What is Forgiveness?
Forgiveness is the act of pardoning an offender. Forgiveness is a gift and an act of kindness; it is indeed the greatest act of kindness you can give to yourself.
Sometimes we find it so hard to forgive people who offend us. Most times the people who offend us are those whom we trust most, someone we look up to, at times the very people whom we love the most and cherish. Forgiving can be hard, especially when someone hurts us.
What does the Bible teaches us about forgiveness?
One of the main purpose of christianity is forgiveness. In actual fact forgiveness ist one of the major teachings of our Lord Jesus Christ.
(Matthew 6:14-15 KJV)
14 For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you:
15 But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
(Ephesians 1:7 KJV)
In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;
Through the Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ we have redemption and this redemption is the forgiveness of sins.
Why is it so hard to forgive?
1. sometimes we were so wounded by people we trusted most. The wound may have been old, but the pain remains fresh.
2. sometimes people treated others unfairly in order to maximize their own power. We often find it difficult to forgive because they've wounded us to our very soul.
What does God does with our sins?
- He erases them
Isaiah 43:24-25 KJV
24 Thou hast bought me no sweet cane with money, neither hast thou filled me with the fat of thy sacrifices: but thou hast made me to serve with thy sins, thou hast wearied me with thine iniquities.
25 I, even I, am he that blotteth out thy transgressions for mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins.
- He does not record them
Psalm 32:2 KJV
Blessed is the man unto whom the Lord imputeth not iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no guile.
- He totally removes them
Psalm 103:12 KJV
As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.
- He nails them to the cross
Colossians 2: 13-14 KJV
13 And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses;
14 Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross;
Why do we have to forgive others?
1. From a Gracious God we receive forgiveness; we have all sinned against God
2. Forgiving someone is a difficult thing to do, but it's a necessity for our well-being; Forgiveness is a gift you give to yourself: It improves our life by improving our physical and emotional health.
3. Forgiving someone who has hurt you could be the greatest challenge of your life. But if you choose to forgive, you glorify God and reveal His character to those around you.
Jesus died on the cross not because something was wrong with him, but because everything was wrong with us.
Forgiveness and being reconciled are not about pretending that things are other than they are. It is not patting one another on the back and turning blind eye to the wrong.
Forgiveness looks sin in the eye and speaks the costly words : "I forgive you."
In most cases, the only way to forgive is by remembering. It is important that we do not make a simplistic connection between forgiving and forgetting. True forgiveness requires a careful look at what has actually happened to us. It is possible that we genuinely do not remember what someone has done against us, but most often it is largely a mistake to say, "Forgive and forget." Rather, the judgment of grace enables us, through the power of Holy Spirit, to remember well and deal with it.
- True forgiveness requires the offender to own sin repentantly.
- Genuine repentance goes deeper than apology or the expression of regret.
- forgiveness is given graciously and generously; if they repent, forgive them.
Forgiveness doesn't mean forgetting to remember, but remembering to forget.
O Lord our GOD, grant us the Grace to genuinely forgive those who ask us for forgiveness.