Wikipedia defines forgiveness as, “the process of concluding resentment, indignation or anger as a result of a perceived offense, difference or mistake, and/or ceasing to demand punishment or restitution.
Forgiveness has been on my heart a lot lately, not necessarily because I have been hurt and need to forgive, but just sitting at the back of my mind. It has been the focal point in our small group for the last 2 Sundays, and this morning, our Pastor spoke on overcoming bitterness.
Forgiveness is something we all struggle with, either because it is hard for us to forgive someone else or ourselves; or we are wishing someone would forgive us.
As humans, I’m not sure we are capable of complete and total forgiveness. I say this because, we in our sinful nature, can forgive to a point. I believe that only Jesus can completely pardon a sin.
Now this does not mean we cannot strive towards completely forgiving someone for an offense. This mini-series will cover the steps to take in order to forgive for yourself, forgive the other person(s), and moving beyond bitterness to forgiveness.
Forgiveness does not mean you forget. I believe that once you have truly forgiven a person, you still remember the wrong, but it doesn’t hurt as badly as it once did. And once that person begins to try and earn your trust again, that is when the forgetting begins.
Do you think we, as sinners saved by Grace, are capable of complete and total forgiveness. Why or why not?
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Mandy Roberson says
What an amazing post! Wow! And so true! Have you ever read To Forgive is Human? It’s an incredible book about forgiveness and our human struggles with it. I totally agree with you – I do not think that humanly we are capable of complete forgiveness. When God sees us, we are covered in His Son’s precious blood. We cannot see others that way – at least not yet!
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I think there’s a difference between forgiveness and pardoning of sins. To me, forgiveness means acknowledging that someone did something wrong, understanding why they did it, and loving them in spite of whether or not it caused you pain. For example, if you accidentally drop something on my foot, I can understand that it was an accident, forgive you, and still love you as a fellow daughter of Christ. I know it seems like a small example, but the truth behind it could be applied to larger scenarios as well, although it may require more prayer and more understanding for more serious matters.
As for pardoning of sins, I agree that this is something that only the Lord can do, but we already know that those who seek forgiveness from the Lord will receive his mercy, love and grace. So if God can forgive them, who am I to insist on holding a grudge?
While our emotions may want us to still be hurt/angry or upset, Christ would have us forgive and love. All things are possible through Christ who strengthens us – including forgiveness! Just my 2 cents. 🙂
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I should add that forgiving someone doesn’t mean you should put yourself in a situation where they can continue to hurt you. We should forgive, but we should also be wise….
I stumbled upon you for this exact post! 🙂 I am in the midst of truly exploring forgiving my father for things done in the recent past and things done years ago, that I had thought I had forgiven him for. Which I had not. So I am looking forward to your thoughts on this subject and venturing through this season of my life. It is interesting how you bring up the idea of our sinful nature and that we may not be able to completely forgive……that will be something I pray about. Thanks