True Forgiveness

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Forgiveness is the only genuinely healing response to the hurt that destroys marriages and relationships.

Then one of the Pharisees asked Him to eat with him. And He went to the Pharisee’s house, and sat down to eat. And behold, a woman in the city who was a sinner, when she knew that Jesus sat at the table in the Pharisee’s house, brought an alabaster flask of fragrant oil, 38 and stood at His feet behind Him weeping; and she began to wash His feet with her tears, and wiped them with the hair of her head; and she kissed His feet and anointed them with the fragrant oil. Now when the Pharisee who had invited Him saw this, he spoke to himself, saying, “This Man, if He were a prophet, would know who and what manner of woman this is who is touching Him, for she is a sinner.” And Jesus answered and said to him, “Simon, I have something to say to you.” So he said, “Teacher, say it.”
“There was a certain creditor who had two debtors. One owed five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. And when they had nothing with which to repay, he freely forgave them both. Tell Me, therefore, which of them will love him more?” Simon answered and said, “I suppose the one whom he forgave more. (Luke 7 NASB)

The New Testament uses two main words to describe forgiveness. The first word (aphiemi), means to cancel both the debt and the original cause of that debt. The second word (charizomai), means to bestow forgiveness freely. This word for forgiveness stems from the word ‘grace’ and implies that the person forgiving is offering it it freely, without conditions.

Practicing true forgiveness is administering the love and life of God. To ‘earn’ forgiveness, or to expect justification before forgiving, weakens the experience for both people.

True forgiveness is:
i. offered freely, without conditions
ii. cancels any debt owed
iii. removes from the relationship the cause of the hurt.

Forgiveness is the only genuinely healing response to the hurt that destroys marriages and relationships. True forgives puts in place the foundations for restoration and healing. True forgiveness is love in action.

“To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover that the prisoner was you.” – Louis B. Smedes

 Grant Peterson




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