Here are a few thoughts about what forgiveness is… and what it is not.
What Forgiveness Is
- Forgiveness is always a choice—not a feeling. Feelings fluctuate and take time to heal, but you can make the choice to forgive today—it is an act of faith (and faith pleases God – Hebrews 11:6).
- Forgiveness does not seek revenge—it does not relish in imagining harm towards someone nor delight in “getting even”.
- Forgiveness is the final curtain call that signals the show is over—it’s not the dress rehearsal that plays out its lines before an imagined audience. Be careful not to continue talking about a suffered wrong with others, or continuing to self-dialogue about it. That has a tendency to water the roots rather than wither them.
- Forgiveness is strength—not weakness. The flesh delights in holding a grudge (but the spirit is willing to forgive).
- Forgiveness is humility—not humiliation. (“For the LORD takes delight in His people; He crowns the humble with victory.“ Psalm 149:4)
What Forgiveness Is Not
- Forgiveness does not equal trust—if someone steals from you, then don’t trust them with your wallet!
- Forgiveness does not mean you condone or agree with the behaviour.
- Forgiveness does not do away with the law of the land—in the case of a criminal offence, you can be forgiven but still have to serve the time or pay the fine.
- Forgiveness does not always mean forgetting—scars are still reminders, but they are no longer an open and festering wound.
- Forgiveness does not necessarily mean keeping company with someone or letting them back into your life. Some relationships might be unhealthy and unwise. Always seek wisdom.
- Forgiveness is not waiting for an apology—this holds a soul to ransom. The only person you are waiting on is you. Forgiveness is within your power to give!
And forgive us our debts (trespasses and wrong doings), as we have forgiven our debtors [letting go of both the wrong and the resentment].Matthew 6:12
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