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In T. D. Jakes’ new book, LET IT GO: Forgive So You Can Be Forgiven (Atria Books; February 28, 2012; 978-1-4165-4729-7; $25.00), T.D. Jakes explores what he calls “the art of forgiveness,” in which he goes beyond the topical meaning of the word. Rather, he takes it apart, examines every facet of what it means to forgive and to be forgiven, offers examples as to what may have caused the crisis, and provides solutions on how to work through betrayal and accept true forgiveness.

So why an entire book on the topic of forgiveness? Because in the tradition of T.D. Jakes, he puts forth forgiveness as a life lesson, something that is as necessary as the air we breathe. LET IT GO is a comprehensive road map to forgiveness, arming readers with the knowledge and spiritual instruction that will enable them to release from past offenses and acts that may be holding them back.  “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,” explains T.D. Jakes.  “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.”

Using deeply personal circumstances and examples from his life’s journey, T.D. Jakes opens up to readers about his own confrontations with forgiveness and how embracing it helped put his career and life on a trajectory that he could have never imagined. In one instance, he writes about a relationship in which he harbored resentment towards someone whom he felt was taking advantage of – and cheating – him and his then small church.  That relationship took an unexpected turn when that very person asked for forgiveness when challenged about his unethical business practices.  In the end, T.D. Jakes did forgive him, and it would be that very person who unexpectedly helped to engineer T.D. Jakes’ television debut, with sermons that would allow him to reach people around the world.  “Even now…I look back and think to myself, I was right in my assertion I was being used…But that isn’t the important thing to remember,” writes T.D. Jakes.  “The truth of the matter is the important thing to remember was that my greatest opportunity was born in the middle of an offense.  I learned that day that it is possible to be right about the issue but you can be wrong to take on the fight.”

In LET IT GO, T.D. Jakes offers readers tips and suggestions about how to deal with disappointments and forgive in a way that will most benefit their lives going into the future:

  • • Realize that disappointments will come.  The difference in people emerges in how they respond to the conflicts they encounter.
  • • Learn to manage the disappointments in life…Since we cannot control when offenses will come or through whom they will arrive, then we can only control the way in which we experience them.
  • • Understand that forgiveness does not equal vulnerability.  On the contrary, forgiveness requires great strength and maturity of character.
  • • Love above the offense.  Find ways to communicate about the things that are not always polite or flattering.  Hiding or not discussing them doesn’t help intimacy and build trust; it destroys the relationship.
  • • Think of anger differently, as not only a negative emotion.  If properly allocated and managed, anger can do a lot to ease the torment of a boundary that has been disrespected.
  • • Write off the past, take back the power in your life even if the person cannot or will not right the wrong you have been done.
  • • Never be afraid to enter into a confrontation, but make sure it is worth the energy and effort.
  • • Practice self-forgiveness and self-love.  Change the way we think about ourselves.  When we change our thoughts and beliefs, it makes it easier to develop new ideas that will reflect a healthier identity of our true worth.

“Whoever said opportunity only knocks once, must have died young.  If you live long enough, you discover that life does give second chances – and third and fourth,” says T.D. Jakes.  “The word ‘forgiving’ means you have been ‘giving’ to that which is prior, before your present moment and the gifts of your future.  Now that you have been liberated from old grudges, released from deep-seated resentments, and set free from the snares of unforgiveness, a most important question looms…To what endeavor will you give that extra energy and passion that you just freed up?”

In LET IT GO, T.D. Jakes serves as the reader’s personal tour guide through learning about and embracing forgiveness, a word that is an ever present part of our vocabulary but not something that we truly apply in our lives with any regularity or meaning.  This book will serve as the definitive blueprint for anyone who finds him or herself at the crossroads of forgiveness.  The inspiring thoughts and ideas within these pages will help readers to release, recharge one’s life, and press forward in peace and prosperity.

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