Leadership and Forgiveness, Part 1

This is a guest post by Andy Andrews, one of my dearest friends. He is also the author of the bestselling book, The Traveler’s Gift, and recently published The Heart Mender: A Story of Second Chances.

If you’re in leadership, the decision to forgive or seek forgiveness can seem like an afterthought, something necessary to smooth over awkward or rough patches so you can get back to business. This, says Andy Andrews, is a fatal underestimation. In Part 1 of this two-part guest blog, Andy explores how the principle of forgiveness is already affecting you and your leadership. (You can read Part 2 here.)

If you want to connect with Andy, you can read his blog or follow him on Twitter. He is one of the most inspiring people I know.

Several years have now gone by since the publication of The Traveler’s Gift. Because of the seven principles revealed in that story, I have increasingly found myself in quiet corners, talking intimately with some of society’s best-known leaders. Yet when they draw me aside, I do not pretend to have the answers some of them seek. (I am woefully ignorant about the details of business and politics!)Man Looking at Himself in the Mirror - Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/domin_domin, Image #6642817

Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/domin_domin

I know that my value to these men and women is that of a Noticer. In these odd moments, I am to provide perspective, often pointing out something important that’s right in front of them.

I have become convinced that there is one leadership principle upon which companies and families and fortunes balance, but it is totally misunderstood by today’s corporate and political leaders. This principle is powerful enough that it has redirected many of our lives in an eternal way, yet it is so ignored in our daily living that its absence has torn apart companies, families, nations, and civilizations!

You’ve heard of it before. It is called forgiveness.

Please understand that this blog entry is not about our own forgiveness, the kind that comes freely from God when we ask for it. That is a spiritual concept. I am calling attention to what we have in our control when we are lying awake at night thinking about a specific person and what he or she said or did and how we responded, and what we will say if we see them tomorrow!

You see, forgiveness is a decision—it is not an emotion. When we were commanded to forgive “seventy times seven” (see Matthew 18:22), it was not under the assumption that some moron might do something 490 times! Jesus knew that we, as human beings, tend to “take it back” and get angry all over again about the same thing, wasting time and energy and affecting other relationships in the process.

But forgiveness is not just a decision; it’s a principle. That means that it works every time. In our minds and hearts, we must consistently make the decision to forgive an offense until our emotions align with the decision we have made.

Try it. It works—especially when the target of your anger and resentment is yourself.

I don’t know about you, but for me . . . ? Considering all the people who have impacted my life in a negative way throughout the years, no one has ever disappointed me as much as I have disappointed me. And I couldn’t even lie about it; I know everything I’ve done! How is it possible to avoid the damage we inflict upon ourselves?

I am convinced that we cannot become the parents and spouses and leaders we aspire to be when we hold a grudge, however slight, against ourselves.

It is tough to do battle with an enemy that has a fort in your head! This also affects how we relate to other people. Without a forgiving spirit, our actions and facial expressions are often dominated by stress and resentment of which we are unaware. These hidden factors often create more uncertainty in our lives because we don’t understand why people are not responding to our leadership!

If God has forgiven you (and if you asked, He has) then it is time for you to forgive you. Lay down the whip with which you have been beating yourself about the head and shoulders. It is time to begin again.

So take a breath. Push the reset button. Forgive yourself first, and then you’ll have the poise and presence you need to seek forgiveness from others and transform your relationships, your business, and every aspect of your life. Tomorrow’s blog deals with that very thing.

Question: Do you need to forgive yourself?
As part of the promotion for Andy’s new book, I gave away 100 autographed copies to those who commented below. This is why people asked for the book in the comments below.
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  • http://intensedebate.com/profiles/gailbhyatt gailbhyatt

    I am thrilled about this book. As you know I am the President of Andy's Fan Club and I can't wait to read this latest gift. My life is never the same after reading Andy's books. I have NO DOUBT that this will be no exception!

  • http://twitter.com/duffbert @duffbert

    Andy Andrews is one of my favorite authors who can blend stories with life lessons better than just about anyone out there. I would love to get a copy of this book.

  • http://twitter.com/MarksGirl8 @MarksGirl8

    I can totally identify with being most disappointed with myself. I have vowed not to get involved in office gossip and/or politics over and over. I then find myself participating once again. This usually happens when someone who has wronged me in the past, re-opens that wound. Once the "emotional" venting has subsided…the guilt sets in…followed by the disappointment. Thanks for today's blog.

  • dee.GA

    Hello Michael,
    I agree with you on the 70×7 thing. I meditated on that some weeks ago & I thought it's easier to always forgive without taking counts as to how many times we've forgiven the "same" people. Forgiveness sets yourself free from stress.
    No matter how I tried to think of happy thoughts & "isolate" myself at my workplace to "avoid conflicts", the customers and colleagues always make their way to OFFEND me & that really makes me CRAZY. I wanna shout it's not fair & they don't deserve to be forgiven, I want to respond to them in the same rude manner, but I will always remember Jesus, not that he had to, but he chose to -> die for me.
    I don't have the face to pray or come to church service when I know I still carry grudges towards people. That makes me feel so hypocrite & dirty. But everytime I forgive, His joy fills my entire soul, I will start singing new songs!
    We were told to come to church "as we are", but I also believe that we have to cleanse ourselves before we enter His house. We forgive because we love God, & this is my constant prayer.. to see what He sees, to know what He knows, and to love whom He loves. :)

  • http://mattgavenda.com Matt

    I can't say I have a ton of "leading" experiences but I do have some discipleship opportunities in which I step over the bounds of what God was calling me to in the situation and really railed on a friend. I thought in the moment I was correct in my response but realized very soon after the fact that I was just harsh and ultimately unGodly in the way I handled it. Before I could really apologize to my friend (which took some swallowing of pride!) I had to realize why I had responded the way I did. The reasoning seemed to fall on me and the sin I was going through. Through prayer and a little bit of time, I was able to see the filter I was handling things and pray towards reconciliation with myself and with God before I could really apologize with the friend.

    Even though vague I hope this was helpful to someone and I'm looking forward to reading this book.

  • http://www.estherisblogging.blogspot.com Esther

    I am an elder in my church, a recent recruit I may say and its I'm still trying to get a hang of things I may say. A recent happening made me have no alternative but to rebuke a sister for her actions during service proper. She took it quite badly and went to our Pastor about it. On my journey home after church and till I sat in God's presence that I night I remember constantly telling myself I could have done it differently. I could have worded it differently. But later as I was in His presence I was amazed that when I lifted it to Him and just said " Lord, let Your spirit make things right with her, I am bound to make some people unhappy but I must persevere to make sure what You've asked me to do gets done. And this peace washed over me and i just did not dwell on it anymore."

    You see He has forgiven me and I have to forgive myself, but its only by Him can I forgive myself. That's what I believe. I can't forgive me if He doesn't help me do it..

    I hope I get a copy of this book.

    Thank you for the chance to win.

  • Esther

    Hi, I've entered my address in Malaysia, however if you do not ship overseas, I will be able to provide a US address.

    Thank you.

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

      No, that's fine. We so ship to Malaysia.

  • http://www.tipphealthshoppe.webs.com Carla Brogden

    WOW, Andy hit the proverbial "nail" solidly. With my counselor I have been working on self forgiveness of rather a long list of choices I have regretted. Some days I have wanted a "do-over." But the reality is that those choices were made with the best of intentions and the best information available at the time. Yet like Andy says, often I have beaten myself up with words that hurt me. The consequences as he has pointed out are that I am less effective and less able to minister. In fact, I find that often I am not as receptive to the healing that scripture offers and the loving touch of the God who created me.

    The tension and anxiety of focusing on the "would'a could'a's" takes creative energy and focus away from doing my best to meet the needs of those I serve. It also means I am not as healthy an "example" to my daughter and other teens in my field of reference. Do I really want them to berate themselves because they made a decision they regret? Do I want them to miss the wholeness of God's love? Do I want them to impose anger and unforgiveness on themselves? NO! Because I know that also becomes anger and unforgiveness and stress that we impose on those in our frame of reference.

    As I am learning this self forgiveness I am working "Step 4" and writing my "fearless moral inventory" which has included the time I screamed at a repairman and the time I berated the efforts of someone helping with a project and so on it goes. Working this step prepares me to work Step 5, making amends. This is a necessary part of self forgiveness, identifying these things and making amends even if we can't do it with the person, we can do it with ourselves.

    I will find Andy's book of great interest. Those of us who serve others in leadership as parents, teachers, church volunteers, neighbors and friends, will be healthier and more effective as we forgive and heal our own hurts and hearts.

  • http://getsocial.dk Simon W

    Sounds like a great book! Would like a copy to blog about….

  • http://intensedebate.com/profiles/dheagle93 dheagle93

    I'd like a copy because I gave the one I received through Booksneeze to a lady in the church I pastor. While The Heart Mender has been added to the list of "books I'll keep a copy on hand to give people" along with a few others (not all Thomas Nelson books, sorry), I'd like a copy to keep as well!

    Doug

  • http://blog.stephaniesuesansmith.com Stephanie S Smith

    I know things. People come to me with problems and ask how to get help solving them. I can tell them how to access services such as counseling or medical care, money for school, disability, if they really need it, or all manner of other things. A friend jokingly calls me "the font of all knowledge." If I do not know the answer to the question asked, I can usually find it.

    And yet, I feel like a failure. I have severe health problems and cannot work. This isn't where I saw myself at this stage of my life. I feel betrayed by my body because it will not do the things I want and need it to do. By most standards, I AM a failure — not able to work, living on disability, sick all the time. So, you see, I find it hard to forgive myself for not meeting my expectations or those of society. I could use the book. Thank you.

  • @deronhenry

    I have read every Andy Stanley book in print. I continually refer him to others and refer to him as my favorite authors. I have learned so much from his writings. I am in leadership. I am a full-time youth pastor in TN. I have been in ministry for 17 years in all. What I have learned most from Andy is to accept the fact that I am who God created me to be. I can’t change that…even though I have to admit i have wanted to in the past. I have always struggled with confidence. Thinking that there are many things that I simply could not do. I am learning that those thoughts are not from God. He doesn’t want me to be anything or anyone else. He desires me to be all that He created & saved me to be. He created me for so much more. I am not there yet but am enjoying the journey that God has me on right now.

    • http://www.AndyAndrews.com Andy Andrews

      I have read every Andy Stanley book, too!

  • cmo2cso

    Part1: On occasion, I have had to make leadership decisions that I knew, because of my experience were correct, while also knowing that less experienced people, peers or subordinates, wholly disagreed with me. And, sometimes, my "pushback" on them had to be very harsh and intense, simply to get them out of their 'comfort zone'. In those situations I find somes answers to at least 3 questions: 1) do my peers or subordinates (or even those senior to me in the corporate hierarchy) chose to know me well enough to trust me (because I give them the opportunity because of my open style); do I trust my own decisions and perspectives based on my personal approach of looking at myself bluntly so don't "fool myself"; and ultimately 3) do I trust God for how He created my mind, shaped my patterns of decision-making, and allowed the path of my experience that has led me to present positions and action-plans.

  • http://www.therextras.com BarbaraBoucher PTPhD

    Love is a decision, too. No doubt I could benefit from reading this book and sharing it with someone I love, too.

  • cmo2cso

    Part 2:

    It's somewhat like Numbers 13 ("the spies of Canaan") where God ordered that people be sent out to spy out the land He already gave them: when the spies returned only 2 of the ten saw the vision, the rest saw only the dangers and forgot the big picture; that God said for them to "spy out the land which I have already given you." "Already given" is the big thing, 8 of 10 didn't trust God's promise so instead of spying out the land to acheive the objective as they trusted God's promise; they spied it out to reinforce their fears.

    So, sometimes the right decision is the 'minority report' and once a hard decision is advocated or made, I know I may have emotionally hurt some folks… but I don't reject or fire them (except once) for their initial resistance. I speak with them privately once a decision is made. I forgive them behaviorally, too. I invite them to follow me and find out how things play out. Most do. Once in a while a good person quits or transfers, but not often; and people grow.

  • http://Bridgescovenant.com Mark Andrews

    This post spoke directly to my heart. As a relatively young (40) and really new church planter (less than 3 years) I struggle with this ALL the time. Everytime someone asks me where so and so went, or why the sound was too loud/quiet, or why the nursery was too warm, or , or, or… It always makes me feel like I could have done more, recruited more, taught more, loved more. As the top of the pyramid leader for the first time in my life, I find my people are far more gracious to me than I am to myself. My concern is that this lack of forgiveness of myself could one day turn into lack of forgiveness for my people. That cannot happen. If this book is as good as this post, I believe I will begin to find some ways of forgiving and letting go. Thanks.

    • http://Bridgescovenant.com Mark Andrews

      P.S. Despite my AWESOME last name, I am not related to this amazing author.

  • Jim

    I have enjoyed reading Andy's books and have always been challenged to look at my personal life in light of what he has written. The Traveler's Gift is one of my favorites. I would love to have a copy of The Heart Mender.
    Thanks

  • http://twitter.com/NickHorton @NickHorton

    I have a lot for which I need to forgive people. Not only others but myself as well. I struggle with it and don't want to be gripped in bitterness or guilt. I want to follow what Christ has commanded me to do; forgiven as he has forgiven me.

  • http://www.truthmatters.us Ken Askew

    To not seek forgiveness is to walk about with a mill stone weighing you down. To trudge along under its pressure in the hopes of being able to shed the burden alone creates duress. Forgiveness though, as Andy says, is a "principle" that relieves the burden every time. Forgiveness: may we seek it often and give it generously.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=732376053 Peggy Langille

    Andy's book The Noticer was a huge source of comfort to me during a difficult time in my life. I can't wait to read this one.

  • http://www.gatheringspringfield.com Jeff Pinkleton

    Forgiveness (or lack thereof) is one of the biggest generational sins of my side of the family. It has significantly damaged many relationships, my mom and her sister and brother, have very broken relationships, and that is the core, but there is more, because they infect others, and this needs broken.
    My ministry, http://www.gatheringspringfield.com, deals with many men and their own personal issues of unforgiveness, but also that impact on others.
    It would be a great potential ministry tool to use for other men, and certainly self, as well. Within the Gathering, we have used 2 other Andy Andrews' books already.

  • Mark

    Andy Andrews is an amazing author and storyteller. Everyone one of his books that I pick up, I have to go through time and time again because of the life applications that are inside. I can't wait to get my hands on the newest bestseller.

  • cmo2cso

    Part 3

    In the end, I am able to forgive myself because I desire to forgive others, and help and watch them grow.

  • Mark

    Andy's books are an inspiration. I learn something new about myself every time I pick one up. I'm always the last one I forgive.

  • lavon1574@gmail.com

    I would like a copy of Andy Andrews book because I just dealt with issue on Tuesday. I would love to read another person's perspective on the topic of forgiveness!

    In reading Eph. 4:22-5:1, God reminded me that healing does not occur because someone says "I am sorry." Healing for our broken hearts comes because we lay our hurting hearts at His feet including the hurt we cause ourselves. I had to ask forgiveness from Father for my behavior as well as those I hurt before I could even voice how I was hurt through this situation. Amazingly, after confessing my own part in this hurtful situation, I really did not have a desire to "state my case."

    I would love to continue to grow and learn about the wonderful art of forgiveness by readying Andy Andrews book!

  • Kurt

    Andy’s last book, “The Noticer,” is one of my all time favorites. I really marked it up and had a discussion on the pages. I tweeted about the revelations that immediately struck me. Andy’s books are ones that you pull down off the shelf and re-read; learning more each time. After all, you’re a different person each time you read a book!

    I’ve been in the same industry for over 25 years. As a leader, I’ve had to forgive myself for sometimes expecting (demanding) more from my employer’s organization than they were able to give. Don’t get me wrong, I still expect the “best” from my team, but now I ask myself if what I expect is reasonable in light of who and what I am asking to be done. Coming to grips with this has allowed me to work with the same people now as the owner of my company. Our core people have stuck together now through four companies. Forgiveness is a regular part of our working together, both personally and interpersonally. Forgiving myself has freed me to start anew and pursue my dreams. I could not have embarked on this journey otherwise. Truly transforming.

  • http://www.stephanieljones.com Stephanie L. Jones

    Michael and Andy, thank you! As a child molestation survivor and victim's advocate, I appreciate these great posts. Forgiveness. I can't explain the impact of this word on my ministry. Helping people to understand the importance of forgiveness and what it really means is extremely difficult when they've been violated by people they Love. However, I have found that getting them to forgive themselves for the choices they made as a result of the abuse oftentimes leads to the breakthrough. Thank you for covering 'forgiving self.'

    Choice or mistake? Wow and wow backwards! So often victims/survivors hear, "I made a mistake." Maybe that's why they have a hard time forgiving their offenders; because they don't believe that it was a mistake at all! They know the person just made a choice. I have never thought about this! Wow!

    This will really help me as an advocate!

    I'm looking forward to reading The Heart Mender because I'm called to help the brokenhearted (Luke 4:18).
    Thank you!

  • http://cordsofhislove.blogspot.com Chew Keng Sheng

    Unforgiveness and resentment is like a cancer, it eats into our very soul and spirit; blocking the flow of God's love and mercy into our spirit, it hinders our relationships with others, and it takes us out of touch with who we really are. From personal experience, because of resentment, sometimes I need to put on a mask, pretending that I am O.K. and have it all, when I am actually not. I guess, from what I know of Andy Andrew's story telling style of writing, this new book of his will help me gain new perspective on this issue.

  • Beth

    I am work in progress … don't carry much baggage personally, but I see my husband very burdened by his need to forgive. I'd love for him to understand more about how he is hurting himself.

    • http://www.AndyAndrews.com Andy Andrews

      Hi Beth! I can relate to your "work in progress" comment…that's me! And isn't it amazing how many friends and family members we all seem to have who deal with this issue. Frankly, that's why I wrote The Heart Mender. In my own life, it has been so much easier to "give a friend a book" rather than try to explain the challenge in person! So I wanted to create a tool for folks to use in order to learn and teach. By the way, this book is my favorite of the ones I have written. (The ending to this story still blows me away!)

  • mmckinne

    It's simple. I recently parted ways with my old company. The process of a new career search has humbled me, helped me grow closer to God, form new friendships and networks, and become a better father, husband, friend and man. In addition, I had to make a choice to forgive my old employer and several of the people I worked with. This was done in my heart, NOT in my head.

    The good thing: I feel blessed to have gone through the process.

    Andy's new book aligns with my current state of mind and mission. I'd LOVE a copy.

  • http://www.facebook.com/gullchasedship Peter Scholtens

    I'd love to have a copy of this book. I recently wrote a paper on the impact of forgiveness in personal relationships and pastoral care. It would be fascinating for me to be able to add to the reflection I needed to do to write the paper by reading about how forgiveness affects leadership.

  • http://intensedebate.com/profiles/mamasgonecrazy mamasgonecrazy

    Since reading The Noticer, I am a big fan of Andy Andrews! Being a mom to 4 young kids, it seems like I am always asking for forgiveness from my kids, and my husband! But, one thing that I don't do first is to forgive myself. Never thought of that! Time to "push that reset button"!

  • Doug Rowles

    Looks like a book worth reading and to add to any library. I am never surprised by the addition of subjects to great leadership.

  • Monica

    Thanks for this post. Until I read it, I honestly don't think I thought about how not forgiving myself or holding a grudge against me might impact relationships around me. It gave me something to consider this morning and pray about as I have my quiet time. I've been struggling in a couple areas and I think this is one of the keys to unlock before moving forward.

  • http://www.facebook.com/christopherwparks Christopher W. Parks

    Great post! looking forward to Part 2. I had the privilege of hearing him speak at a leadership conference over ten years ago and have been a fan ever since. I would love to have his new book to add to the collection. The Noticer is one of my favorites.

    I have learned the power of forgiveness over the years. If you can't forgive yourself or others, you unknowing walk around daily with stress, guilt, and anxiety that just is not necessary. God commanded that we forgive. How can you argue with that?

    Thanks for letting Andy post. You guys are a big influence in my life in spiritual and practical areas.

    Take Care and God Bless!

  • lonestar

    I have to remind myself to forgive myself. It's much easier to remember to forgive others.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/success2you John Richardson

    Your post rings home so true, Andy. I learned how to forgive others years ago when I attended a half day conference on forgiveness. At the time, I didn't think there was anyone that I needed to forgive. Then I realized as I started through the process that I had never forgiven my mom, who struggled with alcohol through part of my childhood. After she had passed away, I held a grudge against her. She had messed up part of my life. It was only after hours of prayer and self examination that I was finally able to let everything go and finally forgive her fully. It was like a huge weight was lifted from my shoulders, and to this day had a most profound effect on my life.

    Yet today, just a few minutes ago, I was chastising myself over decisions I've made. The woulda, shoulda, couda's were in full force. I guess I never realized I need to forgive myself. After all, I am truly the one to blame. Your book sounds very interesting. I just finished the Noticer a few weeks ago and it made a great difference in the way I look at life. Yet just today, I was feeling like the guy living under the pier. Maybe your new book can help me with that!

    • http://www.AndyAndrews.com Andy Andrews

      John! I am still amazed at how this principle affects lives. People sometimes ask how long it took me to "get out from under the pier". In some ways, I am still crawling through that sand, but when I was able to grasp the forgiveness principle–it was a huge step in the direction toward the life God wants for all of us. AA

  • KristaGolf

    As a often gimping follower of Christ, it is so much easier for me to forgive others than it is to forgive myself. This difficulty is really my sinful pride – suggesting that I can somehow earn salvation as I “know better”.

    I haven’t read any of Andy Andrew’s writing until this morning’s blog. But I love the idea of a gracefilled reset button to myself. Hope I get an autographed copy! ;-)

  • http://www.embracepositivepassion.com Georgiana

    This morning during my quiet time I kept thinking about being totally FREE. What does BEING FREE mean to you? FORGIVENESS came to my mind. We all fail at one time or another. We need to TOTALLY have FREEDOM to FORGIVE ourselves and others.
    One of the KEYS is being FREE of pride. Pride is an ugly disease and i do mean disease! Think about it. What is pride? A strong force that takes you into captivity. It brings with it a strong negativity if not fully faced for what it is when it arises to take hold of you. It will leave behind a remnant of pain if not dealt with IMMEDIATELY. It lives in you unrecognized and comes out indirectly displaying anxiety, anger, outbursts, physical illness and the ugly list continues. It literally feeds on negative thoughts that become words and in turn you want to make others miserable. This becomes a vicious circle.
    STOP! Don’t let PRIDE take you down this ugly path! Learn to FORGIVE yourself and others IMMEDIATELY!
    EMBRACE the BEAUTY inside yourself and others. Look around as BEAUTY is always waiting to be
    SEEN, TOUCHED and ABSORBED. As soon as you FORGIVE yourself, life becomes a CLEAN SLATE before you! :-)

  • Kathy Bradley

    I would love to have a copy of this book! God is leading me to a new phase in my life..I had to retire from nursing due to a heart disease and congestive heart failure. This free time has really led me on a journey of learning, asking for direction, praying. I have found that I have trouble praying for myself…some of the women I go to Bible Study with say it is because I dont think I am worthy.. I would love to study this. God is leading me in a new direction..it is an exciting time. Please send me your book!

    • http://www.AndyAndrews.com Andy Andrews

      You are right, Kathy! It IS an exciting time. We all strive for the mountaintops, but need to remember that our greatest growth is in the valley. I am anxious to watch your future unfold and see the fruit in your life that was fertilized by this tough time!

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/sbordewyk sbordewyk

    I'm quite sure I've never met Andy Andrews before, but in reading this post I feel as if he knows me all too well. I think that asking for forgiveness is the easy part of the transaction, so to speak. It's the responsibility we have in completing forgiveness that keeps coming back around, regardless of whether we are the forgiver or forgivee.

    As a leader in education I can recall past mistakes that still seem to 'pop-up' and interfere with strategic and future planning. The area I see most affected by not forgiving myself has got to be communication.

    I would love to win a copy of this book. Thank you for the opportunity.

  • lbrown0824

    Oh my gosh! I was immediately struck by the title "The Heart Mender"…wow, there's power in those words! I understand the power of self-forgiveness…without it we cannot be open to the amazing plans God has for us. Years of my life were wasted, paralyzed by an unwillingness to forgive myself and believing that I was unfit for service to the Lord. But, having come through that time in my life, forgiving myself and others, and accepting the forgiveness Christ offers has freed me to pursue an incredible ministry that I'd have never imagined! I'd love to read "The Heart Mender" and be able to share the power in those words with others who are stuck in the mire of unforgiveness.

  • http://www.leebuford.com/ Lee Buford (@LeeBuford)

    Mike, I’m excited to read this book, and after reading your post I am convinced it will be an encouragement to all of us. Forgiveness is a difficult concept to grasp for most of us. We expect to be forgiven completely of our transgressions but tend to apply levels and/or criteria to our forgiveness of others. I know because I have been as guilty of this as anyone.
    I have known the Biblical principles of forgiveness for years, yet I am currently in a season of life where it is time for me to “walk the talk.” I am trying to encourage a friend through a difficult time right now, and this friend has repeatedly betrayed my trust and our relationship through numerous lies, etc., and I know I must continue to forgive, encourage, and point to the grace and mercy of God as the only solution.
    You are spot-on with idea that it’s about decision and principle, and that forgiveness is a cornerstone in all of our relationships, both personal and professional. Forgivesness is indeed a principle we must live by; not simply pay lip service to, and I continue to work on this application daily.
    I would love to get one of your autographed copies of Andy’s book! Thanks for another outstanding post!
    Lee

  • Alan

    I’m intrigued. Unlike most of the people who have already posted, I’ve never heard of or read anything Andy Andrews. I went to the link for “The Noticer” and read those first few pages. What a captivating writer. I will definitely be getting that book. Looking forward to what he has to say.

  • http://rachelwojnarowski.wordpress.com Rachel Wojnarowski

    Oh boy. How to start this comment. Hmmmm. I NEED THIS BOOK! Just on Sunday, I forgot something because it was out of my usual routine; in order to make up for it, I had to take a couple extra steps and apologize to people for being unprepared. And even though they were gracious, I was upset with myself for about two hours. The battle in my mind was vicious and critical. I need to learn to forgive myself.
    All that aside, I’ve never read an Andy Andrews book and would really love to, especially after hearing him speak at Women of Faith in Columbus in May this year.

  • Jan Noel-Smith

    Thank you for the post and the opportunity! Forgiveness is a big part of my life .. there’s one person I just can’t seem to let go of enough to completely forgive. I “purpose in my heart” daily to forgive and not to dwell on the issues, and most of the time I do pretty well .. then I realize I will have to be in the same room with this family member, and that’s when the internal fight starts all over again. .. somewhere/somehow I will get this right, and it will truly be through the Grace of God, because I certainly can’t do it leaning on my own understanding.

  • http://kellycain.com Kelly Smith

    This is so true. I have disappointed myself through the years and it takes so little to see how this disappointment reveals itself, sometimes through hurtful words, other times through jealousy or anger. Oh, how important it is to forgive so that we can fully live. Thanks for this reminder. I’ve got some thinking to do…

  • http://carolinamama1.blogspot.com Carolina Mama

    Love Andy Andrews’ books! And Thomas Nelson publications! This is an awesome topics no matter where you are in your Christian journey. I’d love to read and learn!

  • Dan Greegor

    Having just completed The Traveler’s Gift about four weeks ago, I am very excited about reading The Heart Mender. Mr. Andrews has a great gift for taking timeless principles and weaving soul-impressing stories together. He is a definite must-read for anyone wishing to grow in their personal development and helping others grow in theirs.

  • Dianne Guthmuller

    Micheal,

    It's no wonder that you and Andy Andrews are great friends! Birds of a feather… :-)

    Unforgiveness and being offended are the default reactions of human beings. It's probably been Satan's greatest tool to discourage and destroy since Cain and Abel. So it stands to reason that if we are going to lead others we must know how to model forgiveness. We can know we need to forgive by reading the Bible, but there must be a test; an "opportunity" to forgive before we can successfully lead others to forgiveness.

    The funny thing is once I felt I had reached a point where I could say I had truly forgiven in a couple of really big instances, then I began to experience the frustration of not being able to forgive myself. It seems I only "really" learn from the school of experience!

    My advice to young leaders is to learn to forgive others and yourself early in your life (read Andy's book) so that you won't have to spend so much time in the school of experience!

    I can't wait to read "The Heart Mender"!

    Dianne Guthmuller http://dianneguthmuller.wordpress.com/

  • http://www.HomeDestiny.comandBlogatwww.homedestiny.info Joan Linbeck

    I am leaving a comment not just to have a chance at winning an autographed copy of the Heart Mender but because I am excited to have this opportunity to say how grateful I am for the insights and literary talents God has given Mr. Andrews. I recently discovered him through you and others on Twitter & Facebook and became intrigued enough to order two of his books from CBD – The Noticer and the Heart Mender. I am reading The Noticer now and reading it slowly so I don’t miss any moment of revelation – and there have been many. What a difference one’s perspective can make! The Post above has really struck a nerve. I have been so guilty of beating myself up and letting that fort in my mind protect the wrong thoughts from being victoriously conquered instead of protecting my mind from them. The worst thing is I know better…intellectually at least. Getting the heart to line up with an intentional decision has been another matter, and must be worked on consistently. I am so looking forward to reading the Heart Mender now. Thank you for the link to this post. Today is new again.

  • Fabs_pro

    Andy's books have changed the way I look at at people. I never liked people much but after reading "The Noticer" my life changed and I have never looked at people the same. But how I look at myself, well that's still with a critical eye…and a lack of forgiveness.

  • http://www.anthony-stephens.com Anthony Stephens

    In working with middle and high schoolers ministry setting, forgiveness is a key topic that you come across and needs to be addressed. Andy Andrews has a great way of making resources fun and interesting. I would love to receive a copy of this book to have as a resource on this topic. But let's face it, we all deal with the forgiveness issue at times and it would be good to have this reminder of what God has told us about forgiveness.

  • Chris Seidler

    What I find the hardest about forgiveness is deciding that I WANT to forgive. It’s so easy for me to wallow in my bitterness and anger towards others when I am wronged and towards myself when I make poor decisions.
    To want to forgive and to choose to forgive, over and over, 70 x 7 times, is a process of decision-making that I would love to be able to develop further in both my spiritual and professional life.

    Thanks for the post.

  • Glen Mullins

    This post was a well-deserved smack in the head. I’ve recently begun to realize that I’m too judgmental of other people, but I hadn’t considered that I’m also far too judgmental of myself. I’d very much like read this book so I can learn how deal with the unforgiving attitude I have toward myself.

  • Charles Wasilewski

    Forgiveness is part of leadership? Who knew!?

    I would like to hear you explain more about what you mean by "take it back" (in this sentence: "we, as human beings, tend to “take it back” and get angry all over again about the same thing"). I don't think I follow the vernacular there.

    • http://www.AndyAndrews.com Andy Andrews

      Well….maybe it's just me (but I doubt it!). How many times have I made the very real decision to forgive, only to feel tension and anger blossom a week later when I ran into (or thought of) the person whom I had already forgiven? More than I'd like to admit… So I had to forgive the same person again. So far in my life, I haven't had to do it 490 times. Maybe 10 or 12 is my record (Ha!) but I get the point Jesus was making. Emotions follow decisions!

  • Bethany

    I have recently been following Andy on Twitter. I was humbled and challenged as I read this post. I am excited to go read his books to allow the Holy Spirit to continue His work through Andy's writing. Thanks for posting this!!

  • http://intensedebate.com/profiles/heidibylsma heidibylsma

    God has used forgiveness to revolutionize and transform my life. My former eating issues stemmed from childhood abuse. I relived the past again and again through my excessive eating. Much of the abuse I experienced was over what I would or would not eat as a child. My disordered eating was dealt a death blow by striking at the root–where bitterness had previously provided a perfect environment for it to grow to the point of consuming me. As I learned to forgive my parents and others for the things they had done, I could live in the present moment and my past now no longer dictates my choices in the present. I am truly free to listen to God and not be driven by a shadow of haunting memories. I am especially intrigued to see how Andy Andrews has connected forgiveness to leadership. I have recently stepped into a new role of leadership and acquired a literary agent who is extremely successful. I have no doubt that the future will offer opportunities for me to grow in my own ability to lead others. I would welcome the opportunity to learn from Andy and see more clearly how forgiveness not only affects *me* on a personal level, but how I can connect it to my growth as a humble, encouraging, and effective leader as well. Thank you.

  • Jeff

    I would like a copy of the book because forgiveness is something I'm wrestling with today. I feel like I have always been good at forgiving people and letting go of the past but I'm against a challenge like none other. I'm recently divorced and have been separated from my children on a regular basis because of decisions I neither agree with nor support but one person cannot constitute a partnership. I'm dealing with anger unlike anything I've known, dealing with feelings of rejection and fighting the desire to seek my own vengeance instead of being still and knowing that God is God. I want to forgive the one who has hurt me but it is a hard pill to swallow today. At the same time, I know if God took the stance with me, I would be lost and I do not want to treat someone differently than I want to be treated by God. I believe I will forgive but today it is my struggle.

  • http://intensedebate.com/profiles/lancecashion lancecashion

    I work in a family business that was started 40 years ago by my father. We've had conflicts both personally and within our business. It can be tough working in a family business. Personal situations spill into business and vice versa. Over the last couple years, I've learned the power of forgiveness. We all screw up. Accounting for my screw-ups and accepting that God has forgiven me has allowed me to not only forgive myself but ask my father to forgive my screw ups. This opened a new chapter in our relationship. We both have forgiven each other for things in the past. A bridge has been built and we have modeled this for our family. Our love (with a little 'l') has always been there. Even without forgiveness… However, our Love (with a big 'L') is stronger that ever, drawing our family closer.

    On a separate note, I have an audio version of the Seven Decisions and Andy's story about Col. Joshua Chamberlain is one of the best stories I've heard delivered to an audience. In fact, I blogged it last December. The video can be found on youtube.

    Forgiveness is a main driver behind becoming a better version of yourself for your family and team.

    Look up! That is where I'm headed :)

  • Lee

    Wow….Talk about an epiphany! In just this short little post, I came to realize something profound about myself. I tend to have a critical spirit (partially because of the job that I am in) and have a tendency to beat myself up over errors. My job demands perfection due to mistakes can cause someone to die. I have found myself going through the shoulda, woulda, coulda routine over and over. While I am more forgiving of my co-workers, I am not as tolerant with myself. I think that I could greatly benefit from what this book contains. To be honest, this is the first that I have heard of Andy. But, if this is a sample of what he offers as an author, I might just find myself mining for gold in his books to help me be the best person that I can be, both at home and at the workplace. Thanks for this encouraging post today. It has made me begin to think about myself differently. If this post alone can do this, I can only imagine the benefit the entire book would have for me!

  • http://www.lukekuepfer.com Luke Kuepfer

    I helped found and lead a non-profit organization for a little over 10 years in SE Asia. In our transition back to North America my wife and I experienced some misunderstandings and became targets of false assumptions. We’ve spoken with all but one key person in an attempt to clear it up. I’ve been talking with several people in the last year about the best approach with this final person…I don’t want to stir something up that in this person’s mind might be resolved. Perhaps the book–The Heart Mender–would be helpful in deciphering some next steps, and, ultimately in bringing some healing to my own wounds.

  • http://www.pinprickoflight.blogspot.com/ Sara Rassler

    This post reminds me of lyrics from Matthew West's song History. More specifically, "The hardest part is forgiving yourself. So let's take a walk into today and don't let your past get in the way."
    I'm barely an adult and I've already had to forgive myself numerous times, and honestly every time I do it's one of the hardest things I've ever done so far in my life. Learning to forgive oneself is not an easy thing and it's an ongoing learning process.

  • http://www.twitter.com/nanahg3 Nana

    Wow – the thought of a reset button I could use to wipe away the guilt – that's huge! I imagine a big red button like the Staples 'Easy' button.

    We are often our harshest critics – it's hard to keep in mind that if God can forgive us then we shouldn't hold a grudge against ourselves. Can't wait to dig into this book!

  • Candace

    Timely n always relevant. Every time this DECISION has served well.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/WKevinG WKevinG

    Forgiveness is such a powerful and liberating thing. It is more about freeing one's self from the anger and bitterness that can consume and destroy rather than extending grace to someone often unaware that they need it. Not that grace is unimportant or insignificant, but many times the person that's committed the deed in need of forgiving is truly unaware of the fact that they've caused hurt or harm.

    I'd love a copy of the book because Andy Andrews has become a sort of stand-in father figure for me since the passing of my Dad. My Dad passed almost six years ago, but before he did, he and my Mom encouraged me to read The Traveler's Gift. I quickly became a fan of Andy and his writing style. My father was my hero and my mentor. Since he's been gone, I've found in Andy's books the same type of wisdom and insight I often heard from my own Dad. Though I don't know Andy personally, I feel like my Dad knew something about the wisdom and insight I could learn from Andy and his books and that was a big reason he urged me to read The Travelers Gift. I've been going through a difficult time with my business being hit by economic woes, like many others, and I have tried to maintain a positive outlook and keep an attitude of gratefulness for all that we have been blessed with. I have yet to purchase The Heart Mender because we are watching every penny right now.

    As always, thanks for your wisdom and leadership Michael.

  • http://passionsforthesoul.typepad.com/vicki Vicki Small

    Years ago, I was still haunted by something I had done long years before that–and for which I knew I had been forgiven. But I still couldn't forgive myself. Listening to a favorite hymn as I drove, I asked the Lord, "How long am I going to go through this, before I forgive myself?"

    He didn't give me a direct answer, but He did respond in that oh, so quiet voice: "When you don't forgive yourself, you say I died in vain."

    Oooooh.

  • Suzie Paul

    I am very interested in this book because forgiveness is a very significant issue for me. There are some very significant and hurtful things that have been done to me by key people in my life (including family members). The hurt is so deep and impactful that I can't yet comprehend forgiving them. But I know that I must.

  • Michael

    As someone who has struggled with many types of addictions and self-esteem issues, forgiveness has been an amazingly powerful tool. For so long I’ve struggled with the question of how could God love someone like me. I knew that I would never find the answer to that question until I learned to forgive and love myself.

    I look forward to reading Mr. Andrews book as I have enjoyed and learned from each of his previous books. Thanks!

  • vwmashni

    Andy Andrews has been one of my favorite speakers to listen to…and this subject is so incredibly important to me and my family as we struggle with this issue.

  • Linda c

    I would like a copy to help me learn to forgive myself. i seem to be the hardest on myself and
    like learning from others. I would also teach this to my bible study group

  • Linda

    I'm excited to read Andy's book 'The Heart Mender' . I think this is the direction God has for me as I study to be the leader He wants me to be.

  • Pingback: Forgiveness – A Key Leadership Principle « Ministry Management Memo

  • http://jlgerhardt.tumblr.com Jennifer

    When it comes to forgiveness, I think I'm probably a jerk–even in dealing with myself. I've been feeling my heart soften in the last few months, the Spirit's doing I'm sure, and I think maybe I need some tools if I'm going to make this forgiveness thing work.

  • http://www.aarongolby.blogspot.com AaronGolby

    The book looks extremely interesting-learning more deeply about the importance of forgiveness. I've heard of "The Traveler's Gift", but I've never read any of Andrews' work, but look forward to doing so in the near future! After looking around Andy Andrews' website, it looks like I need see what I've been missing out on-a great deal of knowledge!
    I would like a copy of "The Heart Mender".
    Excuse me…I need to go read some of Andrews' works…

  • http://www.reavisbiz.mychoices.biz Donna Reavis

    I've been talking with others about forgiveness so many people I know are getting divorces or contemplating it because they are holding grudges and just can't forgive. Interesting thought that it begins with the person who can't forgive because they can't forgive themselves. I'm always looking for books that will help me to grow as a person so that I also can add value to others. So I would love to read this book!

  • http://forrest-long.blogspot.com Forrest Long

    Andy has a way of getting right to the heart of things, touching areas of need that get our attention in a way that is encouraging and building. He is a great communicator and is message is always an important one. This will be another great book!

  • DRT

    Wow – I need to read this book. Why is it so hard to forgive yourself? God is so generous with his grace … yet those voices coming from "the fort in your head" speak so much condemnation. I live it out with a lack of joy and lack of engagement with others. So the answer is "yes", I need to forgive myself.

  • http://www.ronburgess.com Ronald Burgess

    Having recently read Matthew 18:22, my interest perked up upon seeing the reference to it.
    I follow @michaelhyatt and now I'm following @AndyAndrews. I just might want to hear what he has to say.
    I like to surround myself
    with people smarter than me. (Not a difficult task)

  • http://www.blawhornsharesjuiceplus.com Brenda Lawhorn

    I am ver interested in learning about forgiveness. I believe that it unlocks the blessings of God in your life. 13 years ago yesterday (June 30, 1997), my Father died of a heart attack unexpectantly at the young age of 47. I was 23 at the time of his death. I was VERY CLOSE to my Father, he was my best friend so his death left my life in a disaster. I can remember getting up early in the morning and walking at the park watching the sun rise wondering what this thing called "life" was really all about. I felt very confused yet at the same time had a very real understanding of how precious life is. Not realizing what I was doing, I allowed my Dad's untimely death to cause unforgiveness in my heart. I was mad at God, not consciously, but subconsciously. I would say things like "God ruined my life & my plans when he took my Dad. I was supposed to move to CA and attend Bible College, but now I'm stuck taking care of my Mom and trying to hold my family together." This unforgiveness (heart issue) went on for 12 YEARS before I figured it out! (Part 2 in another comment)

  • http://www.blawhornsharesjuiceplus.com Brenda Lawhorn

    (Continued) You see, I still attended church, still prayed, still loved God and tried my best to serve Him but everything just seemed hard & it seemed that no matter how much I tried to make a good life for myself, everything just ended up in a disaster, bad choice after bad choice. It seemed that the Heaven's were brass and my prayers were not heard, definitely not answered! Even when my intentions were good, it was a bad choice with ugly consequences. Last year, out of pure desperation to change my life, I began a 21 day fast and it was then that God showed me what was in my heart . . . bitterness towards Him & unforgiveness. I learned to forgive God, others and myself. On my spiritual journey of self discovery, God took me all the way back into my past & I had to contact people and apologize, asking for their forgiveness. God would wake me up all hours of the night and show me someone's face or give me a name of someone I needed to forgive and release for hurting me. (Continued in another comment)

  • http://www.blawhornsharesjuiceplus.com Brenda Lawhorn

    God allowed me to restore my relationship with my Dad and we had a GREAT relationship again for 6 months before he died last year in August. At his funeral, I was so thankful that I had made peace with him and it was all because I chose to live in forgiveness. One of the many things I discovered as I began to forgive and release was that forgiveness unlocked Heaven. My prayers were being answered now! Ever since then, I have tried my best to live my life in a Spirit of forgiveness every day! I have already read 2 books on the topic and would LOVE to read this one as well.

  • Kenzie

    I love this post and the sounds of Andy's new book! I want more than anything to forgive and love unconditionally. Why is it so easy to sulk sometimes when we are wronged? Forgivenesss is a beautiful thing…such an awesome picture of grace. I would love a copy of this book as I feel it would really give me a good visual perspective of forgiveness if it is anything like The Traveler's Gift. I look forward to underlining all in it and quoting Andy in my journal!

  • DSS

    I had just finished some leadership articles this morning as I took some quiet time to myself. My friend posted this to her Facebook page and it was perfect timing. Even as I read those articles, I was thinking back to things in the past from my job and how I handled those situations.
    As a leader in my job and in my home, I have found I am my toughest critic. I always think about ways I should have done things. Maybe it is that self-doubt, but I think I don't forgive myself when I think things could have done things better. I don't take compliments well at all. Even when things are going well, I do beat myself up for past events. I need to learn to forgive myself and learn from situations.

  • http://twitter.com/osize @osize

    I will read it and blog about the book. Who knows I may even write up extended review with notes on personal application.

  • http://twitter.com/DutchRiete @DutchRiete

    I have only recently "discovered" Mr Andrews and I am totally thrilled by his blogs. Having had a second chance in life after an alcohol addiction, I had to learn to forgive myself for all the bad stuff I had done. And I had to forgive those people who, in my opinion, had wronged me during that time. Of course I was to blame myself, but it took some time to get that into my head.

    • http://twitter.com/DutchRiete @DutchRiete

      Somehow only half of my comment posted here. I'll have another try at it. Sorry!

  • Butch

    I'm excited about reading this book. The issue of forgiveness is critical to success both in business and in my spiritual walk. If we are not able to deal & interact with people, daily, without "issues"; our effectiveness and theirs will be extremely limited. Great Stuff. Thanks Michael for bringing this resource to my attention…I can't wait to get a copy of the book and begin reading!

  • http://twitter.com/verdicchio @verdicchio

    Andy Andrews was so inspirational to me and my company last weekend. I've never seen someone command an audience of 20,000 people for 90 straight minutes. The information was phenomenal, and it really enriched my life. Thank you, Mr. Hyatt, for having such an incredible guest on your blog. This information is so critical to get out to people and so liberating, so thank you for doing your part. I'll re-tweet this. I don't have many followers, but every person counts. God Bless!

  • http://larryhehn.com Larry Hehn

    Five years ago I made some very bad choices in my life that hurt a lot of people I truly care about. It took a long time for hurts to heal and trust to be regained. I sought and received forgiveness from those I hurt, and knew in my head that God had also forgiven me, but I had a difficult time forgiving myself. It wasn't until I read in my Bible that Satan was also referred to as the "Accuser" that things started to make sense. Satan would like nothing more than for us to become mired in the muck of "unforgiveness". He does not want us to be released from those shackles, since he knows that once we are free we can once again be effective as parents, spouses and leaders as Andy notes so well in this blog. I have followed Andy for years now, and am so pleased to see his ministry expand and touch so many lives. I'd be honored to receive a copy of The Heart Mender. It sounds like a story that will strike close to home.

  • http://twitter.com/DutchRiete @DutchRiete

    I have only recently "discovered" Mr Andrews and I am totally thrilled by his blogs. Having had a second chance in life after an alcohol addiction, I had to learn to forgive myself for all the bad stuff I had done. And I had to forgive those people who, in my opinion, had wronged me during that time. Of course I was to blame myself, but it took some time to get that into my head.
    It hasn't been easy.
    I would be very happy to recieve a copy of this book. Not only to read for myself, but to help others who go through the same ordeal I went through.

  • http://intensedebate.com/profiles/kultivateyosoul Dyaji Charles

    "You see, forgiveness is a decision—it is not an emotion" So much truth lies in this statement especially when you live in a society that corruption runs so deep. I say this because i live in Nigeria. You will find that making a decision to forgive is the only option left if you truly want to be a leader with a difference. Andy, thank you for this insightful reminder.

  • http://intensedebate.com/profiles/thusianzosan ThusianZosan

    I completely agree with this. I am currently in school for Ministry and Missions. I feel like its hard, or almost impossible to be a leader when you are holding a grudge against yourself. The grudge begins to fester into something so much more. You tend to hold back the Holy Spirit in your life and your ministry. I think it is essential for leaders to let go of the grudges in their life so they can allow the Holy Spirit to do more. I look into my life now, and I see stuff that I am still forgiving myself for. I know that my ministry wont be effective until i do that.

  • Dave Nash

    Thank you for your post. Over the past years I have had many opportunities to "forgive myself." I haven't always done well at that. I have done plenty of destructive things which have negatively impacted my family and others around me. Though I have received forgiveness from them (after seeking it) it is difficult for me to forgive…me. I know what I did. I know how much it hurt others, and I know I don't want to repeat it again. In a way I think its easy (but not biblical) to hold on to the pain as a way to avoid going back. Yet, I know God wants me to live in the joy of forgiveness…and not the fear of failure. Really, that is what it all boils down to for me…who is going to be the one providing the power to stay true…me…or God. When I refuse to be forgiven I'm doing it in my strength, which is bound to fail. When I humbly accept His grace and mercy…I can walk confidently in His strength.

    Regardless of if I win one of the books, I appreciate your post and the chance to share a bit of my heart.

    Dave Nash…
    Forgiven

  • Lana Vaughan

    I'm working with a group of 6,7,8th graders in the fall. Teaching them the value of forgiveness and how to become good leaders is part of my opportunity. Social skills developed during the tween years are critical to the impact they will have as adults and the lives they will lead. I would love to have Andy's insights and help in this opportunity.

  • Hannah Jarboe

    The biblical concept of forgiveness is not new but never have I linked it with leadership. When I read this and heard this I felt like it smacked me in the face. Forgiveness is directly linked to leadership and I personally believe that if I do not make the choice to forgive on a constant basis then I can never lead. I also realized that I have failed in leadership because I did not grasp this. I pray now that God will constantly remind me of my need to walk in this on a daily basis so that I can be a better leader and so that I can encourage others do to the same. I have come to realize that I need to push the reset button in a couple of areas and that forgiveness is a daily decision and choice. Some light bulbs have gone off in my head as I read this and heard this. Thank you for sharing and I can't wait to share this with others. I would love to read this book so that I can be better equipped as a leader and a follower. Thanks for the opportunity.

  • http://twitter.com/Mom2Fab5 @Mom2Fab5

    Good Day Mr Hyatt… up until now I was not aware of Andy Andrews book ( Now that I just purchased a Nook I shall be able to download the Traveler's Gift ) . I was struck by this post on forgiveness. I am convinced that allowing the Lord to give us the grace to forgive places our hearts in the most vulnerable of positions, the risk of being hurt again. When we do not forgive we are essentially protecting ourselves, when I protect myself I do not permit my soul to live in the humility and vulnerability that allows His life to flow through me like "rivers of living water". This has set off a firestorm of thoughts that I hope to write about myself . Since I will probably never have the opportunity to meet Andy I would love to dialog with him via his book ( this is where the Nook cannot replace reading the real book where I can make comments and various markings that essentially allow me to have somewhat of a dialog with the author) Blessings to you and your household, enjoy your vacation and btw I would love to read your input regarding e-readers

  • Linda Goodman

    The Noticer was the first book I had ever read by Andy Andrews – I could not put it down, I loved it! Forgiveness is the issue God had chosen for me to work on at this time of my life. It has not been an easy assignment. He began by transporting me back to the hometown I grew up in after being away for 30 years! I despised this place (regarded as worthless). But the last three years have been the richest times of my life because God has been showing my that of all the people I need to forgive, I need to forgive myself first. This post hit that nail on the head for me and I cannot wait to read Andy's new book!

  • Tina

    I HAVE KNOWINGLY, UN-OFFENSIVELY, tore this book to shreds..MY SON WHO IS IN SEAL TRAINING WHOM I WRITE DAILY IS RECEIVING pages of this book with each letter I write as I cannot send the whole book and only has time to read small parts, soooo I am a few pages short along with being desperate to get an autograph! Thank you in advance ;)

  • Marjorie Poff

    Andy Andrews' writings have made a huge impact in my adult life. I love how he takes simple truths and rocks my world time and time again. I know that The Heart Mender will have the same impact. I am actually going through a situation in my professional life where my forgiveness is needed and its such a struggle of do I forgive as I need to and put myself in another vulnerable situation or continue to keep the walls up in order to protect myself. The Heart Mender could not come at a better time.

  • Loretta Berry

    Michael, thanks for today's blog. I am as new to blogging as I am to Mr. Andy Andrews. I was most fortunate to hear him speak this past weekend at an ACN convention in Cleveland, Ohio. And I must tell you, I would go to Cleveland again (from California) just to hear him speak. It's an amazing speaker and writer who can touch both someone's heart and head with his words. Having just been introduced to Andy, I have not yet had the chance to read any of his books. I would be honored to receive your gift of The heart Mender as my first, of many, Andy Andrews books. Thank you.

  • Tina

    "What someone thinks of me is none of my business," is my favorite sentence in Tommy Newberry's "The 4:8 Principle. I repeat it to myself daily, but for some reason, I still care and am hurt deeply when I'm wronged. The problem is that I need desperately to learn that forgiving the one who wronged me, includes forgetting. If your book can help me do that, I will be eternally grateful!

  • http://www.validleadership.com James Castellano

    I have lived with tremendous guilt about our oldest son's drug and alcohol problems. My feelings were that i did not provide him with a solid role model early in his life causing his dependency. Once I re-married and met the Lord my outlook changed drastically and through the help of my wife and my son, I have been able to forgive myself. We now enjoy a relationship that is stronger than ever and both of our lives have been restored. Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to share.

  • http://twitter.com/jmiles_tms @jmiles_tms

    The Noticer is one of those books that changes your life…I haven't written a review on my site yet (it is in my stack of reviews to write) because I am not sure I could do that book justice. I would love to have the opportunity to have my boat rocked again by Andy Andrews.

  • http://joanneelaine.podbean.com Joanne Branson

    Michael,
    Great post! I often tell people… you shouldn't treat yourself any differently than you would treat a 4-year-old child. If a 4-year-old came to you and admitted making a mistake, would you treat them as harshly as you tend to treat yourself after the same mistake? We have been falsely taught that humility means HATING our "selves", perhaps through self-flagellation or self-effacement. But that's not what scripture teaches. It tells us to love others more. You can maintain love and respect for yourself and still remain humble. Just elevate everyone else! :)
    Joanne

  • http://twitter.com/jdvoss @jdvoss

    A year ago I read "The Noticer" by Andy Andrews. It has amazed me how often I have thought back to the wisdom contained within that book as I encounter so many varied situations. It has truely been a book that has enriched my life. I am a father, a husband, a son, a brother, a friend, a stranger, and a child of God. In all these areas of life I need to forgive and be forgiven again and again. I have heard great things about this book and believe that once again my life could be strengthened by the wisdom Andy Andrews has been blessed with. Thanks for this opportunity to win a signed copy of "The Heart Mender". What a cool promotion…

  • Rosanne

    The first time I heard Andy was in Cleveland OH. I was impressed by the deliverance of his speech…bringing truth with seriousness and humour. I would love and deeply appreciate this book as I believe that if the writing is anywhere near as good as Andy speaks it will be a great impact on the way I handle a lot of issues in my life. He speaks with applicable practicality that is easy to relate to and understand. I deal with unforgiveness toward others as well as myself constantly, praying and asking for strength to forgive those that wrong me all the time, to be a better person, but, I find I mess up and play the tape "what is the use". I have a problem with letting things go, even though I have made the decision to forgive, when I see the person I know that even though I may not say anything, my body language is definately saying how or what I think or feel. Listening to Andy and reading your blog on Leadership & Forgiveness has just made the fact more clearer and I would love to deal with this in both my personal and professional life. Thank you two for your obedience and may God continue to Bless this work to bring healing to the hurting heart and bind us with His love. :)

  • Kenny Goza

    Forgiveness is difficult, especially when as a leader you get hurt by the actions of others.
    I’m experiencing that currently in my life.
    I am forgiving, yet hurt at the actions of others.
    Would be blessed to receive a copy of Andy Andrews new book. What an aspiring writer he is.

  • Peggy

    I have never hear of Andy until this very moment. Forgiveness is so necessary in our lives, but oh so difficult to give (especially with a spouse or ourselves). I would be honored to read this book, because I am struggling with this very issue as I write. Thank you for your time.

  • http://intensedebate.com/profiles/genesis5020 aaron

    I was thrilled to read this opportunity on twitter yesterday because I missed the chance to get Andy's book on Booksneeze. I have read such great reviews from all of those I follow on twitter and would very much appreciate the opportunity to read "The Heart Bender" myself. Thank you for the opportunity to enjoy books through booksneeze and offering them in your blog. You're a blessing Michael. Based on what I am reading and have read, Andy is too.

  • TomKinsfather

    As a pastor, I deal with so many people who are guilt-laden over their past, and nearly as many whose lives have been consumed with wrongs done to them many years ago. We often tell them that forgiveness is more for themselves than for the perpetrator – it frees them to live their lives without being in bondage to a wrong that will never be set right. This holds true even if it is yourself you are indebted to. Forgiveness is not pretending that everything is okay or even restoring a relationship to its former status, which are common misconceptions. Forgiveness is simply acknowledging that no one can make up for or change what happened in the past, and choosing to cancel that debt owed to you and refusing to hold onto it any longer. Having practiced these principles in my own life, I know how powerful they can be, and I look forward to reading Andy’s book so that I can further apply these vital truths in my preaching and counsel.

  • http://www.meganstrange.com Megan Strange

    I have read all of Andy Andrews' books up until this point and would be absolutely crushed to miss out on this opportunity to read The Heart Mender. The Noticer really revolutionized my thoughts on how to care for others. I know that Gail Hyatt posted that she is the president of Andy's fan club. I do hope that she wins a copy too! :)

    We also just finished a serious at church about Forgiveness and how the only person that is really affected when you hold a grudge is you. We talked about forgiveness as being a gift…not only to the recipient..but also the giver as well.

  • http://www.deanmillergroup.com Dean

    Thank you so very much for this reminder and insight into what is often overlooked on a daily basis. I am traveling through a journey or forgiving myself and this was so timely. Bless you, and thank God for my wife who sent this to me today. I know it is a work in progress, but one that is necessary for growth and fulfillment. Thank you for sharing.

  • http://twitter.com/KarynBrownlee @KarynBrownlee

    I just recently read The Noticer and fell in love with Andy's writing. He communicates a deep understanding of the truths of Scripture. No doubt he will edify many through his new book.

    God has given me so many second chances I cannot count them. Each time I fail, He offers me His hand so that I may try again, and again, and again. I need The Heart Mender.

    Do I need to forgive myself? Yes, and often. I want to allow myself the opportunity to enjoy the benefits of my many second chances. Please send me a copy of his new release so his words can inspire me as I move beyond past failures to future successes, for the benefit of others in my pathway.

  • http://twitter.com/momofkings @momofkings

    Wow! What a powerful message…and one I desperately need. I'm been flaggellating myself for my disobedience and sin that hasled to severe financial consequences for my family. I know that God forgives me and my husband forgives me, but I am having a hard time moving on and forgiving myself. Thanks for the reminder that I need to focus on doing it right tomorrow instead of the mistakes of yesterday.

  • Griffin Gulledge

    I would love to have a copy of this book because I think it would help me grow in my walk with Christ.

  • http://twitter.com/jamesself @jamesself

    forgiving myself is hardest for me. i need to learn to do this first and it'll be easier to forgive others. i'll think i have forgiven someone, but the incident will present itself again and i'll realize i'm still holding on to the anger and bitterness. by reading Andy's book, i'm hoping to learn true forgiveness of myself & others.
    thanks.

  • http://www.GlobalLeadProgram.org Kevin

    This sounds like like another great book by one of the most talented communicators (both a writer and speaker) that I have ever hear. The only thing better than the book is the principle behind it. It is, like most great truths, Biblical.

    I have the unique opportunity to work with students across the country, but also to serve alongside them as the learn leadership lessons and plug-in to local communities in townships in South Africa. This past year we used some of the things Andy talks about not only with our students but with the impoverished individuals we work with. I have no doubt this book will have a lasting impact, just as the other Andy Andrews books I have read.

  • http://intensedebate.com/profiles/deanaohara Deana

    Part 1 – Mr. Hyatt, I’ll be honest. I’ve never read a single Andy Andrews book in my life, and my internal thought process is whispering along the lines of: “Who are you to ask for a book, an autographed book no less, when you‘ve never even read his books before. Let a fan do that.” I hope you don’t mind, but I’ve decided not to listen to that voice today. False shame isn’t going to help either of us.

    Second chances and forgiveness is the story of my life right now. I did not grow up in a Christian home. I was so hungry for truth that I devoured Christian books as a teenager. I used to dream of paying that forward one day. I signed up for the Christian Writer’s Guild’s classes seven years ago and even took a part time job in a local church to pay for them. I was warned about Spiritual war-fare, but I was not prepared for the storm. I never finished my classes. I told God to call someone else and tried to quit ministry altogether. To say that I felt like a failure to God, to myself and to everyone else would be an understatement.

  • Debra Ainsley

    I am a single mother of three teenagers (divorced for six years) who, since February, are living with their father for the first time ever! This decision came about due to certain hardships related to unemployment and choices I made. I am a talented, well-educated person, but have struggled with the guilt of this situation for four months and have felt almost paralyzed. I have opportunities ahead which would put me in a better place to have the children back, but realize that until I can forgive myself and get past these unworthy feelings, I will remain stuck. I need courage and inspiration to go forward and make a better life for myself and my kids!! Would love to have the book and appreciate your and Andy’s writings!!

  • http://intensedebate.com/profiles/deanaohara Deana

    Part 2 of 2 – What is amazing to me is the Grace that flows from His thrown. The mistake I made during that season was refusing to let go of my bootstraps (my pride) I lived and ministered from need, and with secrets. I thought I’d failed my mission when in reality, He needed to make a new thing with this clay jar. I wasn’t being rejected, I was being molded. So there you have it Mr. Hyatt. Do I deserve the book based on my own merit? No. I don’t. I do desire it however. With God’s grace and by His will, I’m living my second chance. I’m living in a season of active repentance from fear, self pity, remorse, and false shame. I’m trying again, to minister, teach, and write, from a new heart and with a new spirit. That is all I bring to this table today. Please choose me as one of the people who receives a copy of The Heart Mender. Thank you.

  • http://beyondaglimpse.com Melanie

    There have been many times in my life where God offered me up second chances and other times where the lesson to be learned only revealed itself through heart ache. Sometimes these heartaches caused me to question God and beg him to not force me through the hardships ahead. The lessons and gifts from these frightful times were not always revealed right away. Sometimes the gifts revealed themselves through years of growing but where others may have cursed God for their bad luck I have learned to reflect on how it will help me be the person God ment me to be. Thank u for writing a book that might help others to learn hardships and mistakes are not about God being hard on you but indeed are about helping you learn and grow through your short time on this earth

  • http://www.mynoevirbiz.com/JoAnn JoAnn Shiley

    I have read all of Andy’s books with profound influence in my life. I did a women’s study group with The Noticer, which we so enjoyed! God is moving and shaking us up through writers like Andy. We are hearing the message in a new and different way and we can all relate. Thanks Andy! Thanks Michael for doing this!

  • Fluffy1946

    I am a virtual newbie fan of Andy Andrews. You make my heart light and happy like it was when I was a child – laughing out loud with wild abandon. Being the oldest child of an alcoholic and an enabler, my job was to make sure every thing stayed status quo. The egg shells were laid out every day and we walked on them with very light footsteps. There was much verbal abuse and intimidation; as a result, I have struggled all my life (I am 63 now) with self-esteem and have sought constant validation (sometimes in places I shouldn't have gone).

    Forgiveness of oneself is vital to healthy living and happy relationships. Andy's outlook and suggestions, even in a comedic setting, have helped me laugh at myself and renew my perspective on my past …and especially my future. I would treasure and love to have a signed copy of his new book.

  • http://www.markclement.com Mark Clement

    Love Andy Andrews. Can't wait to see the new book.

  • http://intensedebate.com/profiles/barbjan10 barbjan10

    As a woman who has been a leader, now retired, my largest struggle is self forgiveness in my personal life. This effects my leadership in both worlds, professional or personal. I'm a good actor and have faked it well enough to gain respect and admiration from my peers. I am a Christian in a ministerial capacity with a good ear to others in need of forgiveness. I've known forgiveness from God and relationships. Mistakes from my past continue to haunt me. I've not had the privilege of perusing either of Andy Andrew's books and feel my life would benefit from what he would tell me in them. I am ready to know forgiveness within and toward myself and feel God would use Andy's words as an healing ointment overall. Not meaning this as a trite appeal to win a book, I appreciate the opportunity to win and thank you for your consideration. God is blessing your kindness and the winners as well. I know I would be.

  • http://intensedebate.com/profiles/alejoguy Andrés Herrera

    Wow, forgiveness has been such a crucial point in my life. I want to be able to help people heal their hearts because God has healed my heart so so much. I know that one of the basic and fundamental steps to healing is forgiving myself and others. I would love to read Andy´s book.

  • http://thelifeofmisty.blogspot.com misty

    What an excellent blog post Michael! We all need second chances, just as God does with us, we must do with others. In order to live peaceably with all men, including ourselves, we have to be focused on forgiveness. Holding a grudge, giving into bitterness or resentment will not bring peace…only forgiveness does that. I am not familiar with this author, but would love to read the book if I win! If I don't, I will rent it because I am intrigued.

  • Julie Chaisson

    Forgiveness is a word that I freely used and thought I understood until I was faced with a situation that truly required me to forgive. I thought I did it….but I find the "un" forgiveness sensation rises up in me over and over again. I constantly have to ask God to slay this thing. When I read this blog post I chucked at the "moron" comment because it was at that point I thought "yeah moron"…oops apparently the "un" is still there. Now entering forgiveness #70×4 sigh…I didn't think so but apparently I desperately need a copy of this book!

  • vandrakes

    I was deployed to Iraq as a commander, and at the end of the deployment we had the opportunity to submit decorations for those in our command who we felt had gone "above and beyond" during their deployment. When I submitted the nominations, I had some disagreements with one of the reviewers whose job it was to screen the submissions prior to final higher-level approval. Unfortunately, my failure to accurately guage the effect of my conflict with this person resulted in a very low number of decorations being awarded. Many deserving people were completely cut off from an award. It took a long time to forgive myself for this particular blind spot. I was able to move forward by consciously incorporating the "lesson learned"; that I always needed to be aware of those people in the chain of command who had the potential to be stumbling blocks between me and my goal of rewarding my star performers.

  • http://www.BearingTheirBurdens.org Emery Smith

    Each of us struggle with daily choices. These create our memories of every action, response, and thought we will ever have.

    I have been blessed with a short-term memory loss of harm done to me. I choose not to remember the pain…oh, I am human enough though to glean the facts as I see them so that I can learn. Sometimes I do not do it so well. But I do sleep well at night and have few regrets. Forgiveness is a wonderful thing!

    Sharing my journey is part of so many intentional conversations…hopefully others learn this wonderful gift can be theirs as well!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=538703029 Bryan Bigger

    I have been alienated from my father for 8 years and two weeks ago we had our first conversation. It was the beginning of a long reconcilliation process that will take years but I am convinced God will bring healing.

    This book sounds like it could offer some tremendous insight into how to navigate these next few years with my father

  • Gary Smith

    Great posting! This sounds like an amazing book that i would very much look forward to reading. As a boy and young man I never had a close father/son relationship and in many ways my father hurt me so I could and would really like to read this book. I sure hope I can get a free copy!

  • Rob

    The power of forgiveness can easily be forgotten until we are the ones in need of it. Even then it is difficult for us to forgive ourselves and forgive others. I love the premise of this book and believe it would speak mightily into people's lives.

  • Jonathan

    I see so many people under my care struggle with forgiving themselves and I would love to read this and pass it along as a resource to them as an agent of healing. I have never read any of Andy's stuff.

  • Landon

    I know that I need to forgive myself and I would love to read Andy's new book to find direction, but to be completely honest, I would like a copy of the book for my wife, Jackie. We are both on our second marriages. I lost my first wife to divorce and she lost her first husband to leukemia. Jackie is an amazing woman and I admire her faith. Her former in-laws had a difficult time accepting that she was able to remarry so soon after the passing of her first husband and they made some very harsh statements about her and I. She has never truly felt loved by her former in-laws through their claims of loving her unconditionally as their daughter… She has a lot of resentment towards them and towards herself for resenting them.

    I also believe she might be hard on herself because during the time her husband was battling leukemia, she was by his side and not with her children. Even though she knew that she needed to be by his side, she feels that she also needed to be home with her four children. The children were well taken care of by close family and friends, but she was absent for about a year of their lives and she sometimes is very hard on herself towards this issue.

    The fact is that there are so many things in both of our lives that we tend to hold onto and continue to blame ourselves for. I think it would be great for my wife to read this book. And it probably wouldn't hurt for me to read it too. I love her very much and I would do anything for her to recognize that she needs to forgive herself so that she can finally heal and forgive others.

  • Chrystal

    What a great post and so true!! Thank you for featuring his article today!

  • Diane

    Andy Andrews is one of my favorite authors. His books are always thought-provoking. I would love to have a copy of this book.

  • http://twitter.com/tbonnelljr @tbonnelljr

    Forgiveness is often something I (and I'm assume many others) know we should give, but have a very difficult time actually doing so. Based on his previous books, I'm very eager to see how Andy addresses this.

  • spaxton

    Yes! Thanks for giving us all permission to forgive ourselves. When I do, I feel more free to lead, create, explore.

  • Danny Wahlquist

    Andy is one of my favorite authors, and expressing forgiveness to others is often difficult, so I can't wait to read his new book!

  • Daniel

    I can't seem to forgive. Just like mentioned in the article, I forgive once, then I "take it back" and get angry all over again. I fall into sin again, each time with less frequency, but it hurts to be so vulnerable to sin. I want to forgive myself as God forgives me. I must. I can't think of any other reason of why I want this book. If my Bible, the sermons, this book, anything else can give me insights to truly forgive, then I am willing to pour onto it. I don't want to wake up feeling empty anymore.

  • http://intensedebate.com/profiles/kaikunane ThatGuyKC

    Yes, I do need to forgive myself.

    A few years ago I made a huge mistake. Despite God's immediate mercy and miraculous provision every few weeks it still haunts me and I battle guilt and depression.

    It is a curious dichotomy to think about how God can forgive me and yet I cannot forgive myself. While the concept of forgiveness is simple it's practical application is difficult.

    I'd never thought about the "seventy times seven" concept of forgiveness from Matthew 18 addressing the forgivers tendency to "take back" forgiveness instead of an offenders stupidity.

    Thank you for challenging me to think differently and to forgive myself.

  • Jeanne Petershagen

    Mr. Hyatt,

    When you choose me to send the book to you can be assured it will (as soon as I read it) be in the hands of someone who may not be aware of Andy Andrews and all of the principles and life messages he so profoundly shares (with joyful laughter in the mix). We had the great honor of bringing Andy to Washington State (twice) and having him as our featured speaker at two fundraising events benefiting Seattle's Children's Hospital. He was greatly received and has become a personal friend. I am ALWAYS sharing the books and CD's that we have in our personal collection and would love to have this one as well.

    A great CD collection is Andy's "Disarming the Past" about forgiveness – I wholeheartedly recommend it to anyone and everyone as we all have a "past" and some of it needs forgiven.

  • Eldonna Rhoades

    Andy Andrews is one of the greatest story tellers in the world. I love the way he hooks his audience with an interesting and suspenseful story while drizzling it with life lessons like icing on a cinnamon roll.

  • http://twitter.com/bucketree @bucketree

    I have been through a difficutl couple of years while I have confronted my parents as Christians about their abuse of myself and our family. It has been a rugged journey trying to work out how people who love God can hurt their kids from early on in their lives, I have forgiven them but cannot have contact because of their abusive behaviour. Now I have to learn to forgive myself for not doing something about this sooner. It's always easier when you are not caught up in a culture of obedience, equals honouring when sometimes walking away actually does more for true peace and respectful boundaries. I haven't read his books but trust your judgement.

  • http://www.riceconsulting.com Randy Rice

    Over the last month, I have immersed myself in Andy's books and DVDs. As a non-fiction author, I wanted to learn his style since I am writing my first fiction work. However, I have been learning much more. I learned the power of forgiveness ten years ago when two people working for me broke our contract and kept all of my corporate financial records, customer records and other property, which I never got back. At first I was angry, then I felt God promise me that he would take care of everything…and he did. I tried many times to reconcile with them, but to no avail. However, my wife and I forgave them and released them. I hardly think about it anymore except for the example. I would love to have a cup of coffee with Andy, but I would settle to get a copy of his new book!

  • http://www.rapture-date-com Gary Keasler

    I don't want a copy of The Heart Mender, I want to feel bad about myself, really bad about myself until I feel the depths of Hell surrounding me. Then i can know how those that i do not testify to will feel for all eternity. I know I am forgiven, but i know that I am also dis-obedient in not approaching people with the word of God. That's because I am 'loved', 'loved' right into Hell. The Church Age is over now, it's spread the word person to person. Jesus said 3 things after telling us about the rapture (mt 24:41) – How are we treating our fellowservants (share the welth, share the labor), Shining the light of our testimony (10Virgins) and what service are we doing (Talents). No, the parable of the Laborers tells us of 5 Ages and we are very close to the sealing of the 144,000. Just enough time to forget about love and ourselves and to reach a lost, starving country. – Gary Keasler (free PDF coming soon, on when, how, america will be destroyed at website)

  • J R

    Man, this post hits home. Reading these words make me realize how far i am between my potential and my actions. Yet, if I follow this post's thought process, I need to forgive myself for my faults, losses & foul balls I hit. Good stuff. Really good stuff.
    As I go through my current challenges (family facing cancer, unemployment, financial, moving) this post helps me keep some perspective that I sorely need. Thanks for that.

  • http://www.thebigbaldscaryguy.com Kole Mogel

    I feel fortunate to be on a path where it is easy to forgive myself. Perhaps that is because I have had an abundance of opportunities to reconcile my life and move on.

    To be honest, I have not read any of Mr. Andrews books, and prior to a week ago, I did not truly know what he was about or what he stood for. Having the pleasure to witness Mr. Andrews at a convention for my business completely opened my eyes to his simple yet powerful message.

    Considering myself to be an avid learner in the areas of personal growth and motivational psychology, somehow Mr. Andrews had slipped past my radar.

    John Maxwell, Chris Widener, and Jim Rohn have consistently been my go to authors. My current business affords me the humble opportunity to work with over 2500 people on a regular basis, and as you can imagine, leaving the guilt, regret, and sorrow at the door is often challenging for folks.

    I believe that Andy’s simple message of forgiveness rolled out in the Heart Mender, in what I can only hope to be as good in print as in person, will equip me with tools to assist the strong resilient friends, family, and colleagues I work with to move forward……to step out….to see beyond their pasts….to forgive and understand that forgiveness of themselves and those in their sphere of influence is paramount for true growth and success.

    I look forward to getting to know Mr. Andrews through his writings and teachings and well as exploring your blog Mr. Hyatt!

    Best Regards,
    Kole Mogel
    Camas, WA

  • GregMacMillan

    Michael,

    The reason I would love to receive a copy of “The Heart Mender” is for my wife. She is going through a difficult time right now in with her family situation that is requiring her to cut them out of her life.

    She has practiced dispensing grace and forgiveness but they continue to refuse to be repentant and turn from their hurtful ways. We have a 3 & 1/2 year old daughter that this extended to and that became the straw that broke the camels back. She has suffered for over 25 years with their destruction and conditional love. She wants nothing more than a healthy unconditional loving relationship with them and they seem determined to remain self righteous and ignorant to their sin. I am trying to be supportive and help her though this, but I struggle with wanting to hate them for the pain they have caused my wife primarily, but they have hurt me as well and now my little girl.

    God’s grace it sufficient and all we need, however my wife loves to read and is a fairly new Christian who could use some sound counsel that this book may very well provide.

    Even if I am not selected for a free copy I am sure I will purchase a copy for her.

    I love your blog and leadership Michael, I am on the path God has set before me to lead within the Church today and I look forward to continuing to learn from the window into your world and experience. Thank you.

    In His Grasp,
    Greg

  • Angel Lara

    being able to forgive someone it starts with see them with grace, when we fail or made a bad decision we know that God can forgives which he does, we embrace grace easily and fast but i believe to able to say that we embrace grace from a biblical prospective it’s being able to see the other person with Grace and i know it’s hard but i believe that if we ask for his Grace he will give to us to so we can able to forgive ourselves and others

  • http://writingcanvas.wordpress.com/ Loni

    By God’s grace and pricking my heart often, I’ve had to work through forgiveness often ~ through may rejections in my childhood (both adoptive & birth parents) to rejections of friends and expectations. Several years ago we lost a 16 year old son to a stupid “game” he was “playing” – the choking game – (http://matthewsstory.com) It’s been a process of learning to forgive him for hurting our family and forgiving those that may have led him to try this. I’ve seen God’s greatness in my life & His unconditional love & forgiveness. I want to be more like Him. I’d like to read your book to help with that.

  • http://twitter.com/journeypastor @journeypastor

    Michael, I would love a copy of the book has GREAT application for both church and business leadership- since I just jumped back into the world of BiVocational Pastor I think it would help me lead well in both areas.

  • @dbaltesjr

    I have experienced some serious relational “fender benders” in the last several years. I am intrigued by The Heart Mender! We are currently rereading and recommending The Traveler’s Gift.

  • http://www.healthpeak.com Deb

    Great stuff as usual Andy! I am one of your biggest fans! I actually saw you speak years ago and kept hearing about your book The Traveler's Gift. I finally purchased it and devoured it with my husband. We then got Mastering the Seven Decisions and are almost through working through that together. I love the book so much that I have a business training that I do for my team and other teams within my company on the 7 decisions. I have recommended your book to lots of people and even done Toastmaster speeches on the decisions. Needless to say, it has greatly impacted my life. I can recite "I Have a Decided Heart" from memory and often do. I even spoke about that decision and quoted it at a dear friend's funeral in January. Thank you for impacting me and so many lives! I would love your new book!!

  • Yherrmann

    I love Andy! I just lost a job due to a boss who would be sarcastic and snap at me when something was wrong (even if I did not make the mistake). Forgiveness is hard, but necessary for my healing. Praise God for the grace and blood of my Saviour.
    Andy seems to always touch my heart and the Lord shows me what needs to be attended to as I read and re-read his books. I am usually one of the first to get them, but this time the money is not there (until I secure a new job).

  • GracedOne

    Andy Andrews has been called to communicate a timeless, eternal message in a fresh new light to many generations. Quite frankly I had never even heard of Andy until I was able to soak up his message like a dry sponge last month at a conference in Santa Clara.

    Andy thank you for giving me permission to forgive myself for past issues which have followed me for decades.

  • http://amothersangst.blogspot.com Fran

    A few years ago I received life-changing advice from a Noticer. He observed my tendency to beat myself up. He told me to limit myself to no more than 20 minutes of self-criticism, then move on. When I catch myself in that state of unforgiveness I try to turn my internal voice into a chorus of praise, thanking God for the learning opportunity and the experience that is bound to help me in the future. I’m still working on this and would love a copy of Andy’s new book to see how forgiveness (of myself & others) affects my leadership.

  • http://twitter.com/andrealschultz @andrealschultz

    This sounds like a terrific book! God has been showing me over and over and over and over – I am not kidding! – how important forgiveness is to Him . He is also showing me that I need it as much as He wants it from me. As much as He has been showing me lately, I would still love to read Andy's perspective on the subject.

    Blessings –
    Andrea Schultz
    Ponderings by Andrea http://andrealschultz.blogspot.com

  • Lori (proud mom)

    I am a new fan of Andy Andrews. I loved his book The Noticer and would love to have a copy of The Heart Mender. My sweet daughter shared her copy of The Noticer with me and I would love to be able to share my copy of The Heart Mender with her. Thanks for your consideration. From a Proud Mom!

  • NJH

    Forgiveness: The act of forgiving. It is an action. It is "for giving", and I have found that as I "give", I get so much in return. My mom showed me the ultimate example of forgiveness a few years ago, as she lived through a really traumatic experience. During this time, we were not on the best of terms. After 40 years of being her daughter and she being a wonderful, supportive mom, I decided that I had the "right" to hold some things against her – without forgiveness. Until, one morning I received a call that her house was engulfed in flames. By the time that I arrived at her residence, the ball of fire was rolling into the sky, hissing for us to stay back. As I ran toward the fire, I realized that I didn't care about anything that I had been angry about , even as recent as the night before. All I wanted was to see my mom and tell her I loved her one more time.

  • NJH Part 2

    NJH Part 2 – Fortunately, we found her safe, being protected from the cold within a neighbor's truck. As I wrapped my arms around her (something that I hadn't done for almost 2 years), I was given the news that she had lost the second love of her life just moments before. During the days and weeks following, I stayed beside my mom. Selfishly, I think. I realized that I was given a second chance to "act" right and I didn't want to waste one moment! When earlier in our relationship, I thought that she was the one who should ask for forgiveness, I realized now that I needed forgiveness. Instead of pushing me away and asking why I now wanted to love her, she openly forgave me, with no reservation. It was as if nothing ever happened. I still can't comprehend that kind of love. I thought that I had learned my lesson during that experience, but again, I find myself in another situation "holding" forgiveness, instead of seeing it as "for giving."

  • NJH Part 3

    NJH Part 3 – My mom is the one who wanted to by The Heart Mender, so it was my gift to her for Mother's Day. I didn't know what the content of the text was about when I purchased it. After my mom finished it, she passed it to me and insisted that I read it. Again, I was forced to face my selfishness through this book. I am so thankful to Andy Andrews for weaving the idea of forgiveness into this wonderful story. Although, I have read the book once, I would like a copy to have as my own. To highlight, underline, make notes, and even memorize some of the text…to fill my mind with thoughts of forgiveness, in order to push out the thoughts of unforgiveness. I want to find a way to be free. The only one being jailed by my unforgiveness is ME. I am working on the process of freedom daily.

  • http://www.speaker.judithrobl.com Judith

    Forgiveness is a powerful thing. I speak to women's groups about forgiveness all the time. I first learned about forgiving when my mother's younger brother was murdered. Then seven years later, my son-in-law turned on his family murdering the three children and very nearly our daughter as well. Forgiveness is a hard road, but as you said, it is a decision, not an emotion.

    The part of the definition of forgiveness I hone in on is "to renounce anger and resentment against." If you say it out loud, you reinforce your decision in your own ears. More than that, you declare it to the enemy who would beat you about the head with anger and resentment if you gave him the least foothold.

    Powerful principal, powerful concept.

  • http://www.debkalmbach.com Deb Kalmbach

    Thanks, Michael, for always providing thought-provoking topics. Forgiveness–especially of myself, is so difficult. As a mom of two adult sons, I look back and would love to re-wind big sections of my life and my care of them. I've heard it said that "we do the best we can with what we have at the time", but sometimes that's not very consoling. I do find great comfort in knowing that Jesus redeems our worst mistakes and failings. What a Savior! Thanks for continuing to write your blog–and for the opportunity to be in the running for one of Andy's books. Blessings to you!

  • Lucy

    Forgiveness is seen as a feminine trait, a weak one at that. To forgive is aligned to 'giving up' and not standing up for yourself. But it takes great strength to forgive. It was refreshing and an "aha" moment when I read that you need to continue forgiving until your emotions are aligned with your decisions.
    Quite often I struggle with the Godly principle of forgiveness and my own faults as an individual. I know that I will struggle too much to forgive someone and therefore have the internal "mind battle" before any action is taken. To which end there is none as I resolve that I am not capable of being so Godly. I am back where I started.
    Forgiveness takes courage, courage to commence down the path of forgiveness and stay on it. And self awareness and humility to start with yourself. The more I think of it, the more Godly the notion of forgiveness becomes and the more noble becomes the goal. I tell myself I can become that person.
    So in answer to your question, yes I certainly need to forgive myself.

  • cgund

    I have struggled with that verse in Matthew for a long time; at first not understanding it and then just simply not being able to do it. I can see how it could be applied to the different areas in our life(business , family, etc.). I just can't seem to be able to actually forgive because it is never asked for. We have to ask for forgiveness to receive it!

  • http://www.leadershiponpurpose.com Sandy

    I've read the Traveler's Gift and the Noticer and both of them were very helpful. The topic of forgiving myself is very timely. My husband and I have been in pastoral ministry for 25 years. The past 15 at a church where our kids grew up and we had deep friends and ties. This past February that came to a crashing halt. We have been hurt and the church has been hurt. This past week we had a 'reconciliation meeting' with the board. It didn't go well at all – the gulf is wider now. I've been pondering the things I said, the way the meeting went and would love to do the whole thing over. If only…has been hanging over me all week. I stopped going to church in February partly because I am struggling to see hearts transformed – mine included. Maybe I need to read this book!

  • http://www.clipshopshare.com John

    To forgive others seems easy to me. To forgive myself seems almost impossible. I know what I should do and should not yield to my flesh, but the desire for the sin always seems more than the desire to do right. Then the guilt sets in and the viscious cycle occurs again. Knowing that I keep doing what I shouldn't just seems to make it that much harder to then forgive myself and move forward. Perhaps when I am furthest from God is when I sense the desire of fleshly things is greatest. Oh, if life never got in the way…..New habits must start so that I can do what I need to do to stay close to God. Then, hopefully, the guilt and yearning for fleshly desires will fade away.

  • Edgar Brush

    As a Chick-fil-A operator I have the opportunity to influence a lot of peoples lives. I would like to have a copy of this book to teach my leaders who in turn will teach the 55 team members working with us. what a great subject to teach our people who have the opportunity to touch so many others.

  • http://twocentsworth.squarespace.com Penny Schultz

    Reading Andy's first two books have been beneficial to my husband and myself. The insights I found there surprised me in that I thought I was reading a short novel. I've come to look forward to Andy's books and to his tweet's day by day. This new book, I believe, could be helpful to someone I know who has been finding it difficult to forgive himself for an act that he did years ago. His heart has been broken over it, but he's struggled with forgiving himself. Based on what I read on the blog post, I suspect Andy may have some inspired words to help him to come to a complete healing of his broken heart and that means forgiveness.

  • http://twitter.com/DonnaLloyd @DonnaLloyd

    I would love a copy of this book for three reasons 1) I NEVER win anything. 2) I received a promotion at work and will soon be taking over as the department leader and I want to do it right. There will be several things at play in this situation since the previous leader was removed against her wishes. 3) I am hoping that this book will help with an issue I am having in my personal life concerning forgiving myself, which in turn will help me to be a better wife, mother, student, teacher and leader.

  • Lori Ann

    Forgiving myself is so difficult. Just this weekend, I have been mentally kicking my self over choices that I made that created distance in my immediate family. I have been praying for healing in the family but not for the ability to forgive myself.

    I believe God is a God of forgiveness and second chances.

    He has saved my life 3 times so I believe that my job isn't finished. Not forgiving myself is standing in the way of the things that God wants me to do since He left me here. I want to do the job He wants me to.

    Lori Ann

  • http://intensedebate.com/profiles/craigtowens Craig T. Owens

    I was pastoring a church where I got attacked for doing what I believed that God had called me to do. The attacks were vicious, unrelenting, and the most bald-faced lies I'd had ever heard.

    I spent a lot of time in prayer trying to hear from God on why He would allow me to go through something like this. I heard & felt nothing. Eventually I heard this very distant Voice, "Will you forgive them?" I knew I was "supposed to" forgive, but I didn't want to forgive. "Why should I forgive them? They should be asking for my forgiveness!" Still the Voice persisted, "Will you forgive them?" I relented. I forgave.

    I still questioned why I had to go through this. Recently other wounded people have started coming to me with the same hurts & questions. I'm doing my best to answer their questions out of my own personal experience. I am hopeful that Andy's book will help me finalize my healing, and (more importantly) help me minister to other hurting people.

  • Michelle

    Michael,
    This a comment in regards to my challenge to forgive myself in leadership:

    I feel like my entire school year has surrounded the theme of forgiveness. For the last 3 years I have served as a national leader in Campus Crusade for Christ’s high school ministry Student Venture. God has been nailing me all year to forgive as He has forgiven me. The journey started when my dad was diagnosed with terminal stage 4 lung cancer and some issues surfaced between my sisters and myself. He has been asking me to forgive them. From there He has shown me other layers of hurt that I have glossed over with the typical, "that's okay. No big deal" comment. Basically He has opened Pandora’s box on the whole theme and is asking me to receive His forgiveness of me, extend forgiveness toward others, and lead our staff in forgiving. I believe the Lord is taking me on this journey personally so I can in turn walk with many of our staff as they resolve conflict with one another and with our leadership team. I don’t even think I have touched on forgiving myself yet in this journey of the failures in ministry and in leading. That is one of the deepest layers in the forgiveness process, I believe. I deeply desire to grow in walking in repentance towards the Lord and towards others. That is the reason your latest post even caught my eye. I have been reading everything in the Bible and in the bookstore that I can get my hands on to guide me on the journey. Thanks for posting this article and for letting us know about the book.

  • Theresa

    Mike,
    I am blown away by your blogpost. A CEO of a corporation writing about the connection between leadership and forgiveness! My heart resonates with your insight, particularly after wrestling with this very topic in my parenting context. I am now writing a book about parenting (or rather, unparenting) adults-in-training as a result of a very difficult experience launching our emerging adult children. I could not have begun this writing if I had not worked through the forgiving of our children and myself.
    The inability to forgive oneself and others is the debris that clogs the pipe of creativity! To move forward, I must move into the forgiving mode.
    Thank you again.
    Coach Theresa Froehlich

  • http://intensedebate.com/profiles/theresaipfroehlich theresaipfroehlich

    Andy,
    I am blown away by your blogpost. I have certainly found your highlighted sentence to be true in my parenting context.
    "I am convinced that we cannot become the parents and spouses and leaders we aspire to be when we hold a grudge, however slight, against ourselves."
    After a rather difficult experience of launching our emerging young adult children, I struggled with the forgiveness factor. I am currently writing a book about Parenting (or Unparenting) Adults-in-training. I could not have begun the writing if I had not forgiven our children and myself.
    The inability to forgive is not only the poison of relationships, it is also the debris that clogs the creativity pipeline.
    Thank you for this post.
    Coach Theresa

  • http://intensedebate.com/profiles/gritandglory alece

    wow. this was so good. and by far, it's hardest to extend grace and forgiveness to myself… i needed this reminder tonight.

  • http://www.abundantlovechurch.org Mike Thorpe

    Excellent subject and article, could you post or message me info about obtaining the book mentioned? Thanks and God Bless!

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