First, we must establish that there is the act of being forgiven and the act of offering forgiveness. We’ll talk about these one at a time.
Definition of FORGIVEtransitive verb
1a : to give up resentment of or claim to requital for <forgive an insult> b : to grant relief from payment of <forgive a debt>
2: to cease to feel resentment against (an offender) : pardon <forgive one's enemies>
Forgive. To let go. A visual that we can better understand (because the emotion is removed) is the forgiveness of a debt. How would you feel if your mortgage company sent you a letter saying your debt was forgiven, your balance was now $0.00…..can you imagine? Can you even begin to imagine?????
As the recipient, you’ve just been freed of a huge burden. You’ve been freed of your monthly payment. You are free. Forgiven.
We all have faults and mistakes in our lives we must be forgiven of. Sometimes, it’s easy to address it. Sometimes, it’s hard and takes humility. Letting go of the pride. Going back to restore relationships.
But the most important offering of forgiveness is from God the Father. When He gave His Son Jesus to suffer and die on the cross, we can be forgiven. I can be forgiven. My sins are no longer against me. I’ve been freed. They’ve been thrown into the sea of forgetfulness.
This is the first and foremost forgiveness. I’m not sure how successfully we can talk about the other if that is not first forgiven.
Now let’s move to our giving forgiveness to others.
Remember your mortgage. Imagine you are now the banker, not the payer. Takes a lot to offer that forgiveness doesn’t it. But even harder than money, now we make it more difficult and transfer it to emotions. We’ve all had hurts in our lives. Hurts are hard to let go of. They hurt and we don’t want to let go. We want to hold control.
It could be something from childhood. It could be bad relationships as a teenager. It could be a marriage gone bad. There are many things we hold one to. But there is so much freedom in forgiveness.
I found some quotes about forgiveness that I wanted to share, because I think they said it better than I can.
To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover the prisoner was you.—Unknown
Forgiveness is giving up the possibility of a better past. –Unknown
Forgiveness is the fragrance that the violet sheds on the heal that has crushed it.
There is no revenge so complete as forgiveness.—Josh Billings
Let’s journal now about forgiveness. Here are some prompts to get you thinking as you journal.
"Not to forgive is to be imprisoned by the past, by old grievances that do not permit life to proceed with new business. Not to forgive is to yield oneself to another's control... to be locked into a sequence of act and response, of outrage and revenge, tit for tat, escalating always. The present is endlessly overwhelmed and devoured by the past. Forgiveness frees the forgiver. It extracts the forgiver from someone else's nightmare." - Lance Morrow
- Am I forgiven?
- Do I need to ask for forgiveness for any grievances I’ve done?
- Do I need to offer forgiveness to anyone?
- Am I holding onto something, denying forgiveness?
- Is the pain I am continually making myself go through worth it?
- How do I forgive?
- How do I ask for forgiveness?
- Why should I forgive?