PAUSE

     Our practice for forgiveness to others reflects what we think and understand about God’s forgiveness.  When you get to the heart of the Gospel it is all about forgiveness. Because of Jesus sacrifice and death on the cross we can be forgiven when we accept Him as our Lord and Savior.

     Ephesians 4:32 says, “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving one another, just as God also forgave you in Christ.”   Scripture commands us to forgive others in the same way we have been forgiven.  Genuine forgiveness is a decision we make in gratitude because of the forgiveness we have received through our Lord Jesus Christ.  When we are willing to forgive someone who has sinned against us we are becoming more and more like Jesus.  It also means we are coming to an understanding of God’s forgiveness and what He has done for us because of our faith in Jesus Christ.  Forgiveness means releasing and moving forward in peace, love, and harmony.

     When you think about it, Christians are the most forgiven people in the world; therefore, we should be the most forgiving people in the world.  When we are willing to forgive someone that means we are willing to make four promises that model the forgiveness w receive from God.  We must never forget the forgiveness we have received from God and therefore live out that forgiveness in our own life.  In response to God’s love for us and His grace we are to make four promises.

  1. I promise to not dwell on this incident.

      I will not continue to think about and replay it over and over again in

      my mind.

  1. I will not bring up this incident again and use it against you.

     We are not to keep a record of wrongs.

  1. I will not talk to others about this incident.
  2. I will not let this incident stand between us or hinder our personal

     relationship.

     These four promises mirror God’s promise in Hebrews 8:12 which says,

“For I will be merciful to their wrongdoing, and I will never again remember their sins.”  Psalms 103:12 says, “As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us.”  It has been said that we are ever more like God than when we are forgiving others.  I believe that to be true.

 

Buddy Hunt is the East Regional Ministry Partner for Oklahoma Baptists. Buddy can be reached at bhunt@oklahomabaptists.org.

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