Forgiveness is a word that can scare us and make us feel uncomfortable. Forgiveness is a word that is widely misunderstood.
According to the Cambridge Dictionary, forgiveness means “to stop being angry with someone who done something wrong”.
Matthew 18:21-22 (NRSV)
21 Then Peter came and said to him, “Lord, if another member of the church sins against me, how often should I forgive? As many as seven times?” 22 Jesus said to him, “Not seven times, but, I tell you, seventy-seventimes.
- Praying for those who have evil intentions for you (Matthew 5:44)
- Being abounding in love, something only possible when you really are abiding in Christ (Psalm 86:5)
- Never avenging yourself, but leaving it to God’s capable hand (Romans 12:18-19)
- Doing good to those who never do good to you (Luke 6:27-28)
- Watching your own life, and ensuring you’re not guilty of the sin that’s been committed against you (Luke 17:3)
Forgiveness does not mean:
- Feeling good about something that was bad
- Letting someone out of the consequences of their wrong, (ask David about sin’s devastating consequences, 2 Samuel 12,
- Never being disciplined by a loving Father (Hebrews 12:5-6)
We must remember a major point when it comes to forgiveness: God has forgiven us for our sins (Ephesians 1:7)! If we can be forgiven for our sins and transgressions, then we should follow God’s and Christ’s lead and forgive others! Remember to forgive yourself for the transgressions that you are holding against yourself and some events or circumstances for our own pasts. We need to forgive ourselves and others! Who are you going to forgive today?