Forgiving equals forgetting…right? Isn’t that the cliché? Well, it may not be the right thing. Forgiveness is, however, such a huge part of our spiritual walk with Jesus. It’s essentially the foundation of the story of Jesus, as He died on the cross to forgive our sins. How could we ever repay him for what he did for us?
In practical terms, forgiving someone is choosing to let go of someone’s offenses, and not holding it against them. However, that doesn’t mean that we will forget someone’s offenses. If we simply forgot someone’s offense, there really isn’t a need for forgiveness. While we are instructed not to keep a record of someone else’s wrongs, the act of forgiving can be very freeing in our own heart and mind. Holding on to emotions such as anger, bitterness, and malice, can do more damage to ourselves as we hold it inside. When we hold grudges, we create a barrier between our hearts, and God.
One of our favorite verses in the Bible is Luke 23:34 “Forgive them Father, for they know not what they do.” What did Jesus mean when he said that on the cross? The soldiers that stoned Jesus, had no idea who he was. Jesus prayed that they be forgiven, in spite of who they were unknowingly crucifying. He paid for it all, in spite of our sins. Jesus demanded we forgive others, as we forgive those who trespass against us.
Forgiving someone that has wronged you is very hard, and it can often take a long time to achieve. Sometimes just saying the words “I forgive you”, can take a load off our hearts and open them up to receive more of what God wants our hearts to be filled with. Try it with a friend, a co-worker, and even your spouse! Even if the person doesn’t ask for it, or deserve it, just do it. See how your heart feels afterwards!
David and Beth Moss have been married for just over 4 years. David in an insurance executive and has three children from a previous marriage. Beth has been teaching kindergarten for fourteen years. Together, they have two cats, a dog, a bearded dragon, fish, and they love to travel the country! They hope to be expanding their family very soon!