Wednesday, July 16, 2008

The possibility of forgiveness

Jesus makes it very clear that forgiveness is not optional. Check this out:
For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins. - Matthew 6:14-15
So, why do we sometimes have a hard time forgiving others? Often it is because we have an incorrect understanding of what forgiveness is and what it isn’t. Following are three misconceptions: (1) If we forgive, we are essentially condoning what was done, but forgiveness never condones or excuses a wrong. (2) If we forgive, we must forget. Forgetting the hurt is not commanded, but forgiving the person is. (3) If we forgive, we must also reconcile. Scripture requires and demands forgiveness, but reconciliation is an option. Forgiveness and reconciliation are separate concepts. Reconciliation should always be the objective, but it is not mandatory. Scripture tells us to make every effort to live at peace with others. However, it takes two to reconcile and we cannot force reconciliation upon others. But, we can always forgive others in our own hearts. Forgiveness is mandatory.

Remember, we have been given all we need for life and godliness in Christ Jesus. The kingdom of God has come. Forgiveness is not only commanded, but it is also completely possible for those who are in Christ Jesus. AMEN!

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