Messages from Leaders
If God did not withhold his forgiveness from us, why should we withhold forgiveness from another? This question presents another reason to pray for the person we need to forgive.
We can pray and ask God to deal with the injustices. We can trust God to judge that person's life, and then we ought to leave that prayer at the altar. We no longer have to carry the anger.
What Does the Bible Say About Forgiveness?
Although it is normal for us to feel anger toward sin and injustice, it is not our job to judge the other person in their sin. The best reason to forgive is simple: Jesus commanded us to forgive. We learn from scripture in context to forgiveness that if we don't forgive, neither will we be forgiven:. In summary, we forgive out of obedience to the Lord. It is a choice, a decision we make. However, as we do our part "forgiving," we discover the command to forgive is in place for our own good, and we receive the reward of our forgiveness, which is spiritual freedom.
Share Flipboard Email. Table of Contents Expand. Is forgiveness a conscious choice, or an emotional state? How do we forgive when we don't feel like it?
Forgiveness: Letting go of grudges and bitterness - Mayo Clinic
How do we translate our decision to forgive into a change of heart? How will we know if we have truly forgiven? What if the person we need to forgive is not a believer? Is it okay to feel anger and want justice for the person we need to forgive? Why must we forgive? Mary Fairchild is a full-time Christian minister, writer, and editor of two Christian anthologies, including "Stories of Cavalry. Updated April 26, Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another.
Forgive as the Lord forgave you. Colossians , NIV. Hebrews , NLT. And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns. Philippians , NLT.
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Most of the time forgiveness is a slow process:. Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, "Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times? We are called to love our neighbors and our enemies and pray for those who hurt us:. But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you! In that way, you will be acting as true children of your Father in heaven.
For he gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and he sends rain on the just and the unjust alike. If you love only those who love you, what reward is there for that? Even corrupt tax collectors do that much. If you are kind only to your friends, how are you different from anyone else? Even pagans do that.
But you are to be perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect. Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.
Luke , NIV. For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. There are people, like Nelson Mandela, who experienced some of the worst possible situations in life but were still able to create remarkable, positive change, and then there are those who let themselves get worked up by even the smallest inconvenience. You think that everyone should behave in a certain way, and when someone surprises you with his or her choices, you lash out. To be truly joyful in life, you need to let go of your expectations.
Every single person on the planet has problems, be they big or small. Problems call us to a higher level — face and solve them now. What if instead of focusing on the bad in the world, you turned all your energy toward the good? This is part of believing that your life is happening for you. This will help you to forgive more quickly, and, ultimately, waste less time being unhappy. Say you got fired from your job and had no idea it was coming.
Sure, you can be angry about losing the position. You can choose to hate your boss and resent your coworkers for not clueing you into what was coming.
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The only thing you can do is choose to free yourself from the negative story of what happened to you and choose to work toward a new, brighter future. You can experience tremendous amounts of pain in life, but those who are able to forgive and move past these instances are a hundred times happier than those who hold on to their suffering. Imagine a life free from resentment and limits.
Imagine a life where you can accomplish anything you set your mind on. You can find this clarity of purpose, but first you have to find forgiveness. We celebrate leaders like Nelson Mandela because of their steadfast commitment to their cause and the heroic actions they undertake because of it. However, we also celebrate them for the small things that make them human, like embracing grace and forgiveness.