Forgiveness is what we all expect to receive, but most of us, hesitate to give. At first, we wonder why we will forgive those that have severely made us unhappy.
But think about it this way? No one is perfect. Christ, through his blood has set us free from destruction, and we are now redeemed through his blood and given perfect hope.
This simply means that he has shown faith in us and let go of all our trespasses. By this, we have a chance for eternal life. That through his grace, love, and forgiveness from God, we’ve been received back to his initial promise of Dominion.
So, what then. Should we forgive others? Are there bible verses about forgiveness that can inspire us?
Faithfulchristian.net has compiled 37 bible verses about forgiving others.
But first, we must understand what forgiveness means.
So what is forgiveness?
Forgiveness is the act of pardoning an offender. In simple terms, we forgive others when we let go of resentment and give up any claim to be compensated for the hurt or loss we have suffered.
As Christians, we must understand the importance of forgiveness and how it adds more value to Christianity.
Matthew 6: 14-15 says; if you forgive those who offend you, your heavenly father will forgive you your sins, which simply means that forgiveness is the very essence of our faith.
Forgiveness is, therefore, a necessary step towards reconciliation.
Why is forgiveness important?
There are numerous benefits of forgiving those that have hurt you. One important benefit is that it brings peace to the mind.
I once quarreled with a friend that lasted for weeks. I was utterly disappointed because he betrayed my trust. With each passing day, I was angry because of his actions.
I never felt peace in my heart because I did not obey God’s command. The moment I decided to let go, I felt relieved of a considerable burden. My heart was at peace with him, and today we are still good friends.
1 Corinthians 13:14 reminds us that love keeps no record of wrongs.
In other words, we cannot forgive others if we do not love them. As Christians, we know we must put on Love.
Think about it this way. We all have sinned. We all have hurt someone else. But we are alive until this day. We breathe, eat and go about our daily activities. Yet, God has not punished us.
This just means God gives us ample time to return to righteousness. If we do, he simply forgives us entirely of all our wrongdoing.
If we simply follow God’s actions and apply them in our daily lives, there will be no reason to feel hurt. Because, before anger gets into the mind, we forgive and move on.
FOUR THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT FORGIVENESS
To forgive not forget:
One misconception about forgiveness is that we must forget the crimes of our offenders entirely. That’s not entirely true.
We are all humans, and God knows our genetic makeup. He has created us in a way that allows us to feel pain.
Each time we get hurt emotionally or physically, we tend to remember how, when and where it happened.
This is necessary to prevent a repeat of similar experiences.
Take for instance that you borrowed a massive sum of money to your friend. As expected, you trust that when the agreed time comes, he will return your money to you.
If he fails to comply, you are hurt. If you should forgive and move on, it does not mean you’ve forgotten your experience with him.
So, the next time he needs your help, you are more cautious about the step you take.
Therefore, while forgiveness is necessary for our faith, it is also important we are careful not to be deceived by the wicked.
This is so because even our heavenly father doesn’t forget but forgives us our sins.
Jeremiah 31: 34 says
No longer will they teach their neighbor,
or say to one another, ‘Know the Lord,’
because they will all know me,
from the least of them to the greatest,”
declares the Lord.
“For I will forgive their wickedness
and will remember their sins no more.”
This verse is a metaphor. For if God could literally forget, that would undermine the truth of his omniscience. God knows everything but has promised never to use it against us.
You may still feel the hurt
To forgive doesn’t mean you any longer feel pain – but you are trending on the path of righteousness for you are Christ representative (a true Christian)
Being a Christian means, you realize you are created in God’s image and likeness, and we have been sent into the world to implement the rule of God on earth.
So, where there is discord, we are to replace with harmony, where there is hatred, we are to replace with agape. Where there is an offense simmering into a deadly conflict, we are to replace it with forgiveness.
Forgiving doesn’t mean you are paving the way for more wrongs.
As Christians, we should know that forgiveness is one of the most powerful responses that we could ever have, for the love of Christ is the only way we can set free of those who really wounded us.
If you’ve forgiven a friend, you have no business thinking about his next action. He may continue in sin, but that’s not our business.
Our role as Christians is to obey the commandments of Christ and show love where necessary.
Pause for a second and think about the current state of Christianity. There are over two billion Christians in the world, and they understand the rules of God.
Yet, they sin even after Christ died on the cross. But has not killed them, but has continued to give them time to come back to their senses.
Therefore, the actions of those you’ve forgiven should never be your concern but complete trust in God’s word.
Forgiveness is not a sign of weakness.
If you decide to forgive your offenders, it shows you believe in the existence and love of Christ our Lord. For love and forgiveness defines our faith as Christians.
We resolve in other to revoke revenge. For if God forgives us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us, it means we obey and hid to the instruction of our maker, thereby resolving to revoke revenge.
Here are two Bible verses about letting go (from God’s perspective)
Colossian 1:13 – 14
For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.
1st John chapter 1:9
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.
So, therefore, if our heavenly father can forgive us our sins, how come we ordinary mortals.
Nevertheless must forgive, forgiving others are the bedrock for our own salvation.
Remember even before the coming of Jesus Christ, we lived in a world of sin and had no hope. We are born into sin by the sin of Adam, but God created a path for us to draw closer to him again by sending His only beloved son Jesus Christ to die for us (John 3:16).
What more can be more than this? He forgave us our sins, and as Christian who believe in God Almighty, we are expected to forgive others too when he offends.
Remember the answer Jesus Christ gave to Peter when Peter asked how many times is expected of him to forgive his brothers and sisters who sin against him up to 7 times, Jesus answered, I tell you not seven times, but seventy-seven times.
This is so inspiring especially when we are so concerned about those that have hurt us repeatedly, we may feel that they do not deserve forgiveness by repeatedly sinning against you, but this bible verse made us understand that we really need to forgive them all the time.
To please our creator, we need to obey His instructions by forgiving our offenders so that he will forgive us too.
WAYS IN WHICH FORGIVENESS AND FAITH TRANSFORM YOU.
Growth in the spiritual realm
Having an unforgiving spirit is not just evil; it is it sets us far from fairing God. It is deadly and disastrous because, if we fail to forgive our offenders, a great punishment awaits us from God.
So for us to grow in the spiritual realm and be in peace with our maker, we need to have a forgiving spirit.
Every relationship can be strengthened by way of forgiveness. This is because in every relationship there must be Ups and downs.
The most important key to such situations is forgiveness thereby preventing further grief particularly if the marriage/relationship impacted by infidelity, lies or other major issues. A forgiving heart is a happy heart.
Having a forgiving spirit as a Christian does not just make us grow in the spiritual realm but also serve as a step or ladder to our upliftment
It is so because forgiveness helps to ease depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues. It improves sleep and boosts your immune system.
Anyone who practices true forgiveness tends to live longer than those that always bears grudges finding it very difficult to forgive those who have wronged them.
More or less we should equally know that it is only when you forgive yourself that you can be able to forgive others because you cannot give what you don’t have.
Forgiveness should not merely be reserved for others; you will also need to forgive yourself from time to time.
Numerous studies indicate that self-forgiveness can lead to positive and mental health outcomes, and the best part of self-forgiveness is prayer. Once you draw closer to God through prayer and acknowledge your intention to follow Christ examples, you will feel a weight lifted off you.
For the book of Acts 3:19 says Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord
When God lifts the burden off you, you will feel the presence all over you, inner joy and peace of mind you will always feel, thereby allowing you to actually follow through your intentions of living out God’s word – for the Bible consistently calls on Christian to display forgiveness even especially when it seems difficult.
As you pursue forgiveness in your relationship and your academic and professional life, you will experience everything turning around for your good, and you will enjoy in life, health and closer relationship with your maker (God Almighty),
This is where forgiveness is so vital because you will need to forgive the transgression. This will not only make you improve in your academic or job performance but also all ramification of life.
WHAT FORGIVENESS DOES NOT MEAN
Allowing others to take advantage of you
Proverb 14 vs. 15 says A simple man believes anything but a prudent man give thought to his steps,
Again, let us assume for instance you lend someone something and couldn’t pay you back as promised, but he apologized and was very sorry for disappointing you.
You could choose to forgive him by not harboring any resentment or rehashing the matter with him continually or perhaps letting go of the debt.
However, you might also choose not to lend him more money. For the wicked borrow and do not repay, but the righteous give generously. Psalm 37 v 21 and also do not be deceived nor discouraged because God cannot be mocked, for a man reaps what he sows. (Galatian 6 vs 7).
Forgiving/pardoning with no valid basis
Proverb 28 v 13 says Whoever conceals their sins does not prosper, but the one who confesses and renounces them finds mercy
The verse of the Bible makes us understand that God does not forgive people who are guilty of willful, malicious sin and who refuse to acknowledge their mistakes, change their ways, and apologize to those who they have wronged.
For if we deliberately keep on sinning after we have receives the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sin is left (Hebrew 10 vs. 26)
Such unrepentant ones become God’s enemies, and he does not require us to forgive those who he has not forgiven, but the bible advises to let go of anger. (Psalm 37.8) While not excusing the error, you can refuse to be consumed with anger. Trust that God will bring the person to account.
Condemning the offense.
The bible actually condemn those who unrepentantly sin for Isaiah 5:20 says woe to those who call evil good and good evil who puts darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter
Akatakpo Dunn is a medical doctor and owns a Christian blog.