Be kind…forgiving each other…‘ Ephesians 4:32 NIV
Here are four things you need to know about forgiveness:
(1) Forgiveness doesn’t make what happened to you right; it means you’ve made a decision not to let it control your life. By forgiving and attempting to restore the relationship, you reclaim your peace of mind. If the other person refuses to acknowledge what happened or that it was wrong, the offence can and should still be forgiven. Forgiveness doesn’t depend on the other person; it depends on you.
(2) Forgiveness matters, even when the offender refuses to admit guilt. When you wait for someone to admit they were wrong, you’re placing your future in their hands. Forgiveness is first and foremost for your own benefit, not the benefit of others. By forgiving, you’re letting the pain and hurt go and moving forward.
(3) Your willingness to forgive can move the other person to seek forgiveness. Perhaps the person who hurt you doesn’t feel they deserve to be forgiven. Or they may know what they did was wrong, but lack the courage to step forward and ask for forgiveness. When you make the first move, it opens the door and allows them to reach out and find mercy and understanding.
(4) Forgiveness is easier when you accept that we all need it. When you refuse to forgive because you think someone’s offences are greater than your own, that’s pride. And ‘…God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble‘ (1 Peter 5:5 NLT). The Bible says, ‘Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.‘
Once you realise the depth of God’s grace toward you, it’s easier to extend grace to others.
Soul Food: Deut 14-17; Matt 8:1-17; Ps 37:32-40; Pro 12:4-6
Written by Bob & Debby Gass
Wednesday, 6 May 2015