1. To excuse for a fault or an offense; pardon.
2. To renounce anger or resentment against.
3. To absolve from payment of (a debt, for example).
Forgiveness is something that I really struggle with. It goes hand in hand with anger and bitterness. Someone makes me angry, I refuse to "forgive and forget", then I get bitter. Sometimes it just seems easier to be angry instead of forgiving. I mean, WHY would I want to forgive someone only to run the risk of them doing the same thing again? And then, do I just forgive them again? Yep. Why? Because God says to.
- Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?” Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times. Matthew 18:21-22
Ummm, really God? SEVENTY SEVEN TIMES!! And God says this...
- For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins. Matthew 6:14-15
But God, they hurt me!!! And God says, You hurt me and I forgive you daily. REALITY CHECK.
We must forgive to be forgiven. Our responsibility to those who persecute us, is to forgive them, love them and pray for them. God WILL avenge us of those who have wronged us.
- Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. Colossians 3:13
- But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you. Matthew 5:44
- Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord. Romans 12:19
I am so amazed that God still thinks I am worthy of forgiveness. And not only does he forgive me, he FORGETS!
- For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more. Hebrews 8:12
Forgiving someone is definitely not easy, but it's a choice we have to make in order to be obedient to what God has called us to do. God says that we are to rid ourselves of anger, rage and malice... (Colossians 3:8) And not to let the sun go down while you are still angry. (Ephesians 4:26) Will you be angry again? Of course, I know I will be. But being angry at someone else for their sin is doing nothing but hurting you. God deals with each of us on his own terms. It is not my responsibility to judge or condemn someone else for their wrong doings. (Luke 6:37) My responsibility to them? Forgiveness and unconditional love. There is so much freedom in letting go of the crap and forgiving. Don't believe me? Try it.
Happy Thursday Y'all!