Forgiveness is not an easy thing at times. Forgiveness is not a lot of things, but there are 3 things that forgiveness is.
1. Forgiveness is a choice. When has being mad every fixed anything? When has getting even ever changed the situation? When has getting even ever really made things even?
We can choose to hold a grudge or we can CHOSE to forgive. I like to think of it like this, for every time that someone has hurt us, we probably have hurt someone else at one time by things we either have said or things we have done. We are the same. We have done the same things. When does holding a grudge really change our views of someone, or their view of us? When does holding onto hurt ever make us feel better. Gandhi’s said “an eye for an eye leaves the whole world blind.”
2. Forgiveness is a command. Forgiveness would be simple if we only had to grant it to those who come asking for it in sorrow and repentance. The Bible tells us that we are to forgive, without condition, those who sin against us. Refusing to truly forgive a person demonstrates resentment, bitterness, and anger, none of which are the traits of a true Christian. Jesus said in Matthew 6:14-15, “If you forgive those who sin against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you. But if you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins.” In light of other Scriptures that speak of God’s forgiveness, Matthew 6:14-15 is best understood to be saying that people who refuse to forgive others have not truly experienced God’s forgiveness themselves.
3. Given to us everyday. Whenever we disobey one of God’s commands, we sin against Him. Whenever we wrong another person, we not only sin against that person, but also against God. When we consider the extent to which God forgives all our transgressions, we realize that we do not have the right to withhold this grace from others. We have sinned against God infinitely more than any person can sin against us.
God promises that when we come to Him asking for forgiveness, He freely grants it.1 John 1:9 says, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” The forgiveness we extend should know no limits, in the same way that God’s forgiveness is limitless.
When you are forgiven by someone, don’t we feel so much better? That worry about what that person thinks of us? Wondering if we are ok with them and our relationship will be ok? Once we are forgiven by them, we then do everything in our power to make sure our relationship is restored and we try to rekindle it and strengthen it. Same thing from God. God has already forgiven us. Not only from our huge mistakes from also from our little ones. The everyday ones. We then too need to go on with our relationship with God in the same way. We are forgiven. We now need to be thankful and rekindle our relationship with him. That because we are forgiven every single day from every single sin, we need to realize that and strengthen that relationship with God. It doesn’t matter if we have done a huge boo boo, or just a million small little everyday ones, we HAVE to remember and allow that to shape our lives and actions as forgiven people.
*This is just a section from my workshop from our HSM Summer Camp that I got to teach at. I hope this helps!