Before we can give it, we need to know what it is…
So what exactly is Forgiveness?
That’s a question in dire need of an answer.
More important, its an answer in dire need of an action.
Forgiveness is an ACT of the WILL. It is NOT a feeling. You decide to forgive, you do not feel forgiveness. And yes, after you chose to forgive, you will still hurt, you will still remember, you will still wonder if you should have forgiven.
We all know its not easy to forgive. We must remember that most of the best things in life can be hard at times – marriage, raising children, managing God’s money all take a ton of willpower, consistent decision making and follow-through. But over time the hard things in life yield enormous benefits.
Get over the idea that you will feel like forgiving someone. That’s like feeling genuine love for your enemies. Won’t happen at first. God rarely commands us to feel anything. We ARE commanded to DO many things. And forgiveness is right up there at the top of the list.
So what, after all is this action?
I believe the Bible tells us forgiveness is three things:
1. It is a decision of the will not to retaliate.
2. It is a decision of the will to release them of their debt to you.
3. It is a decision of the will to bear the pain of their sin on yourself.
Those three reasons call for heavy-lifting discipleship. But Jesus never said this would be easy. He told us to pick up our cross and follow.
Remember you’ve been forgiven way more than you will ever have to forgive. Jesus came to seek and save-not retaliate against your evil deeds. Jesus came to release you of your debt owed to God. Jesus came to bear the pain of your sin on Himself. And He did all that so we would be able to do the same for others.
Notice that half the word spells out the nature of this action – “give” – forgiveness is a gift. Undeserved. Unearned. That’s why its called a GIFT. What better time to forGIVE than the GIVING season of Christmas?
I’m praying you will do it, because you probably won’t feel it.