How to Practice Forgiveness in Church and Organisations
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9 (KJV)
What exactly is Forgiveness? What does the word Forgive mean?
Dictionary Definition says-
“cease to feel angry or resentful ; pardon( an offender or offence). It means to stop being angry with someone who has done something wrong.
In order words it means to deal with a feeling of anger or resentment that exists towards another person.
Facts about Forgiveness
1.IT IS UNCONDITIONALLY CONDITIONAL BASED ON TERMS OF AGREEMENT
In every organization there are systems in operation and terms and conditions apply. The church is not different. For example, if the church requires every member to go through the believer’s class before becoming a worker in the church, it would be offensive of anyone to say I will not go through the believer’s class and will work in the church anyway and the person goes on to do whatever their hand can do, and claim they are serving God. That is wrong and offensive . Some people believe that rules don’t apply to them. But for any organization to be successful there must be systems in place and should be adhered to . To disregard this process is breaks the system and you become an offender. And in that case you must make necessary adjustment to repair any damage caused. This means conditions must be met before forgiveness can be given. Forgiveness becomes conditional if you have terms, conditions and agreement but remains unconditional in that the offended should not continue his life I anger and resentment in the event that the offender chooses not to plead guilty or ask for forgiveness.
14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. 2 Chron 7:14 (KJV)
It seems that whenever you read or hear a message on forgiveness, it comes across as if it is to be given out “unconditionally.” But the Bible doesn’t say that. It tells you that you should “Forgive as the Lord forgave you.”
While God’s forgiveness is undeserved, it isn’t unconditional. Jesus paid for our sins. Notice the conditional words [if] in the verses above. Those verses, and many others like them, make it very evident that the Lord’s forgiveness is offered only to those who confess their sin and repent.
On the surface, it might seem more spiritual and Christlike to forgive unconditionally. But unconditional forgiveness may be motivated more by fear than by love. And because of this it’s usually destructive.
For example, if a wife continues to forgive an unfaithful and abusive husband unconditionally, her toleration of his behavior will probably result in even more abuse and disrespect. This kind of “unconditional” forgiveness expresses a determination to cling to the abuser. No matter how bad things are, this woman fears that things will probably get worse if she holds her husband accountable. Therefore, she forgives him whether he repents or not. Her passive acceptance of his behavior will probably encourage him to continue in his sin. The husband has not kept the terms of good marriage. Therefore a change is required.
19 A man of great wrath shall suffer punishment: for if thou deliver him, yet thou must do it again. Prov 19:19 (KJV)
The Lord’s specific teaching about forgiveness in Luke 17.3-4 makes it clear that forgiveness should always be conditioned upon “repentance”
3 Take heed to yourselves: If thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke him; and if he repent, forgive him. 4 And if he trespass against thee seven times in a day, and seven times in a day turn again to thee, saying, I repent; thou shalt forgive him. Luke 17:3-4 (KJV)
For further Study
Colossians 3:13, Ephesians 4:32
Personal declaration for the day
I receive a repentant heart.
Questions for you to reflect on
Are you always right?
What do you do when you find that you are wrong ?