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Let It Go: Forgive So You Can Be Forgiven Hardcover – February 28, 2012

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Let It Go: Forgive So You Can Be Forgiven + Let It Go Workbook: Finding Your Way to an Amazing Future Through Forgiveness + Healing the Wounds of the Past
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Atria Books; 1st Printing edition (February 28, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1416547290
  • ISBN-13: 978-1416547297
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.4 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (298 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #93,966 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

T.D. Jakes is the CEO of TDJ Enterprises, LLP; founder and senior pastor of The Potter’s House of Dallas, Inc.; and the New York Times bestselling author of Making Great Decisions (previously titled Before You Do), Reposition Yourself: Living Life Without Limits, and Let It Go: Forgive So You Can Be Forgiven, a New York Times, USA TODAY, and Publishers Weekly bestseller. He has won and been nominated for numerous awards, including Essence magazine’s President’s Award in 2007 for Reposition Yourself, a Grammy in 2004, and NAACP Image awards. He has been the host of national radio and television broadcasts, is the star of BET’s Mind, Body and Soul, and is regularly featured on the highly rated Dr. Phil Show and Oprah’s Lifeclass. He lives in Dallas with his wife and five children. Visit T.D. Jakes online at TDJakes.com.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Giants and Dwarfs

I have a confession to make and want you to hear it straight from me. It’s about someone I love. I am a lover of people who have big ideas! I love the way they envision the world as an expansive landscape of ever-growing possibilities. What others see as insurmountable mountains or treacherous waters, they view as giant-sized opportunities and limitless horizons. I love to hear them talk because through them my own ideas are watered and fertilized by my exposure to their way of thinking. You see, I believe that one’s speech is largely a result of his or her perspective. Generally, people’s perspectives are born from the height in which they think.

Let me give you a very literal example. When my wife and I would hide our children’s Christmas presents, I noticed an amusing propensity each of us had to hide the toys according to our respective heights. My wife hardly ever hid a present up high, keeping it within her arm’s reach. Compared to me, she is relatively short in stature. So when she hid things, she always secured them in low places. I, conversely, hid the kids’ toys in the top of the closet or in an air duct in the ceiling because my viewpoint reflected my height. My wife was not opposed to hiding them in high places; she simply didn’t think to place them beyond her eye level. Her ideas were a reflection of her height.

For the past three hundred years, our country has largely been a big-idea nation. If you were to go back three centuries, a relatively short period in the history of the world, you would see that most of the modern conveniences we enjoy, like air travel, electricity, railroads, and automobiles, have only been in existence within the last one hundred years. Prior to the twentieth century, there were no computers, microwave ovens, no cell phones, car phones, or telephones at all. There were no engines, steam, gas, or electric motors. No indoor plumbing. No medical options like vaccinations, anesthesia, or chemotherapy. No major surgeries, such as heart replacements or kidney transplants. No stem cell research.

When one considers how long man has been in existence, the notion that most of the conveniences common to our present way of life only emerged in the past couple of centuries seems truly amazing. Their creation reveals that the last few generations have largely been the catalyst through which big ideas exploded and were massively produced.

Our country has thrived and become the envy of other nations because we have, for several generations, been a nation of big ideas. Big ideas come from forward-thinking people who challenge the norm, think outside the box, and invent the world they see inside rather than submitting to the limitations of current dilemmas.

Now, you might be scratching your head and saying, “What’s he talking about? I thought this was a book about letting go of the past and finding the grace to forgive! Why is he going on and on about big ideas?” I am glad you asked. You see, much like turbo jets, fighter planes, the Internet, brain surgery, or stem cell research, forgiveness is a big idea. It takes a person who thinks big ideas rather than comparatively small thoughts to introduce and practice forgiveness effectively. Would you agree? Let’s see if we can drill down into this notion to test its validity.

Releasing Revenge

Several years ago I was invited as a guest on Oprah to talk about sexual abuse. When I suggested that it is important that we move beyond just saying how bad the molester was to have committed such atrocious acts, to the larger (from my viewpoint) idea of showing the perpetrator how he can be forgiven and rehabilitated, people went wild. Some of the guests were far too angry to think beyond the height of the atrocities they had experienced. They used their anger like familiar blankets to warm them as a comfort from their trauma, never realizing how they were smothering their own futures. They couldn’t imagine that future perpetrators will never come forward as long as they believe they have no chance at forgiveness and rehabilitation.

While the women who told their stories that day on the show had every justifiable reason to hate and be angry, the reality is the poison of unquenched anger doesn’t infect the perpetrator but only incarcerates the victim. Unforgiveness denies the victim the possibility of parole and leaves them stuck in the prison of what was, incarcerating them in their trauma and relinquishing the chance to escape beyond the pain.

We have seen this truth about forgiveness played out on a larger scale. When angry, bruised women from South Africa screamed in outrage because of the horrible atrocities they had been exposed to from apartheid, Nelson Mandela and members of the African National Congress (ANC) knew that a small idea like revenge would destroy the far larger idea of national healing and survival for their country. If they focused only on the temporary desire for immediate justice and swift retribution and missed the far weightier need for a healthy, functional, inclusive government in the midst of a nation filled with the pain of its most recent maladies, their homeland would never have survived.

The National Council of Provinces (NCOP) was developed to raise the bar by giving diplomatic immunity to sometimes undeserving people in order to protect the larger necessity of national survival. The big idea was forgiveness; the smaller idea, as justifiable as it might’ve been, was hatred, resentment, and revenge. South Africa survived because those at the helm chose the bigger idea of the good for all rather than the revenge of some.

When Dr. King resisted the lure of his own anger and submitted to the larger idea of a nonviolent movement that was led and filled with justifiably angry people, he preserved the future and changed our world. Those with the smaller ideas of starting our own country, or shooting and killing the racist molesters who had abused our fathers and raped our mothers, would have appeased our human need for retribution while destroying our way of life. We survived because we dared to risk acting on the larger notion of forgiveness rather than acquiesce to the dwarfed ideas of revenge and retaliation. Consequently, the destruction that would have been the inevitable result of thinking too small was eclipsed by the hopes of men and women who dared to dream on a scale larger than they had ever seen.

Like Native Americans relegated to a reservation where one could only be the chief of a small, government-sanctioned area, many of us remain on the reservation rather than escaping into the much larger world of assimilation, inclusion, and acceptance. Simply stated, people who don’t forgive neutralize their own growth potential. They end up hopelessly entrapped by the repercussions of leadership that remains in a dwarfed context of thought, thereby missing the overarching need to transcend the immediate encumbrance. We must think beyond the reservation like so many Native Americans have done and move forward.

When I write on blogs and Facebook, I am often astonished at Christians who never leave the reservation and can only see or think from their own Christian perspective rather than evaluating others from a broader perspective of overall ability. They sacrifice an excellent leader because he isn’t a Christian as they define it or limit the discussion to one or two issues at the expense of the bigger idea of how well a leader can lead the country.

I shocked my church when I announced that I was far more interested in finding a surgeon who was great at operating than I was finding one who voted like I did on political issues or shared my ideas on faith. I explained to them that I’m more concerned about a surgeon’s track record in the arena of patient recovery success than I’m interested in interrogating him on his view of eschatological theology! I just want to know if he can do the job, not whether he teaches Sunday school at First Baptist!

On an operating table we can sacrifice the dwarfed idea of our personal theological perspectives for the bigger idea of doctor’s surgical competency. When we can have both, it’s a real advantage. But I will not refuse the services of an excellent surgeon just because I don’t like his favorite football team—or his religion!

Loosing Change

When looking at this model of thinking in our personal lives we must ask ourselves the question, does incarcerating the perpetrator to a lifelong sentence with no hope of parole really protect us from the ever-increasing chances of attack by unknown stalkers? My fear is that it only perpetuates a pathology that teaches our children that we are too irrational a society to allow people to grow beyond what they did into what they can become. Consequently, perpetrators have no choice but to hide who they are and therefore continue to attack our children, destroy their marital vows, or engage in disputes once mistakes are made. A healthy family environment is only achieved when one leaves the night-light on for those who have wandered away. We must be willing to give them what we all need, a GPS system that allows the prodigal son to find the way back when he is finally ready to return home.

I have learned that most people who harbor animosity in their hearts against others do so because they remain on the reservation of what has happened in the past rather to escape to the much larger idea of a better future. However, they must ask themselves, What will happen if I cling to my narrow perspective and lose a chance to loose change in my life? How can I move beyond my history into the larger terrain of my destiny?

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, forgiveness is a big idea and it works best when it is invested into people who have the courage to grasp the seven-foot-high idea of what’s b...

More About the Author

T. D. Jakes is the CEO of TDJ Enterprises, LLP; founder and senior pastor of The Potter's House of Dallas, Inc., which has over 30,000 members; and the author of the New York Times bestselling Making Great Decisions and Reposition Yourself. Time magazine and CNN referred to him as "America's Best Preacher." His TV show, The Potter's Touch, reaches 67 million households per month. He has been the host of national radio and television broadcasts and is regularly featured on the highly rated Dr. Phil show. He lives in Dallas, Texas with his wife, five children, and two grandchildren.

Visit T. D. Jakes online at www.tdjakes.com.

Customer Reviews

It will change your life...forever.
Dr. Evans
A very informative, easy to read, and thought provoking book.
Henry D. Johnson
This book has helped me realize that I can let go.
eve martin

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

79 of 81 people found the following review helpful By Dr. Evans on March 7, 2012
Format: Hardcover
T.D. Jakes does it again! His new book, Let It Go, hits a home run! Poignantly drawing from the concept of forgiveness as a "big idea," T.D. Jakes explores how unforgiveness is a learned behavior that can become a cancer of the soul that metastasizes if gone unchecked. He encourages each of us to perform an "emotional self-examination" to prevent unresolved issues from multiplying. In his own words, "reading this book may be the most important step you can take right now toward personal healing and professional advancement." Refuse to let unforgiveness (big or small) stand in between you and your future happiness and success. Buy this book. Read this book. Share this book. It will change your life...forever.
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41 of 43 people found the following review helpful By A&D on March 17, 2012
Format: Hardcover
T.D. Jakes has written another great book. In this new one he explores how unforgiveness is actually a learned behavior. If you don't forgive, then that issue can eat you inside like a cancer. He encourages to let it go, forgive, let your life go on.... it's better for yourself if you forgive so you can continue your life, and also so that you can be forgiven, too.

In his own words: "Forgiveness is essential if we are to grow into the fullness of who God created us to be...When we refuse to forgive, we basically insist on setting our standards higher than God's".
"Forgiveness isn't about weakening you but strengthening you to live again and love again performing at your highest capacity unencumbered by yesterday's maladies."
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Mrs Mona on March 30, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book had me and my husband really talking about our pasts hurts and our need to stop the effect from passing on to our children. If a book can get a truly stoic Southern man to talk...its a must read!
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Karen Davis on May 17, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
If you are having difficulty letting something go or forgiving someone, this book may give you the push to help you accomplish the goal. I was concerned about long-term resentment due to my difficulty in letting something go and the information helped me reach my goal. I have always respected what T.D. Jakes says in interviews and felt his opinions are intelligent, logical and well thought out. I was really looking forward to reading this book after reading all the positive reviews. Unfortunately, I found his writing style a little tiresome as his points were wrapped up in analogies. I love when authors make a point and then provide a quick analogy or joke to drive it home (like Joel Osteen). That way I can underline the main points so I can reread the book quickly at a later date to refresh myself. I believe the book could have made the points much more easily in a much shorter format. This book may be a difficult read for people who do not have a large vocabulary as the author uses more collegiate words which most people do not use in every day communication. The book does explain why it is important to forgive everyone everything as that is a gift you give yourself so that anger, hurt, hate, etc do not poison your life, happiness and relationships. It is a matter of acceptance and moving forward, not excusing the person of their bad choice or behavior. The point of the book is very good and has skills which would be of benefit to everyone. I would have given the book 5 stars for the points it makes, 3-4 stars for writing style and a 3 for reading enjoyment, so overall 3.5. It is worth reading.
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful By MzVirtue on March 20, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I thought I had forgiven and let go all the difficulties of the past but this book made me realize I only allowed a scab to form to mask the pain and broken trust simmering beneath! I asked God to completely heal me so I can move forward and receive everything He has intended for me! We unknowingly block the gates to blessings when we close them off to protect ourselves. The only way to live is to be free and this book is a powerful tool in that process! I will NEVER be the same and I thank God for it! Have the courage to go deeper than the surface. The surface can be misleading... God is getting ready to unblock my flow! Thank you Bishop Jakes!
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful By mistermaxxx08 HALL OF FAME on March 22, 2012
Format: Hardcover
how does one truly move on? forgive and prayer. so many struggles and so many other forces are judging you, however there are times to just move on, life is too short to dwell and roast in bitterness. TD Jakes has a book that just speaks to that and thensome. very uplifting and powerful
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Andrew Smith on July 12, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Let It Go is written to provide enormous benefits to readers who are having trouble with forgiving offences. Offences come in petty and gigantic life alteration displayed by our actions, words, and unspoken expectations. No matter if the offences occurred as big or small, if unforgiveness consumes and plagues our hearts it will hinder our growth. Unforgiveness unchecked affects our relationship with our spouses, our children, our family members, our work environment, the ability to truly connect and fellowship with church members, and any other person we interactive with daily. We may think those around us aren't suffering from our bitterness and hurt. But our relationships need our commitment to forgive and let offences go. Bishop Jakes believed forgiveness is a "big idea" and it takes a great Eagle like thinking to forgive ourselves and others. Bishop Jakes affirmed that unforgiveness is the hidden cancer of the soul eating us alive and stopping us from living. Most people don't deal with the cancer that they can cure! We often fail to comprehend that you can't be in relationships that won't produce some conflict along the way. Disappointments, hurts, offences will happen and moving through the pain and healing enable us to live.

Bishop Jakes described that most people haven't showed others the 100 percent of themselves. Most of us don't even realize that we have put up walls around our hearts. If we would let the bitterness go we would be a new person, a better spouse, a better employee, church member, pastor, and friend! Forgiving ourselves for our failures and shortcomings is the first step in experiencing freedom and extending our love out to others.
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