Forgiveness for many of us can be a very tough act to freely practice especially when we have been deeply hurt or offended. There are many times even when we finally bring ourselves to the point where we can say the words that in our hearts we still hold on to the hurt, loss or offense, that has been unfairly or unjustly handed to us. Is it alright to forgive only with the mouth? What does the Bible say about forgiveness?
The Bible has many verses that talk about forgiveness, and give us a good indication as to how truly important forgiveness is, not only for others but for ourselves as well. Let’s take a look at what the bible says about forgiveness in these following verses.
Matthew 6:14,15 “For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins”
Luke 6:37 “Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.”
Luke 17:4 “Even if they sin against you seven times in a day and seven times come back to you saying ‘I repent,’ you must forgive them.”
John 20:23 “If you forgive anyone’s sins, their sins are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.”
Colossians 3:13 “Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.”
These scriptures paint us a clear picture of what the bible says when it comes to forgiveness. Forgiveness is not only important for others, it is equally if not more important for our own selves. If we are not willing to forgive another person for an offense or for pain they have caused us then we cannot receive forgiveness for our sins from our heavenly Father.
While this may seem unfair or unjust, and we can say well that person has hurt me too badly to be forgiven, or their actions have taken too much away from me to be forgiven, we have to remember that our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ came and gave up his life for us.
I mean just think about that for a moment. Jesus Christ who in all his mighty power and glory spoke into existence this world and everything in it and surrounding it, he willingly came to earth as a man, was beaten, and horribly crucified and gave up his life for us, for our measly little grain of sand in comparison lives, who by our own hand disobeyed God and doomed ourselves to hell.
If through Christ we can be forgiven by our own creator than surely we can forgive anybody for any wrongdoings done to us.
Another major problem with harboring unforgiveness in our lives, is that it actually hurts our joy, peace and happiness. We spend so much time stewing and being angry and resentful towards the person who has wronged us, thus creating a miserable and depressed environment for ourselves, instead of releasing that burden to Christ, and living if the peace and freedom that Christ provides to us.
The worst part of unforgiveness is that it will sooner destroy your own life than the life of the person you refuse to forgive. I am reminded of a quote, I’m not sure who said it or where it originates from but it goes like this.
“Not forgiving another person is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die”
This quote very accurately describes what happens when we are living our life in unforgiveness. Our life becomes full of anger, sadness and self pity, while the other person’s life continues on as it always has.
So What does the Bible say about Forgiveness
- God freely forgave us even after turning on Him so we must forgive others.
- If we do not forgive others then we too cannot be forgiven by our Heavenly Father
- Unforgiveness is a sin and works to ruin your peace and joy in life.
- Forgiveness not only sets you free from your bondage to anger and resentment, but also allows Christ to restore your peace, joy and happiness in life.
- Forgiveness just in words does not cut it, God is in every circumstance concerned with our hearts, and so when we forgive we have to make sure that we “truly” forgive by doing so from our mouth and hearts.