STANDING STRONG THROUGH THE STORM
WHAT FORGIVENESS IS AND IS NOT
Bear with each other and forgive
whatever grievances you may have against one
another. Forgive as the Lord
forgave you. Colossians 3:13
To understand forgiveness we must realize
what forgiveness is NOT:
· Forgiveness is not forgetting. Deep hurts can
rarely be wiped out of one’s
· Forgiveness is not
reconciliation. Reconciliation takes two persons, but an
injured party can
forgive an offender without reconciliation.
· Forgiveness is not condoning. Forgiveness does not necessarily excuse bad or
· Forgiveness is not dismissing. It involves taking the offense
passing it off as inconsequential or insignificant.
Forgiveness is not a vague notion of ‘tolerance’. This is, at best,
low-grade parody of forgiveness. At worst, it’s a way of sweeping the
issues in life under the carpet.
· Forgiveness is not pardoning.
A pardon is a legal transaction that releases
an offender from the
consequences of an action, such as a penalty.
Throughout the Old
Testament we read that only God can forgive sins. We hear
David exclaim, “He
forgives all my sins…” (Psalm 103:3). We also see examples
forgiveness—even in pain—like Joseph forgiving his brothers for
into slavery. Joseph gains true freedom. He then names his son
who causes to be forgotten.”
In the New Testament we see Jesus, the Lamb
of God, come into to the world to
die for our sins. Through His shed blood we
can once and for all receive
ultimate forgiveness. This is the pure “gospel
of grace.” This forgiveness is
a gift. We do not deserve it but God, in His
grace, reached out to provide
forgiveness to a dying world.
read in the verse above the impact of this on those of us who have
that forgiveness. Its ethical challenge parallels “love your enemies”
“pray for your persecutors.”
In the final analysis, forgiveness is an act
of faith. By forgiving another, I
am trusting that God is a better
justice-maker than I am. By forgiving, I
release my own right to get even and
leave all issues of fairness for God to
work out. I leave in God’s hands the
scales that must balance justice and
mercy. I simply forgive others and leave
them to God.
RESPONSE: Today I will leave fairness and justice in God’s
hands. I will
obediently forgive others just as the Lord forgave
PRAYER: Lord, grant me the faith to trust You with the offenses
against me. I will forgive.