by Rob Campbell
In light of Joelâ€™s post yesterday, let me offer some thoughts about forgiveness. Yes, Iain, I agree with your encouragement to Joel. Thanks for taking the time to encourage him!
First, a few scriptures to ponder.
“If you forgive anyone, I will also forgive him. And what I have forgiven him- I have forgiven in the sight of Christ for your sake, in order that Satan might not outwit us. For we are not unaware of his schemes.â€ II Corinthians 2:10-11
“Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.â€ Ephesians 4:31-32
Most are brilliant concerning why we do not want to forgive others. Some of these reasons are:
ïƒ The offense was too great
ïƒ They do not agree that they offended me
ïƒ They are not truly sorry
ïƒ They’ll do it again
ïƒ They did it again!
ïƒ They did it on purpose
ïƒ Something keeps me from forgiving them
ïƒ I’ll forgive, but I’ll never forget
ïƒ I’ll have to act as if it never happened
Mmmm? Any of these sound familiar?
So, what really is forgiveness? Forgiveness is a spiritual and judicial act where you CHOOSE by an act of your will to forgive based upon what Christ has done for you. Forgiveness is an act of grace.
Jesus said: “If you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.â€
For sure, the primary result of choosing to forgive is freedom. Lewis Smedes writes, â€œWhen you release the wrongdoer from the wrong, you cut a malignant tumor out of your inner life. You set a prisoner free, but you discover that the real prisoner was yourself.â€