What is forgiveness?
To forgive means to pardon or to let go. It is an act of pardoning an offender, it is when does not demand payment for a debt. We know we have forgiven someone when our resentment and claims to be compensated for hurt is let go. Jesus used this as a comparison when he taught his followers to pray in Luke 11:4
If we don’t love as God has commanded us, we can’t forgive or let go. This is the same reason why Jesus Christ was sent to die because God loves us and wants us to be reconciled to him.
We offend God daily, our nature is sinful and so God forgives us and leaves his spirit in us so we can extend that hand to others. Our words, actions, thoughts, God overlooks, so if God being our example and his word being our standard, who are we not to forgive? Colossians 3:13, Ephesians 4:32, Matthew 18:21-33.
This shows us that we should forgive and forgive totally, hard as it sounds, it is possible to forget even as humans that we are, all we need to do is ask God for the grace.
What forgiveness is not.
- Condoning the offense.
- Pretending that the offense never happened.
- Allowing others to take advantage of you.
- Forgiving every slight. Sometimes we can choose not to be offended when there is no valid cause. Don’t be quick to take offense. Ecclesiastes 7:9
How to forgive.
- Remember what forgiveness involves, just let it go and not act like it never happened or condone the wrong.
- Recognize the benefits of forgiving. Proverbs 14:30. Peace of mind makes the body healthy and forgiveness improves health and happiness.
- Be empathetic. Remember that we are imperfect, learn to put yourself in the other person’s shoes. James 3:2
- Act quickly. Forgive as soon as you can so you can let go of your anger. Rember that forgiveness is more for you than the other person.