Forgiveness is the process of giving up a resentment or grudge against someone for something they said or did to you or about you. The pain we experience may be physical, emotional or even spiritual. Most times, we as humans tend to think that some persons do not deserve our forgiveness, but as a christian, that should not be in our hearts. It is impossible to live in this world without being hurt or offended in some way. Our actions or that of another may interfere with our mental state causing us to respond in an unpleasant way, but learning how to respond properly is the basics of a healthy Christian life. Not having a forgiving attitude and heart is similar to drinking poison and expecting it to harm the other person. It is pointless and truthfully, we are only harming ourselves when we keep hate or dislike for someone in our heart.
Now, in Genesis 3 verse 15, God gives his first promise of a redeemer who would forgive the world of their sin. This is by far the purest and greatest act of forgiveness in the bible and of all time. Further down, we learn that this promise was fulfilled, where we hear the testimony of the heartbreaking story of the crucifixion, resurrection and burial of Jesus Christ. On the cross during crucifixion, Jesus Christ forgave the people of the world for their sins of the past, present and the future.
In 2nd Samuel chapter 9, there was David and Mephibosheth. To back tract a little, in the 1st book of Samuel, king Saul tried to destroy David. However, David responded with kindness and forgiveness. Have you ever heard of that saying “Kill them with kindness” or “The best way to treat an enemy who displays their hate is through kindness and love.” These sayings are quite simple. It means it will weaken them and they will realize that there negative behavior has no effect on you. Sometimes, even forgiving them and ignoring them can be the best way to tackle the issue. Makes sense now doesn’t it? I bet it does.
A third example of forgiveness can be found in John chapter 8, where Jesus showed his dignity and mercy by forgiving a women who was caught in the act of adultery. Spiritual leaders in the town brought her before Jesus to have her stoned as the law stipulated. Instead, Jesus spoke to their minds and hearts by saying to them that if any of them were sinless and free judge, then whoever is so should cast the first stone. The leaders dropped their stones and left. Jesus also did not condemn the woman for her actions.
Your probably wondering why you should forgive a person, especially of the hurt they caused impacted you in a significant way. But here is why. Forgiveness is the start of the healing process and does not mean you condone the action. It means regaining a sense of wholeness and peace. When you forgive, you do it for yourself and it assist in focusing your energy on being at peace with yourself and the individual. It allows you to move on with your life and in order to be at peace, compassion and healthy relationships need forgiveness. It can also enhance your self esteem and give you hope. You find yourself significantly happier and even less stressed. It is truly a gift we are all entitled to and allows us to embrace our future.
It is important to remember that forgiveness is not granted because you approve or will tolerate a persons actions. It is an act of love, mercy and grace. Same as how Jesus forgave us of our sins and continues to forgive us each day he grants us life, we must learn to forgive those who have trespassed against us. Do not let them disrupt our lives. Forgiveness is an attribute of God that we are consistently taught in the bible that we too can demonstrate to others.