Giving Forgiveness

Nov 16

by Victoria Robinson

Do you cringe when the topic of forgiveness comes up. Are you squirming right now at the thought of someone you need to give forgiveness to. Usually our first thought is, “But you don’t understand what they did to me!” No, none of us really can feel the depth of pain others feel, but there is someone who understands it all. That is your heavenly Father who has forgiven you of ALL your sins. Not selective forgiveness like we so often choose to give those around us.

The reason forgiveness is always needed is that we are all sinners and fall short of the glory of God. As long as there is sin, there will be a need for forgiveness. The verse in the book of Romans that tells us we all have sinned goes on to say that we are justified freely by God’s grace. Did you catch that one significant word? Freely is the word used to describe the forgiveness our heavenly Father uses to describe His forgiveness to us. Girlfriends, we need to develop this same lavish mentality when it comes to forgiving others.

Then there is the unthinkable idea presented to us by the apostle Paul. He pleaded with the church in Corinth to forgive a brother and affirm their love for him. So now we see a picture of not only having to forgive, but to comfort the one who has hurt us. Is it not enough that we should have to forgive, but must we be subjected to bring comfort to the very one who has grieved us for the purpose of consoling their grief? Once again we need to look at the behavior of our heavenly Father to be reminded of how we should ourselves behave. Has your heavenly Father comforted you after you have sinned? Of course He has! In Isaiah He says that he has seen the sins of the contrite and yet will still bring healing and comfort.

Our heavenly Father brings comfort to the contrite, but what about those who are not contrite. Perhaps they have not even asked for forgiveness. Should we extend forgiveness to them? Absolutely! By not forgiving we only place ourselves in a prison of misery. Whether or not they have repented, we are the wise one if we choose forgiveness. Think about this. If we do not forgive, is that not sin on our part? Does that not put us in the same category of the one we resent?

Dearest girlfriends, let us free ourselves from the spiritual prison of unforgiveness by choosing to unconditionally love those who have wronged us.

For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins. ~ Matthew 6:14-15 NIV
 
Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?” Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times. ~ Matthew 18:21-22 NIV 
 
… for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. ~ Romans 3:23-24 NIV
 
If anyone has caused grief, he has not so much grieved me as he has grieved all of you, to some extent—not to put it too severely. The punishment inflicted on him by the majority is sufficient for him. Now instead, you ought to forgive and comfort him, so that he will not be overwhelmed by excessive sorrow. I urge you, therefore, to reaffirm your love for him. The reason I wrote you was to see if you would stand the test and be obedient in everything. If you forgive anyone, I also forgive him. And what I have forgiven—if there was anything to forgive—I have forgiven in the sight of Christ for your sake, in order that Satan might not outwit us. For we are not unaware of his schemes. ~ 2 Corinthians 2:5-11 NIV
 
I have seen his ways, but I will heal him; I will guide him and restore comfort to him … ~ Isaiah 57:18 NIV
 
You, then, why do you judge your brother? Or why do you look down on your brother? For we will all stand before God’s judgment seat. It is written: ”‘As surely as I live,’ says the Lord, ‘every knee will bow before me; every tongue will confess to God.’” So then, each of us will give an account of himself to God. ~ Romans 14:10-12 NIV
 
Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. ~ Colossians 3:13 NIV

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