Wednesday, 13 September 2017

The Truth About Forgiveness


The Bible makes it clear that the only way we can put negative parts of the past behind us is through unlimited forgiveness.

Our problem with forgiving comes from Four Myths about it.

1. Myth: Forgiveness is something we do quickly. Sometimes it takes time for us to work through the hurts involved.

We cant easily forgive because sin does real, lasting damage.

Yet God has made forgiveness  possible through completed work of Jesus Christ on the cross.

If we are willing to take the necessary time to forgive, we can do it.

2. Myth: Forgiveness is  the same as condoning what the person did.

Many people withhold forgiveness because they believe that to forgive is to condone the offense that occurred.

But true forgiveness never condones the wrong. No one hates sin more than God, yet God forgives.

Sin  is serious that is made clear by the high price that Jesus Christ paid on the cross.
When you forgive, you acknowledge that wrong has been done, but you don't condone it.

3. Myth: In order to forgive, you must forget. You often support this mistaken idea with verses such as psalm 103:12, which says that God removes our sins "as far away from us as the east is from the west" that is, he "forgets."
But when you insist that your forgiving must be just like God's, you lose sight of the fact that God doesn't need to learn from the experience, you do and to learn, you must remember.

If you do not, you will repeatedly place yourself in hurtful situations.

To forgive does not necessarily mean to forget.

4. Myth: Forgiveness and reconciliation are the same. Some believe that in order to forgive you must first be reconciled with the offender.

We read Matthew 5:23 "apologise and be reconciled" and believe that this teaching makes forgiveness and reconciliation the same.

But what if the person I am seeking to forgive refuses to be reconciled? Then  am  i unable to forgive? Not at all.

Forgiveness and reconciliation are completely separate.

When one person refuses reconciliation, the other can still forgive.

The Truth About Forgiveness

Forgiveness is the cancelling of a debt that cannot be paid.

We God forgave all our sins, "he took this list of sins and destroyed it by nailing it to Christ's cross" Col. 2:14.

Whatever someone has done to you, you need to acknowledge that  you can never "pay the debt."

When a bank cannot collect payment on a debt, it carefully investigates whether there is any hope of ever collecting payment, and if there isn't, It forgives the loan, cancels the debt.

You must learn to forgive others regardless of their ability or willingness to "pay the debt" you feel they owe you for whatever wrong was done.

Most often, whatever is owed to you can never be  paid back anyway.

In Jesus' day, the rabbis said that a person should forgive three times.

Why did Jesus stretch Peter's generous offer to the exorbitant number of 490 times? Because he wants us to realize that forgiveness is at the very heart of God.

If you want to be free from the bondage of the past, you can get that freedom through forgiving.

We are like the servant in the parable of the unforgiving debtor Matt 18:23-25, who was forgiven a debt he could never repay.

Gratitude for our canceled debt must make us into forgiving people. We have been forgiven, and now we need to go home and forgive. Its not easy, but families who do will thrive.

Question

What happens if the other person denies the issue or refuses to hear us out? Can we be reconciled and still forgive? See Matthew 5:23-24 and also Genesis 26:26-29.

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