Hello, my name is LeaFiore and this is Take Me To Eternity. Today I want to talk about something that is vital to understand in the Christian walk. Without understanding it we miss the depth of our salvation, the freedom or our walk with Christ and what it truly means to love and be loved. Today I want to talk about Forgiveness.
God is absolutely amazing. When we were created we were in a covenant of perfect obedience with him. Yet when Adam sinned and broke that covenant we were under penalty of death for our sins. The wages that are due to us for sin is death. The wrath of God abides in us until we are saved. Yet when Jesus died on the cross everything changed and he made a way for us to be reconciled with God. Brought back into fellowship with him. While we were still his enemies still dead in our sin he died for us. He made a way for us to be made right with him, effectively taking our punishment on himself. Romans 5:8-11 says
“But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him. For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. And not only this, but we also exult in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation.”
RECONCILE, The literal sense is to call back into union.]
1. To conciliate anew; to call back into union and friendship the affections which have been alienated; to restore to friendship or favor after estrangement; as, to reconcile men or parties that have been at variance.
God by his blood sacrifice made the way for us to be called back into union and friendship with God. By the forgiveness of our sins.
When you look at the definition of atonement it says agreement: concord: reconciliation, after enmity or controversy.
Colossians 1:13-14 says
“For He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.” Colossians 1:13-14
Reconciliation comes with forgiveness and redemption. We are reconciled to God by the atonement of Jesus Christ. We are called to forgive others as Christ has forgiven us and guess what? While we are to forgive a countless amount of times that doesn’t mean restoration is possible every time. Restoration or reconciliation with Christ was only possible after repentance. We are called to forgive as Jesus forgave us, that means you forgive with open arms for reconciliation so long as repentance happens otherwise we are called to forgive without reconciliation. Sometimes it isn’t safe for us to be reconciled back with a person, but that does not mean we can’t forgive. I believe that is shown time and time again in scripture. God offers us restoration upon repentance yet it is contingent on that repentance.
1. Sorrow for anything done or said; the pain or grief which a person experiences in consequence of the injury or inconvenience produced by his own conduct.
2. In theology, the pain, regret or affliction which a person feels on account of his past conduct, because it exposes him to punishment. This sorrow proceeding merely from the fear of punishment, is called legal repentance, as being excited by the terrors of legal penalties, and it may exist without an amendment of life.
3. Real penitence; sorrow or deep contrition for sin, as an offense and dishonor to God, a violation of his holy law, and the basest ingratitude towards a Being of infinite benevolence. This is called evangelical repentance, and is accompanied and followed by amendment of life.
Repentance is a change of mind, or a conversion from sin to God.
2 Corinthians 7:10 says
“For the sorrow that is according to the will of God produces a repentance without regret, leading to salvation, but the sorrow of the world produces death.” 2 Corinthians 7:10
Repentance is the relinquishment of any practice, from conviction that it has offended God
When we repent of our sin God is quick to forgive. We are called to be quick to forgive also. Psalms 86:5 says
“For You, Lord, are good, and ready to forgive, And abundant in lovingkindness to all who call upon You.” Psalms 86:5
We are to offer forgiveness readily Luke 17:1-4 says
“He said to His disciples, “It is inevitable that stumbling blocks come, but woe to him through whom they come! It would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck and he were thrown into the sea, than that he would cause one of these little ones to stumble. Be on your guard! If your brother sins, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him. And if he sins against you seven times a day, and returns to you seven times, saying, ‘I repent,’ forgive him.”” Luke 17:1-4
When someone hurts us it is often hard to forgive. We are hurt, pride gets in the way and we end up lashing out instead of forgiving. We aren’t to tolerate sin but we are to forgive it when someone repents.
How often we sin against a Holy God and he forgives us so readily, yet when we are offended by someone we act as if that is greater than any offense we have done. We act as if it is greater than sin against God himself.
Ephesians 4:32 says
“Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.” Ephesians 4:32
And Matthew 26:28 says
“for this is My blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for forgiveness of sins.” Matthew 26:28
We are to forgive how God has forgiven us. That is a big statement. We were God’s enemies who sinned against him continuously yet in his great mercy he provided forgiveness and reconciliation. He poured out his own blood for our forgiveness and yet we hold onto unforgiveness so often. Which leads to anger and bitterness.
2 Corinthians 5:17-19 says
“Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come. Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation, namely, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed to us the word of reconciliation.” 2 Corinthians 5:17-19
God has given us the ministry of reconciliation. In order to be his ambassadors we must be ready to forgive as Christ forgives to show the love of God to the world. To preach the gospel is to preach the word of reconciliation and to be Christ- like, to look like him we must be quick to forgive.
Matthew 5:44-48 says
“But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? If you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” Matthew 5:44-48
Part of us forgiving others and loving them is praying for them. Someone taught me that when I am angry at someone and struggling to forgive, I pray for that person. Like genuinely praying for their well-being. For their good. For God to change my heart towards them. God uses it for us and for them. God gives grace to all people and we ought to be quick to give grace also though that is one thing I tend to struggle with myself. Part of us being perfected is learning how to give grace as God has given us grace and forgive as he has forgiven us.
Romans 12:17-21 says
Never pay back evil for evil to anyone. Respect what is right in the sight of all men. If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men. Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, “VENGEANCE IS MINE, I WILL REPAY,” says the Lord. “BUT IF YOUR ENEMY IS HUNGRY, FEED HIM, AND IF HE IS THIRSTY, GIVE HIM A DRINK; FOR IN SO DOING YOU WILL HEAP BURNING COALS ON HIS HEAD.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” Romans 12:17-21
It’s interesting that it says to respect what is right in the sight of all men. It doesn’t say affirm it or be ok with it. It says respect it. Respect can mean a lot of things one definition says: regard; attention. Another says consideration; motive in reference to something. We ought to consider why someone feels something is right or that they are right. Sometimes that gives a different perspective on the situation.
Paying back evil can be with snark or rudeness. Another area God is working on with me. We aren’t to pay back another with any form or ungodly response. We are to turn our cheek and answer them in love. Unfortunately we look at ourselves as someone important and not to them as more important than ourselves and in doing that we respond in a way that is less than godly.
Unforgiveness is a sin.
Charles Spurgeon said
Oh, how foolish are they who harbor sin in their hearts, for it will bring destruction to them if they keep it there! ~Charles Spurgeon
Proverbs 4:23 says
“Watch over your heart with all diligence, For from it flow the springs of life.” Proverbs 4:23
We are to be careful what we allow into our hearts and what we harbor there. It can be our destruction or it can be a wellspring. It can help others to see Gods love or it can show how hypocritical we are and undermine the gospel message that we spread.
Forgiveness doesn’t always mean reconciliation as I said earlier. Though it should be the goal in a lot of cases. Sometimes you cannot allow that person in your life but that doesn’t mean that you can harbor unforgiveness. It can still be in God’s hands what punishment if any comes on that person and at the same time we not put ourselves into unhealthy or dangerous situations by allowing them back in our lives. We should however be prayerful and slow to just cut someone out unless of course it is a dangerous situation or they are unhealthy for us or those we are responsible for.
Proverbs says, not to rejoice when our enemy falls and not to be glad when he stumbles. We are to forgive them and in doing so leave it to God to work. Hebrews says to pursue peace with all men, and the sanctification without which no one will see the Lord. That shows what our heart attitude is supposed to be. We should love them regardless if we like them or not. Our job is to be at peace as far as we are able to be. We are to pray for them and want the best for them.
Something I had to learn and continue to practice is that when we are angry at someone we hurt ourselves in harboring that anger. Anger left to breed blossoms into bitterness.
When we forgive, We remember that God is in control and we aren’t. That he knows what is best in every situation and submit to him in dealing with whatever it is that is going on? We need to remember he is sovereign, he knows, he sees, he hears and he is just. We need to stop acting like we have any power or right to hold something against another person and remember that he is working on the matter even when we don’t see it.
How many times has God forgiven you? How many times has he forgiven you that you don’t even realize that you wronged him? We tend to look at others and say that what someone else did was worse than what we have done but all sin is against a Holy God. It is all deserving of death and damnation. It’s so easy to justify our own sin in our own heads and condemn someone else but God looks and sees it with a perfect view. It’s all filth and vile.
Matthew 18:21-35 says
“Then Peter came and said to Him, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me and I forgive him? Up to seven times?” Jesus *said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven. “For this reason the kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who wished to settle accounts with his slaves. When he had begun to settle them, one who owed him ten thousand talents was brought to him. But since he did not have the means to repay, his Lord commanded him to be sold, along with his wife and children and all that he had, and repayment to be made. So the slave fell to the ground and prostrated himself before him, saying, ‘Have patience with me and I will repay you everything.’ And the Lord of that slave felt compassion and released him and forgave him the debt. But that slave went out and found one of his fellow slaves who owed him a hundred denarii; and he seized him and began to choke him, saying, ‘Pay back what you owe.’ So his fellow slave fell to the ground and began to plead with him, saying, ‘Have patience with me and I will repay you.’ But he was unwilling and went and threw him in prison until he should pay back what was owed. So when his fellow slaves saw what had happened, they were deeply grieved and came and reported to their Lord all that had happened. Then summoning him, his Lord *said to him, ‘You wicked slave, I forgave you all that debt because you pleaded with me. Should you not also have had mercy on your fellow slave, in the same way that I had mercy on you?’ And his Lord, moved with anger, handed him over to the torturers until he should repay all that was owed him. My heavenly Father will also do the same to you, if each of you does not forgive his brother from your heart.”” Matthew 18:21-35
Luke says if he comes and repents seven times a day to forgive him. The debt that the slave owed his master was in today’s dollar well over a hundred million dollars. The 100 denarii is more like 2,500$ puts a bit of perspective on the debt.
God’s forgiveness of our sins is immeasurable. We have no right to hold our fellow sinners to a measurement that we can’t obtain to ourselves.. Luke 7:47 says
“For this reason I say to you, her sins, which are many, have been forgiven, for she loved much; but he who is forgiven little, loves little.” Luke 7:47
Sometimes I think that we forget our debt. It’s so easy to see the sin in others and feel wronged by them while having our blinders on to our own part in things or the times we have treated others similarly.
Jesus said that we ought to forgive 70 times 7 times. But it doesn’t mean literally 140 times. That means we need to just keep forgiving. God has forgiven me so many times I could never count. Grace is given to us so that we can share God’s grace with others. Part of that is forgiving because we ought to. Showing them the love and grace God gave us.
For me I just think I don’t have a right to hold anyone accountable. I don’t know their heart, their struggles, their worries. I don’t know why they are saying or doing what they are doing. So often my words that I mean as loving get taken as hateful so I really am trying to learn to be careful, to see others could be trying their hardest also and my own soft spots got touched in the process. They could just be hitting a raw nerve completely unintentionally. 1 Peter 3:8-11 says
“To sum up, all of you be harmonious, sympathetic, brotherly, kind hearted, and humble in spirit; not returning evil for evil or insult for insult, but giving a blessing instead; for you were called for the very purpose that you might inherit a blessing. For, “The one who desires life, to love and see good days, Must keep his tongue from evil and his lips from speaking deceit. He must turn away from evil and do good; He must seek peace and pursue it.” 1 Peter 3:8-11
Trying to hold others accountable for their sin puts me in a place I am not willing to be in. I don’t want to be the judge. I just want to be forgiven and learn how to be like the one whom I love. I want to forgive quickly.
I have had some horrific things happen in my life. At a young age I was raped and molested by multiple different people at different times. I can hand over that ruling to God and say I forgive them for the wrong that I endured because of their sinful actions. I had a chance when I got a bit older to sit down and talk to one of my biggest abusers about it and tell him that I forgive him. I truly meant it too. God can do what is right for justice and at the same time I can warn others that that person is dangerous without harboring hatred or even anger for them. I can forgive and protect at the same time.
The definition of forgiveness is
1. The act of forgiving; the pardon of an offender, by which he is considered and treated as not guilty. The forgiveness of enemies is a Christian duty.
2. The pardon or remission of an offense or crime; as the forgiveness of sin or of injuries.
3. Disposition to pardon; willingness to forgive.
And mild forgiveness intercede to stop the coming blow.
4. Remission of a debt, fine or penalty.
Forgiveness isn’t about the person being let off the hook for their actions by us. It is about us remembering that God is the one who judges and repays and that we need to leave it up to him. We aren’t supposed to hold on to anger or hatred. We are responsible only for our own hearts, thoughts, and actions or reactions. Luke 6:27-31 says
“But I say to you who love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you. To one who strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also, and from one who takes away your cloak do not withhold your tunic either. Give to everyone who begs from you, and from one who takes away your goods do not demand them back. And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them. Luke 6:27-31
That is a recurring theme. Love your enemies and do good to others regardless of how they treat you. Pray for people. Don’t take offense when people insult you, just keep being kind and loving. We are to love others in a way that is only able to be done by the grace of God. We are to show people the grace that we have been given and not forget how much we have been forgiven.
it makes me think of
“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. Ephesians 6:12
Our struggle isn’t against people but against the wrongful ideologies that Satan has put out there. It’s against everything that goes against what God says. People aren’t our enemies. They are who we want to win over. The ones we are to love and forgive and evangelize to. People say I will love in a way that people see and know I am a christian. This is part of that. We do have to evangelize also but part of evangelism is loving and forgiving. It is speaking God’s truth unapologetically with the motivation of love undergirding our motives. Without that there is no room for reconciliation. James 1:19-21 says
Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God. Therefore put away all filthiness and rampant wickedness and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls. James 1:19-21
We are supposed to be slow to anger. So many times I am quick to anger, quick to hurt, quick to offense. It’s so easy to hold onto things and not slow down and listen to understand, instead of listening to respond. We are however supposed to be careful of who we are reconciling with.
We aren’t always supposed to reconcile, we are always called to forgive. When we forgive the person we are forgiving doesn’t always have to know it and they certainly don’t have to ask for it. 1 Timothy 6:2-5 says
“And those who have believing masters, let them not despise them because they are brethren, but rather serve them because those who are benefited are believers and beloved. Teach and exhort these things. If anyone teaches otherwise and does not consent to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which accords with godliness, he is proud, knowing nothing, but is obsessed with disputes and arguments over words, from which come envy, strife, reviling, evil suspicions, useless wranglings of men of corrupt minds and destitute of the truth, who suppose that godliness is a means of gain. From such withdraw yourself.” I Timothy 6:2-5
And 2 Thessalonians 3:5-6 says
“May the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God and into the steadfastness of Christ. Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you keep away from every brother who leads an unruly life and not according to the tradition which you received from us.” 2 Thessalonians 3:5-6
If they don’t walk according to how they should, we are told to withdraw from them. We are not to take part in accepting or being a part of their bad behavior. If we have a brother who sits in sin, we aren’t to sit in sin with him. We don’t accept it, we don’t participate in it and we don’t enable it. 1 Corinthians 15:33 says
“Do not be deceived: “Bad company corrupts good morals.”” 1 Corinthians 15:33
If we continue in fellowship with people who walk according to flesh we have real potential to be corrupted ourselves.
It also says as far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men. We are to be good to people even when they aren’t good to us. We are supposed to show the forgiving love of Christ to everyone, even our enemies. Unfortunately sometimes we can’t be at peace because others won’t allow it.
The Bible says when we sin we sin against a holy God. It says that before we are saved we are enemies of his. Yet because he is so great he chose to be our redemption. He suffered for his enemies and we are to be like him.
We as believers are to be clothed in Christ and look and act like him. By choosing to forgive we are giving them the grace shown to us. In that Jesus forgave us we ought to forgive others.
Forgiveness is key to living in peace; it is how we are made at peace with God and man. Unforgiveness leads to bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor and so many times slander. When we hold it in, it leads inevitably to sin. It leads to hatred if harbored. Jesus says the hatred of a brother is equivalent to being a murderer, you can’t hate a brother and love God.
In Ephesians it says to be tender hearted. Be kind to one another. We are supposed to have soft hearts that are compassionate to the people around us. To stay unstained by the world helps with that. One thing that always gets me is when I am reading the gospels and it says “and he had compassion for them” talking about Jesus having compassion on the people he was around. These were the same people who mocked him, the ones who tried to kill him. He hurt for the people who hated him.
The ultimate act of forgiveness was what he did for us. When he was dying on the cross, he said “father forgive them for they know not what they do.” That is an amazing kind of forgiveness. I would probably be like “God smite them! Look what they did to me!” But he didn’t. He was their mediator, their advocate. The people who beat him and killed him he stood in the gap for, pleading for them. That is the kind of forgiveness we are supposed to show. Ephesians 1:7-10 says
In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth. Ephesians 1:7-10
This is what it is all about isn’t it? God’s beautiful plan to unite heaven and earth and all things in between to him once again? A plan to save us from ourselves and once again walk in love with him. To rid this world and its people of the curse that we brought upon ourselves. We should forgive big because he forgave ultimately.
I have to say though a person can step over boundaries, I don’t think the offense in itself is against the individual though. It may feel that way to us but it isn’t right. In every sin it is against a holy and just God. I don’t believe anyone can sin against me personally.
God wants us to bring things to him and leave it in his hands. He is perfect and Holy and his judgments will reflect that. So I must bow to him knowing that whatever is best will happen. The perfect Justice.
Forgiveness is hard. It isn’t easy to get over ourselves and give it to God to be dealt with. But it is needed. Matthew talks a lot about forgiving and having mercy on people because that is what God did for you. I think it has a lot to do with the way we are to love people. Forgiving is loving and when you forgive an enemy sometimes that can be a testament to Christ in you.
John MacArthur says “We can never be more like Christ than when we forgive. That is when we reflect God the most.”
When I look at forgiveness it reminds me of the parable where the guy hires someone to work all day for a certain amount of money and then hours later hires another person to work the rest of that day for the same amount of money and when the first guy sees the wages of the second he gets upset because he worked less hours for the same reward.
It is so amazing that no matter what stage of the game you come to Christ we all get the same reward of salvation. What a loving God we have. We all get the same mercy and forgiveness. Not one of us deserves it more because we didn’t earn it. He forgives us because he is awesome, not because we are.
The Bible says if we confess our sins he is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins. How do I know someone hasn’t confessed to the Lord and been forgiven? Who am I to hold a sin against someone that God has already forgiven?
So does this mean that people have to ask for forgiveness for us to forgive them? In the Old Testament it talks about if you sin and you don’t know that you sinned it still needs atonement. Jesus himself said Father forgive them for they do not know what they are doing.
Their attitude towards the situation doesn’t really make a difference on if you should forgive or not. Jesus died for our forgiveness before we repented. While we were his enemies sinning against him. His blood was poured out for the forgiveness of sins. We ought to forgive others without stipulations on if or when they do anything.
That isn’t our concern. Our concern is being right with the Lord and in order to do that, we need to trust that he will do what is right in every situation. A believer has been paid for and an unbeliever is going to pay unless they repent and believe. We don’t have to do anything other than give up the idea that we have any control over any of it. And probably repent of the anger in our heart or any fault that we are a part of.
If it is true that there is nothing so bad that you could ever do that you couldn’t be saved for and nothing you could do so good to save yourself then that means there is nothing so bad that anyone could do that you cannot forgive them and nothing so good that you could do to ever merit forgiveness. It isn’t about good or bad. It’s about what is right. I could never be good enough to earn God’s forgiveness so why would we make anyone try to earn ours?
Proverbs 24:28 says
“Do not say, “Thus I shall do to him as he has done to me; I will render to the man according to his work.”” Proverbs 24:29
We are to treat people according to how God says we are to treat others, not how others treat us. Ancient texts contain a negative affirmation that says “that which you hate to be done to you, do not do to another. When Jesus came he flipped it. It is no longer holding yourself back from doing something bad, it is actively doing what is good to others no matter how they treat you.
I totally think it is a weapon of the enemy. The lie that we don’t need to forgive or that we deserve this or that. It’s pride that says “how dare they.” I think he uses it to put a wedge in between people. As believers we need to be careful that we don’t allow this to ruin the relationships in our lives. Relationships are hard and messy. But we need to remember the importance of others and that we are here to glorify God and be servants. I believe one of the ways God sanctifies us is through relationships and we are supposed to choose love above hurt, forgiveness above offense. And trust in God as judge and not ourselves.
We need to remember that feelings can lie and our hearts are deceitful. That we aren’t the perfect judge.
It’s really not about us as individuals, it’s about helping to hold each other up for the glory of God. It’s about honoring him with all that we are and all that we do. I am such a selfish person at my core, it’s only by God’s grace that I can think of others greater than myself. That is a struggle especially when you are dealing with people close to you. Spouses, children, best friends. We need to have grace and forgive easily. Especially if we know how much grace and forgiveness we need.
Compassion is painful sympathy, suffering with another. Kindness is good will, delighting in contributing to the happiness of others. And humility is an act of submission, freedom from pride and arrogance. A modest estimate of one’s own worth.
The world says you forgive and forget. Or some say forgive only if one asks. Some say you must never forget and you only forgive if the person is deserving. I mean who makes up these rules? The more you hear what the world says about forgiveness the more confusing it is. It’s the whole subjective truth thing. Thankfully there is an absolute truth and we can know it. God says we must forgive. He says it isn’t our job to condemn. We aren’t meant to forget but that is part of the beauty isn’t it? Remembering just how far relationships have come. How one person forgave you so amazingly. How God changed your heart in a situation and you were able to see that person through a different lens.
I am called to forgive everyone at all times.
Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones that you have broken rejoice. Hide your face from my sins, and blot out all my iniquities. Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. Psalm 51:7-10
Shouldn’t that be our heart for others as well? To be able to be purged and cleaned. Ah to be washed clean of all iniquities. God is so good. It’s amazing that he even gives us a way out.
The last verse in the parable of the servants that I read earlier says “my Heavenly Father will also do the same to you, if each of you does not forgive his brother from your heart.”
I love it, it says from your heart. It’s not a mouth service. It’s a heart attitude. Forgiveness is so hard. It seems so much easier to hold onto your hurt and justify your anger. But I will tell you what. It is unhealthy. Both spiritually and physically. The body reacts and changes due to the chemicals in it. Anger lets off chemicals in your body and changes your brain chemistry. If you are holding onto anger you are literally affecting your brain chemistry. That can lead to a host of issues physiologically.
What is more is that God, in coming to earth and dying for our sins paid the ultimate price for our debt and forgave us and continues to forgive us over and over again. The Bible says the wages for sin is death. So we are owed for our sin death. We have life because of his love.
I just know I want to have a heart like Jesus. I want to have a heart of compassion. That is quick to listen and slow to speak. That is so very forgiving and has wisdom and understanding. That like Paul said, be all things to all people. I am working on myself in these places but more importantly God is working on me in those areas. All of these areas are connected to forgiveness. Compassion. And ultimately love. It is loving to forgive. It is loving even when we want to be able to say the person isn’t deserving of love. It is out of love that we call out to God to change our hearts towards those we haven’t forgiven and help enable us to forgive.
In talking about Forgiveness I want to talk about the idea of forgiving yourself. This is something that I have heard or been told a lot. Nowhere does the Bible say we need to forgive ourselves. When we sin it is against God therefore he needs to forgive us.
If Jesus DIED a horrible gruesome death for our forgiveness we have nothing to forgive. It has been forgiven. To sit in your past is not helpful or healthy. You are his if you are a born again believer. You have his spirit inside you. We aren’t to sit and wallow in our past mistakes.
Sometimes people act like God must not know how bad their sin was. We cannot change the past but we move past what was done and that means what others have done to you, what you have done to others and what you have done to yourself. When it says whom the son sets free is free indeed. That means we are free from our past also. Free to forgive ourselves because we are washed clean. We are a new creature. To not forgive ourselves is simply another way our pride comes into play. It is us being too self focused instead of reading God’s truth and believing it. Psalms 103:8-12 says
“The Lord is compassionate and gracious, Slow to anger and abounding in lovingkindness. He will not always strive with us, Nor will He keep His anger forever. He has not dealt with us according to our sins, Nor rewarded us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, So great is His lovingkindness toward those who fear Him. As far as the east is from the west, So far has He removed our transgressions from us.” Psalms 103:8-12
““I, even I, am the one who wipes out your transgressions for My own sake, And I will not remember your sins.” Isaiah 43:25
God forgives the ones who love him for his own sake. He does it for himself. When we look at forgiveness we know that we forgive because that is what God calls us to do. We forgive because we have been forgiven. If we want to be imitators of God then we MUST forgive. We are to love your enemies and pray for those who persecute us.
Humans are messy. But we are called to forgive.
I hope this was helpful
Until next time