Forgiveness can be tricky. It’s much easier to receive it than give it, but sometimes even the receiving part trips us.
I hate conflict. When I was younger, the words “I’m sorry” were forever popping out of my mouth. One time I even apologized when a stranger ran me over and knocked my books out of my hand.
It might sound like being forgiven was my utmost aim. But it wasn’t. In reality, I just didn’t want to have anyone mad at me.
I sought forgiveness not from remorse but more from self-preservation. And instead of actual forgiveness, I just wanted to feel better inside.
This kind of “forgiveness” is a pale reflection of the forgiveness offered by God.
Some people have trouble accepting God’s forgiveness. They get trapped in a loop like I did of saying they’re sorry over and over and trying to do things to make up for their mistakes. That kind of behavior slows growth.
Receiving forgiveness from God requires two things. To confess our mistake, agreeing that it was wrong. (I have to add that last part about agreeing, because saying you robbed the bank but not actually thinking it was wrong misses the point.) And the other thing we need to do is accept God’s forgiveness.
He is faithful and just and will forgive us when we bring our broken selves to Him.
The simplicity of this can be hard to grasp, but it’s true. Jesus paid the debt. God’s forgiveness is complete.
We may still face consequences and need to deal with the aftermath of our actions, but we can do so knowing God covers us with his loving grace and provision. God’s forgiveness silences our “I’m sorries” and directs us to live for Him.
The other side of forgiveness can be even trickier. When we are the ones who need to forgive, we often forget the beautiful debt paid for us. Instead, we jerk away any thought of grace and wait for an appropriately worded apology, contrite heart, or penitent turn of behavior.
When someone hurts us, the last thing we want to do is forgive them. But finding our way to forgiveness is crucial if we are to grow.
Many times, forgiving opposes how we feel. We need the anger. Venting offers a sense of justice. The offending person shouldn’t get away with what they’ve done. Withholding forgiveness ensures some kind of retribution. Right? Not really.
The person who gets most hurt when you don’t forgive is you.
Forgiveness allows you to let go and move on, and that’s a good thing. It’s not an easy thing, though. And many times, we must forgive, and then forgive again, and again, every time the offense comes to mind.
Forgiveness offers freedom. It clears the way for us to be who God has created us to be—not held back by our mistakes and not slowed by the wrongs done to us.
Read the following verses and see the depth of God’s love and forgiveness for you.
“As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.”
“Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered.”
“For thy name’s sake, O LORD, pardon mine iniquity; for it is great.”
Psalms 51:9 – 51:11
“Hide thy face from my sins, and blot out all mine iniquities. Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me.”
Psalms 130:3 – 130:4
“If thou, LORD, shouldest mark iniquities, O Lord, who shall stand? But there is forgiveness with thee, that thou mayest be feared.”
“For thou, Lord, art good, and ready to forgive; and plenteous in mercy unto all them that call upon thee.”
Psalms 103:2 – 103:4
“Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits: Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases; Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies;”
“Look upon mine affliction and my pain; and forgive all my sins.”
“I acknowledged my sin unto thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid. I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the LORD; and thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin. Selah.”
“Thou hast forgiven the iniquity of thy people, thou hast covered all their sin. Selah.”
Popular Bible Verses about Forgiveness
1 John 1:9
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
“And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.”
2 Chronicles 7:14
“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.”
“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.”
“The LORD is longsuffering, and of great mercy, forgiving iniquity and transgression, and by no means clearing the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation.”
“Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.”
“For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you:”
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