A definition for forgiveness could be -- giving up my right to hurt you, for hurting me. It is impossible to live on this fallen planet without getting hurt, offended, misunderstood, lied to, and rejected. Learning how to respond properly is one of the basics of the Christian life.
The word “forgive” means to wipe the slate clean, to pardon, to cancel a debt. When we wrong someone, we seek his or her forgiveness in order for the relationship to be restored. It is important to remember that forgiveness is not granted because a person deserves to be forgiven. Instead, it is an act of love, mercy, and grace. Admiting that you are hurt, but willing to give up claims for restitution.
Offering forgiveness is hard for us. When we are hurt or disappointed, we want to be repaid for the grief and inconvenience that we’ve suffered. It only seems right. But the Bible says, forgive as the Lord forgave you. Through Christ, all our sins are taken away freely and completely. To forgive as the Lord forgives requires that we let others off the hook with no compensation requested or paid.
We don’t understand the value of forgiveness because we are flawed not just in our relationships but also in our thinking. It takes strength to put aside our thirst for vengeance and offer mercy instead. It takes a loving heart to work through angry feelings and reach out to embrace those who have hurt you. It takes wisdom to understand that no one is faultless and entitled to claim the moral high ground in a dispute.
4 Then Joseph said to his brothers, “Come close to me.” When they had done so, he said, “I am your brother Joseph, the one you sold into Egypt! 5 And now, do not be distressed and do not be angry with yourselves for selling me here, because it was to save lives that God sent me ahead of you. 6 For two years now there has been famine in the land, and for the next five years there will be no plowing and reaping. 7 But God sent me ahead of you to preserve for you a remnant on earth and to save your lives by a great deliverance.[a] 8 “So then, it was not you who sent me here, but God. He made me father to Pharaoh, lord of his entire household and ruler of all Egypt. Genesis 50:20
20 You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives. 1 Samuel 24:3-7
3 He came to the sheep pens along the way; a cave was there, and Saul went in to relieve himself. David and his men were far back in the cave. 4 The men said, “This is the day the LORD spoke of when he said[a] to you, ‘I will give your enemy into your hands for you to deal with as you wish.’” Then David crept up unnoticed and cut off a corner of Saul’s robe. 5 Afterward, David was conscience-stricken for having cut off a corner of his robe. 6 He said to his men, “The LORD forbid that I should do such a thing to my master, the LORD’s anointed, or lay my hand on him; for he is the anointed of the LORD.” 7 With these words David sharply rebuked his men and did not allow them to attack Saul. And Saul left the cave and went his way. 1Samuel 26:8-11
Abishai said to David, "Today God has delivered your enemy into your hands. Now let me pin him to the ground with one thrust of my spear; I won't strike him twice." 9 But David said to Abishai, "Don't destroy him! Who can lay a hand on the LORD's anointed and be guiltless? 10 As surely as the LORD lives," he said, "the LORD himself will strike him; either his time will come and he will die, or he will go into battle and perish. 11 But the LORD forbid that I should lay a hand on the LORD's anointed. Now get the spear and water jug that are near his head, and let's go." Hebrews 12:15
15 See to it that no one falls short of the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many.
Fearing God means having such a reverence for Him that it has a great impact on the way we live our lives. The fear of God is...
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