CBN is carrying a timely article on forgiveness by Cathy Arrington. I thought you would find it useful, given the terrible stuff in the news today. –Brian
We all appreciate being forgiven, but forgiving others, especially when they have wounded us, feels like a different thing. Emotions get involved. We decide they need to suffer for the hurt they’ve caused, and we delay offering forgiveness, sometimes for years, decades, or forever.
Getting Even Instead of Forgiving
When we hurt, we want the person who is the source or that wound to hurt as much as we do. But the Bible provides a different perspective.
“Dear friends, never avenge yourselves. Leave that to God, for he has said that he will repay those who deserve it. Don’t take the law into your own hands” (Romans 12:19TLB).
Forgiving Those Who Don’t Ask for Forgiveness
As Jesus suffered on the cross, he asked God to forgive those who wrongly condemned him to death. Often those who offend us never ask for our forgiveness or admit any wrong-doing. Forgiving these people is perhaps the hardest. But Jesus is our example for forgiving those who don’t appear to be sorry or ask to be forgiven.
“Father, forgive them for they do not know what they are doing” (Mark 11:25 NIV).
“The one who forgives an offense seeks love, but whoever repeats a matter separates close friends” (Proverbs 17:9 NET).
While it may seem forgiving others is to their advantage, you are really the one who benefits most. Unforgiveness breeds anger, and swallowed anger results in depression. When you choose to forgive others, you give yourself a gift. Once you decide to forgive, you can move on with your life instead of stagnating in hurt and resentment, and in forgiving, you mirror a forgiving God.
“If you forgive those who sin against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you. But if you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins” (Matthew 6: 14-15NLT).
“Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others” (Colossians 3:13 NLT).
“Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you” (Ephesians 4:32 NIV).
You can read the rest of the article here…