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Forgiveness 101

forgiveness on Articles - Forgiveness is a hefty topic and there is a great deal written about it and a plethora of different opinions. Whatever a person has a mind to do, they will probably find enough documentation, pro and con, to do it. If someone wants to hang on to unforgiveness, they will find a way to support their intention. And vice-versa. If one has a heart to forgive, they will find a way to do it, even when it seems impossible.

I’m often amazed when I hear other Christians talk about forgiveness as if it is an option. That’s not what God’s Word says! Forgiveness is a foundational, fundamental instruction in Christianity.

Forgiveness is about humility. It’s about knowing that all have sinned and come short of God’s glory.

Forgiveness is about mercy. It’s about knowing that you, yourself, are a sinner and that had God not had mercy on you, you would be headed for an eternity in hell.

Forgiveness is about the law of love. God so loved the world (YOU!) that He gave His Only Begotten Son! Why? So that you could be forgiven.

It’s about knowing that if you do not forgive, your Father in Heaven will not forgive you. Matthew 6:14-15 says, “For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.”

You see, if you’re asking the question “do I HAVE TO forgive” this person?” then your heart isn’t where it should be in the first place – because out of the heart, the mouth speaks. (Luke 6:25) When your heart is right, even when things may seem very difficult, you will want to do as Jesus did when He said, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do!”

Forgiveness is not however, acknowledging that what the offender did was right or that you accept what they did. But it is giving up the pursuit of retribution.

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