Forgiveness is a very large subject in the bible. In thinking on it, I realized that it is a key concept for the Church to survive. We must have a working creed of forgiveness and understand it or the church will come unraveled.
The subject of forgiveness is much too extensive for a blog from me, so I am going to take it on in pieces. This issue covers the concept of forgiveness that is most prevalent among families and friends.
As I have gotten older I realize the problem that my family, friends and associates have with forgiveness. I especially see this in family relations and a major focus of the angst is centered on the parents. I think as we age we just don’t shed bad experiences well. However forgiveness is a major issue with God and that is the reason we need to discuss it.
The definition from the Greek is cry, forgive, forsake, lay aside, leave, omit, put (send) away, remit, suffer, and yield up. The dictionary says FORGIVENESS- pardon, forgiveness; to let pass, take away, hide, wash, purify, release
You get the sense that when you forgive you are putting an issue out of your life.
Observation: Forgiveness is an act of the will. An emotion may be involved but a willful resolve is the force in the action of forgiveness. Your forgiveness is not governed by the other person’s response. You do it because God said to do it.
Facts on Forgiveness:
1. It is commanded in the bible.
2. It is an act of the will. Emotion may or may not follow.
3. Your forgiveness may or may not be accepted by the other party.
4. It is unidirectional, no response is promised.
5. No particular process is prescribed in the bible. Just do it.
Remember your forgiveness of another is unidirectional and does not promise any kind of response from the other person. You are to be pleasing to God not the other person.
I think of forgiveness as both an event and a process. Some events require only “I’m sorry” and others may take months or years in the process. In all cases I must remember, I will answer to God for my transaction or my trying.
A key verse to consider in this discussion is Matt 6:15—-
“but if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your
Father forgive your trespasses”
Wow! Is this saying, my salvation is in question? It appears to me, if you are unforgiving, your un-forgiveness is cause to call your salvation into question. Christ notes a way to know Him is through obedience. If one doesn’t obey, they don’t know Jesus and thus not saved. One conclusion we can draw easily is if you do not forgive another, i.e. disobey God, you should be concerned and ask…..”Am I really saved?”
Considering eternity is soon, it is in our best interest to train our
responses to be forgiving…instantly.
Remember. Keep short accounts.
Application: Write down the people you have a bone to pick with. Go see or talk to each one asking them to work with you to solve the issue. If they have wronged you, give them your forgiveness with no strings attached. Don’t expect them to “pay you back”.
This is to please God…Remember that. Turn it all over to God for His blessing…..Don’t expect a positive response from them.
Forgiveness starts by making a unidirectional effort. Just be sure
you have done your part.