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Forgiveness is the relief of tension in a relationship that has endured offense or conflict.
Like holding a band and stretching it across your chest. Eventually, your muscles start to ache
When I was thinking of this analogy I also thought…..If someone – we will say the person who caused the offense) is watching me hold this band and I release it to relax my arms. Their state or being is not affected like mine is. I get relief from letting go. I bring this up because forgiveness in a relationship – although powerful to also be on the receiving end – has a powerful effect on the one who is forgiving.
Now consider how Christ our Lord felt when He forgave all for sins. Whoa!
We all have had countless opportunities to forgive others – especially our spouse – so let’s talk more about it and how to do it when we don’t feel like.
- Why should I forgive when I feel like they are wrong?
- Why does it feel hard to forgive?
- Why do I have to forgive?
- Why don’t I want to forgive?
- How can I forgive if they have not repented?
- What if I forgive them and they do it again?
- Why should I forgive if they have not changed yet?
- If I forgive them then what they did just get overlooked and if it happens again?
These are good questions and many we have all wrestled to answer. Let’s take a look at one more important question…..
Why does Jesus command us to forgive?
[Mat 6:12-15 ESV] 12 and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. 13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. 14 For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, 15 but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
If forgiveness was a naturally occurring response to being wronged or hurt then there would be no need for the command.
But the fact is that forgiveness is a very unnatural phenomenon. It goes against all our natural responses and desires.
Forgiveness goes against our natural defense mechanisms and responses. Justice is a more natural response.
No, forgiveness isn’t something that comes from us at all. It is something we must do in the power of the Holy Spirit. It is something we must do out of obedience to God’s word.
True forgiveness can only happen when we understand the miracle that we ourselves have received forgiveness for trespassing against a perfect and Holy God.
When we realize what it is that Christ did for us on that cross, we begin to see why we must also forgive others.
To withhold forgiveness puts us in the place of God.