Here’s a test for you to see just how much of a forgiving person you are. Simply answer TRUE or FALSE to each question below:
- A person should not be forgiven until they ask for it? TRUE / FALSE
- Forgiving includes minimizing the offense and the pain caused? TRUE / FALSE
- Forgiveness includes restoring trust and reuniting a relationship? TRUE / FALSE
- You have not really forgiven until you have forgotten the offense? TRUE / FALSE
- When I see somebody hurt, it is my duty to forgive the offender? TRUE / FALSE
If you have read and understand the Bible then you will know that the answer to ALL 5 of these questions is……….FALSE!
What is REAL forgiveness?
A) it is NOT conditional – it is unconditional – you do not earn it – you don’t deserve it – if you say “I will forgive you if…” then you have not truly forgiven
B) it is NOT minimizing the seriousness of the offense – what happened happened and it is not to be made light of
C) it is NOT resuming a relationship without change – the offender must genuinely repent of their offense, they must make restitution, and they must work to rebuild trust
D) it is NOT forgetting what happened – as humans we are incapable of truly forgetting,the offense will always be there in our minds – we must remember the hurt but be on the watch for how God will use it for our good because He always does
E) it is NOT my right to forgive someone when I was not the one hurt – only the victim has the right to forgive those who hurt them – if someone else forgives then the person who was done wrong actually gets doubly hurt
The Bible Gives us 3 Reasons to Forgive Others:
- because God has forgiven you (and much more than you will ever need to forgive others)
- because resentment will control us if we let it
- because we are going to need more forgiveness in the future
So how do we truly forgive others?
- relinquish your need to get even – God will make sure all accounts are settled, and trust me, His punishment for others is always just and matches the offense
- respond to evil with good – people who hurt you will be driven absolutely mad when you return their hate with love
- repeat steps 1 and 2 until you no longer dwell on the hurt
Truly forgiving others does not come easy. It is a process and there is no set amount of time that it will take before you are even ready to forgive someone, but forgive them we must. Each of us have done many wrong things ourselves and we know that we want God’s forgiveness for our wrong doings. God tells us that He will only forgive us if we forgive others. Do not let your own forgiveness be lost by your pride or hurt.
Pastor Brad Komgenick