you were dead in the trespasses and sins
    2 in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience—
    3 among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.

  • nadobabo