Sunday, October 18, 2015


I have been seeing, hearing, experiencing a lot that has to do with forgiveness lately. Forgiveness is obviously very important; both to give and to get. God tells us to forgive those who have wronged us. Our lovely human, sinful nature does not always like to do that, though. We hold grudges, we get angry, we seek revenge, we do not forgive. Now, that is not all the time, but a pretty good amount of it we try to get around actually forgiving someone because to us, that seems like defeat, or at least giving in a bit. Okay, maybe that's just me, who knows. The point is, treat others the way you want to be treated. You would want to be forgiven if your roles were switched. There are some things that need to be addressed, though, within this whole forgiveness thing.

1. Sometimes someone cannot seem to forgive you right when you say you are sorry. That is okay. I know, I just said that we need to forgive and not hold grudges, but that is much easier said than done. Most of he time when the other person says that they need time to think about it, they are mostly thinking through, going through some stages of grief possibly, and moving on. Sometimes we need that. Time can heal a lot of things. We cannot just be expected to jump right back to you because you said you were sorry- which brings me to #2.

2. Just because someone forgave you, that does not mean that things are going to go back to the way that they were before. Neither of you can erase what has happened, but if you really care about each other you can work through it together, and get past it- together. Forgiveness doesn't always mean fresh start. It can, eventually, but if you go into it with that expectation then things will go to crap really fast. The term "Forgive and forget" is much easier said than done. Things are not easily forgotten, but they can be worked through and moved past.

3. If you are saying sorry simply because it seems like the right thing to do but you are not actually that sorry, forget it. I know, this one is just in here because some people irk me. If you are not actually sorry, then save it, and let the person move on. I hope it eats at you, because you should be asking for forgiveness, whether you want to have a relationship, friendship or otherwise, with that person, or not. They need to know you are sorry so you can both just move past it.

4. Saying "It's okay" does not always equal "I forgive you". Please, for the sake of so many people's sanity's, be specific. Make sure they know that you forgave them. That does not mean that you have to welcome them back into your life like nothing happened. Especially in a case where the person apologizing feels absolutely terrible about what they did, hearing "it's okay" feels like you are just trying to brush it off and you don't care. Those three words "I forgive you" do a lot for a person.

We are all sinful and we all need forgiveness. The awesome news is that Jesus died on the cross to save us from our sins and he forgives us of all our sins.

"You forgave the iniquity of your people; you covered all their sin." Psalm 85:2

If you repent of your sins, the forgiveness is right there for you.

"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

So, yes, in this life, in our relationships, we will have to apologize and we will need to forgive. But we are not perfect. And we cannot expect others to be either. While forgiveness seems like it should be instant, some things take time. Give them that time. Forgiveness will come if you are genuinely sorry. If you have wronged someone, apologize. If someone has wronged you and they apologize, forgive them. But you do not have to do it right then and there. Taking time to process is okay, but do not forget to forgive.

"Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive." Colossians 3:13

Most importantly, though, remember that you are forgiven by God. Think about how terrible you would feel if you did not know that you were forgiven for all of the terrible, sinful things that you have done. Christ's forgiveness brings peace. That, above all else, should bring some joy to your life.

"To him all the prophets bear witness that everyone who believes in Him receives forgiveness of sins through His name." Acts 10:43

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