FORGIVENESS AN ACT OF LOVE
The word forgiveness according to the Oxford dictionary means ‘Stop feeling angry or resentful towards (someone) for an offence, flaw, or mistake;
According to the Christians dictionary which is the bible, forgiveness or letting go, simply mean “forgiving as many times as you can, as long as there’s a reason to”.- Matthew 18:22-25.
Two types of forgiveness appear in the Bible:
1) God’s pardon of our sins- Psalm 103: 3, 12.
2) Our obligation to pardon others- Matthew 6:14-15.
The subject of forgiveness is so vital to our eternal destiny. Forgiveness is an act of love. To forgive is not only to pardon, but in the end to love. God’s act of love towards mankind was to send his only son as a propitiation for our sins. That is a supreme act of love, the greatest sacrifice the universe has ever witnessed. -1John 4: 9-10.
Often, we are too hard on ourselves, such that even after we have confessed our sins and received God’s forgiveness, we cannot forgive ourselves. How can you forgive other people, when you cannot even forgive you? We should forgive ourselves for our mistakes, even those things we feel ashamed about, and learn to accept God’s love, knowing that with his help and inspiration we can always gently work at righteousness. For me, the true experience of inner peace began when I was truly able to accept God’s forgiveness and pardon for my sins.
Having received and accepted forgiveness, it is your obligation to do same to others as stated in the book of Matthew 6:12. To be like Christ is to learn to let go of hurt. Where there is forgiveness,
there is God himself. You have to draw from the reservoir of God’s love within you to give forgiveness.
Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with your bare hand with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned. Ephesians 4:26-27-”Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and give no opportunity to the devil”. Do not give the devil a stronghold with which to torture you. Be quick to forgive.
Forgiving those who hurt us is the key to divine peace.
HOW DO I FORGIVE?
-The first step to forgiveness is actually DECIDE to do so. You must decide to let go and let God- Proverbs 16:33.
-When you have decided, then you PRAY about your decision, asking God to help you, knowing that you have no power of your own to do so- Philippians 4:6
-Next you BELIEVE!
‘Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen’. Even if you don’t feel like you’ve forgiven and let go, keep the faith- Mark 11:24.
-Finally, you CONFESS positively. Continually confess that you have forgiven your offender till that confession manifests, and the assurance of your hope is certain- Romans 10:10.
In conclusion, Joyce Meyer says “the act of forgiving is our seed of obedience to God’s Word. Once we’ve sown our seed, He is faithful to bring a harvest of blessing to us one way or another”.
For further Study
Matthew 18:22-25, Proverbs 16:33 Psalm 103: 3, 12.
Personal declaration for the day
Lord, help me to always see the benefit of receiving and giving forgiveness. Today, I receive the grace to let go.
Questions for you to reflect on
What are the steps to forgiveness?