Let’s Talk About Forgiveness.
How would you define forgiveness? As a feeling? As an act? Is it turning the other cheek? Is it justifying the behavior of another?
Forgiveness is defined as an act of the will, done by faith before God, in which we give up our rights to hold another person accountable for the wrong they have done to us (Co 2:12-13).
Wait…give up my rights?
Yes! Absolutely! Give up your rights!
Because it frees us, that’s why. Forgiveness is a part of surrender and a necessary element to experience Christ as Life and true freedom from your past. Forgiveness is not natural to us. It is not a feeling. Forgiveness is a decision, a choice and it is a process.
Let’s look at some truths about what forgiveness is as well as some common misconceptions about forgiveness and then some of the results of not forgiving.
First, the truths about forgiveness:
- We do not deserve forgiveness
- Forgiveness is erasing what is due us, canceling the debt owed, and giving up all claims to it
- Because God gave it to us, it is to be passed on to others.
- To not forgive someone results in personal torture and inner torment….forgiveness of someone else is for us.
- Forgiveness brings peace and joy.
- God forgives
Second, some misconceptions or myths about forgiveness:
- Forgiveness is the absence of anger.
- Forgiveness is justifying or explaining someone’s behavior.
- Forgiveness is asking God to forgive someone who has wronged you.
- Forgiveness is reconciliation or restoration of the relationship.
Third, the results of not forgiving:
- Can lead to becoming defensive, demanding, critical, jealous, bitterness.
- Can lead to excuse-making, perfectionism, rationalization, emotionally withdrawing, avoiding conflict.
- Can lead to mental, emotional and physical problems.
Matthew 18:21-25 covers several important aspects of forgiveness. It is a gift we do not deserve. Once forgiveness is received, it is to be passed on to others. When we forgive, we give up claims to that debt ever being repaid. Forgiveness is for us. Forgiveness is for you! Even God forgave for His own sake! Isaiah 43:25 states, “I, even I am the One who wipes out your transgression for my own sake, and I will not remember your sins.”
So, forgiveness is important! It’s important to God! It’s important for you!
Do you have unresolved hurt and anger in your life? Is there someone that you need to forgive but you just don’t know how? Forgiveness is a process and there is an effective way to forgive someone. Please consider joining us on Saturday as we go more in-depth on what forgiveness is and what that process looks like! Or, give us a call and we would be more than happy to talk to you!
Click below to register or for more information!
Copyright 2016: Grace Ministries Discipleship Counseling Process