Last month in our victory group, we discussed about offense and forgiveness. Since it’s holy week, I thought it apt to share some of the things we talked about.
FORGIVENESS IS FOR YOU. When you forgive, it does not release the offending person, but it releases you. When you let go of the offense, you are letting God take over, making the person no longer accountable to you, but accountable to God. It releases you from your own anger, therefore frees you from the power of bitterness, and therefore frees you from any hold of the enemy.
FORGIVENESS IS A CHOICE. You cannot base forgiveness on how you feel. The desire to forgive may never come. It is a choice you need to make. It may take a while in certain cases, for the desire to follow, but your heart may never follow if you don’t decide in your mind to forgive first. Choose to forgive. God will supply you with the grace you need to follow through.
FORGIVENESS IS AN ACT OF HUMILITY. Sometimes we think we are doing the other person a favor when we forgive them. That’s not true forgiveness, because forgiveness operates in humility, not pride.
Other times, we withhold forgiveness because we are too proud. They may not deserve to be forgiven, but didn’t God forgive you too even when you didn’t deserve it? It takes humility to forgive.
FORGIVENESS IS AN ACT OF LOVE. It is an act of love toward the person who has offended you and it is an act of love for God. When you forgive, you make the person or your relationship with that person more important than the offense. When you forgive, you obey God’s command to forgive, sometimes even if it kills you, out of your love for Him. Forgiving doesn’t make the offense right, but IT MAKES JESUS LORD. It is such a powerful act that you hit all the commandments when you do it — love God and love others.
Many times, it is hard to forgive, especially when it’s the people close to us who hurt us. But I believe that the degree you know you are forgiven by God is directly related to the degree you forgive. The more grateful you are for God’s grace, love and mercy in your life, the more you will be willing to forgive others.