Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you. (Eph. 4:32).
Forgiveness. We all need it, and we all have plenty of opportunities to offer it to others. Forgiveness is needed because we have all sinned against God and sinned against others. We all must choose to forgive because we have all been sinned against by someone else.
Here is a biblical outline of the principles of forgiveness. I hope you will take time this weekend to look up and read the Scriptures.
- 1. Forgiveness is an act of obedience to God (Lk. 17:3-10, Eph. 4:32).
- 2. Forgiveness must be granted from the heart. (Mt. 18:35).
- 3. Forgiveness gives the offender what he needs rather than what he deserves. (Ps. 103:10, Rom. 5:8).
- 4. Forgiveness is to be granted when requested without limitation (Mt. 18:21-22, Lk. 17:3-4).
- 5. Forgiveness is the love of Jesus Christ in action and is a promise to:
- Not keep a record of wrongs suffered. (1 Cor. 13:5).
- Not gossip about a person’s sins to others (Eph. 4:29).
- Not dwell on the offense yourself (Phil. 4:8).
- Restore fellowship with the forgiven person or offender, as far as is biblically possible. (Rom. 12:18, 2 Cor. 2:6-8).
The sad outcome of rejecting biblical forgiveness is broken relationships, anger, bitterness, and loss of joy. The most miserable people are not those who have been sinned against. The most miserable people are those who have been sinned against and refuse to forgive.
You have been forgiven to forgive! Enjoy the freedom, peace, and joy that can be yours through forgiveness.
Have a great Friday! Hope to see you at church on Sunday.