Forgiveness is a funny thing you know. To receive forgiveness, you have to forgive. However when you extend forgiveness, it doesn’t have to be accepted (or even acknowledged for that matter)!
Confusing a little? Don’t understand? Worry not, there are clear principles in the Word of God to guide you through any situation forgiveness is needed. Here are 15 to get you started:
1. The first thing to know about forgiveness, is that WE need it and God gives it liberally.
“If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” (2 Chronicles 7:14)
2. Remember what Christ has done for you as motivation to always forgive.
“And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.” (Ephesians 4:32)
3. All! All people? And All their sins. That’s amazing. Every sin you confess, *poof* wiped out of Heaven’s record.
“Thou hast forgiven the iniquity of thy people, thou hast covered all their sin. Selah.” (Psalms 85:2)
4. If you want God to answer, you only need to call. If you want Him to forgive, you just have to ask.
“For thou, Lord, art good, and ready to forgive; and plenteous in mercy unto all them that call upon thee.” (Psalms 86:5)
5. Forgiveness is so big, so deep, so powerful, you can’t keep it to yourself. You have to give it to others as freely as you have received it. If you cannot extend forgiveness to someone, your burdens will weigh you down like a bolder in the open sea.
“For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” (Matthew 6:14 – 6:15)
6. Turn away from your ugly deeds and awful thoughts. God will accept your rejection of your old ways.
“Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.” (Isaiah 55:7)
7. Freedom from guilt comes when you are (1). Sorry for what you did and (2). Confess to God and (3). Ask God to help you do right and stop breaking His commandments. He WILL help you.
“He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy.” (Proverbs 28:13)
8. If you ask, God will wipe the slate of your dirty deeds clean. No questions asked.
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9)
9. Like an amazing dad, picture God sitting down, leaned in, looking at you saying, “ It doesn’t matter what you did, I love you, come on now, you and I can work through this.”
“Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.” (Isaiah 1:18)
10. While plan (A) is to not sin, if you misstep, plan (B) is Jesus-the best defense attorney who has never and will never lose a case entrusted to Him.
“My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous:” (1 John 2:1)
11. You may never “feel like” forgiving someone or feel forgiven yourself. Don’t trust your feelings when it comes to the things of God. Your mission: If you don’t feel forgiven, command your feelings by repeating the promises on this page about forgiveness.
“Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven:” (Luke 6:37)
12. /rəˈpent/ – express sorrow to God for something you’ve done and turn away from doing that thing.
“Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.” (Acts 2:38)
13. Ask God to show you where you have grieved Him or someone unknowingly, so you can address it and stop counting how many times others wronged you.
“Take heed to yourselves: If thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke him; and if he repent, forgive him. And if he trespass against thee seven times in a day, and seven times in a day turn again to thee, saying, I repent; thou shalt forgive him.” (Luke 17:3 – 17:4)
14. Repentance and forgiveness can be a pretty intimate experience between two entities. God wants to get intimate with you. This is a way for you to draw closer to him. No middle man necessary. Just.you.and.God.
“And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.” (Jeremiah 31:34)
15. Wow! Jesus gave forgiveness while he was being crucified and taken advantage of by the offenders! He extended forgiveness before it was even asked for and to those who may never have asked for it. Wow! Lesson #1. With Christ, Forgiveness is there for the asking. Lesson #2. You don’t have to wait for offenders to be sorry to forgive them.
“And when they were come to the place, which is called Calvary, there they crucified him, and the malefactors, one on the right hand, and the other on the left. Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots.” (Luke 23:33)
You may also like: Psalms About Forgiveness