Is forgiveness easier said than done? When you have released a wrongdoer from a wrong, does it give you immediate peace?
God’s insistence to forgive is for our own sake, not for the sake of the offender. Remember, forgiveness is not the same as forgetting, excusing, or smoothing things over. It is one of the most important things we need to practice and model for our children to see and experience.
When I was growing up, I was taught to tell people I am sorry if I did something to offend or hurt someone.
But according to God, that’s not forgiveness. Jesus tells us to go to the offended party and tell them I am terribly sorry I hurt you … I hope you can find it in your heart to forgive me. If they say, “I forgive you” then closure to this issue has been achieved by both! BUT there is one more step, which is to get on our knees and ask God to forgive us for our sin against Him (1 John 1:9), which He will do.
I thought He had forgiven us for all our sins … past, present, and future?
Yes, that is true but taking the actions above helps us nurture our relationship with Him to be intimate and healthy. 1 John 1:10 “If we claim we have not sinned, we make Him out to be a liar and His word has no place in our lives”.
Forgiveness does not settle all the issues or the questions of blame and fairness … it sets us up to release the right to resentment, anger, and bitterness towards someone and places justice into God’s hands and peace in our heart.