The Truth of Forgiveness
The Truth of Forgiveness
We have given an example of forgiveness and an example of bitterness. The most important thing about forgiveness is: What does God’s Word teach us about forgiveness? We will be delving into the promises and the myths that we will find in God’s Word. We want to glean from God’s word specifically how to go about implementing forgiveness in our lives. How do we emulate God’s grace and mercy as we interact with others. There are no silver bullets or magical words or secret formulas that we will find in God’s Word. It is a choice that each of us must make in our dealings with individuals in our daily lives. Forgiveness is not a method to be learned as much as a truth to be lived. The concept of forgiveness is not foreign to us. It’s unlikely that you will discover many profound new insights as you study God’s Word.
We know that we should forgive others. In many situations it’s extremely difficult and we feel like it is impossible to forgive them. The biggest problem that I have had in my life, and possibly you have had in your life is very simply that we have not made the choice to forgive in all situations. We must consciously make the choice of the pathway of forgiveness with all of its risk and difficulties. I’m not implying that what you or I have suffered is not real. It is very real and very difficult in some situations. You may have endured an unspeakable evil treatment at the hands of a close friend or relative, or a complete stranger. Some may insist that you need to “forgive and forget,” the truth is, forgiveness at its best requires that you face how badly you have been hurt. Somewhere along the way you will discover a truth: whatever sin has been committed against you, the choice not to forgive is itself a serious sin. In fact failing to forgive can often bring about problems in your life that are worse and more long-term than the pain of the original offense.
It is my prayer for you because I know that most believers are faced with the ripple effects of unforgiveness in some form or another. It affects all of mankind. Unforgiveness will destroy marriages, churches, workplaces, ministries, and long-term friendships. At this very moment there may be a strong resentment within you. As the result of something or someone that offended you. You don’t have to go on with that deep resentment. You can make a choice to forgive. The writer of Hebrews states: Hebrews 12:15 See to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God; that no “root of bitterness” springs up and causes trouble, and by it many become defiled. These words are inspired words of God and He states: “See to it”. See to it that you earnestly seek the grace of God and that you will release any hostility or bitterness that you may have for another individual. That is exactly what God’s desire for you.
Oswald Chambers states it this way: “We talk glibly about forgiving when we have never been injured; when we are injured we know that it is not possible, apart from God’s grace, for one human being to forgive another.”