What Is Forgiveness?

Forgiveness = Freedom!

This week we have taken a look at grace, mercy and love.  We have discovered that these are amazing gifts that God has blessed us with.  We also have come to realize that we do not exercise the use of these gifts near in the way we could or should.  Today we are going to look at another of the amazing gifts that God gives to us – the gift of forgiveness.

Forgiveness is the act of pardon or release into freedom as if nothing ever happened.  Forgiveness is all about freedom.  Freedom for the one who gives the forgiveness and freedom for the one who receives the forgiveness.

Forgiveness can be given without someone asking for it.  For forgiveness to have power in our lives, we have to first be willing to receive the forgiveness that God has given to each one of us.  The receiving of God’s forgiveness, sets us free to live in relationship with Him.

After we have received forgiveness from God, then we are ready to give forgiveness to others.  We did not get forgiveness because we earned or deserved it.  We got forgiveness because God gave and we received.  We do not give forgiveness to others because they have earned or deserved it.  We give because God gave to us and we have learned that forgiveness is the key that unlocks the door and sets us free from our self-imposed prisons.

1 John 1:5-10 teaches:  “5 This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. 6 If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth. 7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.  8 If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word is not in us.”

Remember:  Forgiveness is about freedom for the one who gives and the one who receives.  Lewis B. Smedes writes in “Forgive And Forget:  Healing The Hurts We Don’t Deserve”:  “Forgiveness is God’s invention for coming to terms with a world in which, despite their best intentions, people are unfair to each other and hurt each other deeply.  He began by forgiving us.  And He invites us all to forgive each other.”

Receive forgiveness, give forgiveness, experience freedom and let the grace, mercy and love of God flow – you will be glad you did!