Forgiveness is one of the most important qualities not only for Christians, but also for any person, since forgiveness is necessary throughout life.
However, what does the Bible say about forgiveness? In Colossians 3:13, Paul expresses that we must forgive, as Christ forgave.
“Be tolerant of one another and forgive each other if anyone has a complaint against another. Just as the Lord has forgiven you, you also should forgive”
Forgiveness is part of the relationship with God; since the Lord forgave mankind and washed away the sins of his children, he had clemency and mercy.
The forgiveness according to the bible: What is forgiveness?
According to the biblical definition, forgiveness shows clemency and mercy, such as canceling a debt that others may have.
Because God forgave sins, mankind does not have to pay for them, therefore, Paul exhorted in his letter to the Ephesians 4:31-32.
Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, quarreling, and slander be put away from you, along with all hatred. And be kind to one another, compassionate, forgiving one another just as God has forgiven you in the Messiah.
Forgiveness is one of the qualities that exist in the lives of Christians. In Matthew 6:14-15, God expresses that forgiving others also makes God forgive them.
“Because if you forgive people their offenses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive people their offenses, your Father will not forgive your offenses.”
God’s desire is that his children live in peace and harmony, in a society with more love, and for this we must forgive those who offend.
Should all bad things be forgotten?
Although forgiveness is completely necessary in the Bible, forgiveness does not accept or excuse the wrong done by another person.
The goal of forgiveness is to release the grudge from the heart so that one can move on without allowing another person to have power over one’s actions or emotions.
When forgiving, all the bitterness and pain is given to God, to cleanse and do justice at the perfect time; it is a way of letting God transform, trusting God is the key, never revenge (Proverbs 20:22).
Don’t say “I’ll avenge that wrong!”
Wait on the Lord and he will deliver you.
Likewise, sin is always a cause for consequences, so any person who does harm will have to live with the aftermath of the error.
Therefore, it is often wiser to move away from that kind of people, so they do not continue to cause pain.
Because forgiving does not oblige them to continue to maintain a close relationship with the other person (Proverbs 22:3).
The prudent person sees trouble ahead and hides,
but the naïve continue on and suffer the consequences.
However, after forgiving, one must continue to act prudently, praying for the other person and glorifying God in His wisdom to know if it is necessary to reconcile.
Is it necessary for someone to ask for forgiveness?
Some people claim that you cannot forgive until they ask for forgiveness, however, you can forgive even if the other person did not apologize, you can choose to take the first step (Matthew 5:23-26).
“So if you are presenting your gift at the altar and remember there that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar and first go and be reconciled to your brother. Then come and offer your gift. Come to terms quickly with your opponent while you are on the way to court, or your opponent may hand you over to the judge, and the judge to the guard, and you will be thrown into prison. I tell you with certainty, you will not get out of there until you pay back the last dollar!”
Therefore, it is better to free oneself from anger and bitterness, and obey God, since forgiveness does not depend on other people’s repentance.
God is one of the clearest examples of having the initiative to forgive, as he sent his son Jesus to forgive sins, even without humanity asking for forgiveness.
God stretched out his hand and chose to forgive, waited patiently for mankind’s repentance, and by grace God forgave people (Ephesians 2:4-5).
But God, who is rich in mercy, because of his great love for us, even when we were dead because of our offenses, made us alive together with the Messiah (by grace you have been saved)
Should we forget after forgiving?
When one forgives the heart, God is allowed to heal the heart and remove the bitterness of the offense to appease the desire for revenge.
Even if you feel sad about what happened, it is better not to hold a grudge, but to turn the situation over to God and trust in his justice (Luke 18:7-8).
“Won’t God grant his chosen people justice when they cry out to him day and night? Is he slow to help them? I tell you, he will give them justice quickly. But when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?”
Examples of forgiveness in the Bible
In the Bible, there are numerous examples of people who made mistakes, God forgave them, and later even interceded through them.
For example, David, chosen at a very young age, was the second king of Israel, a man who later wrote many psalms in the Bible.
In biblical books such as Samuel, Kings and Chronicles, David’s life is recounted, his victory over Goliath, his bravery and trust in God’s protection, which brought about the envy of King Saul who began to persecute him, causing David to flee.
After Saul’s death, David was a crowned king and his fame grew over time thanks to his victories, for which he received great promises from God.
However, David had a dark episode in his life, in 2 Samuel 11 and 12, David committed adultery with Bathsheba, and then killed her husband in order to marry her.
As a consequence of his actions, God sent the prophet Nathan to reveal the consequences of his actions to David, which later led to the death of David’s son and family problems.
However, David later reflected on his sins and knew that he had failed God; thus, Psalm 51 expressed the pain David felt, asking for God’s compassion and intervention in his life.
Have mercy, God, according to your gracious love,
according to your unlimited compassion,
erase my transgressions.
Forgiveness show weakness?
Many people think that forgiving show weakness, but the opposite is true; at the moment of forgiveness, the character of Christ is shown.
You live according to Christ’s will, since in the Lord’s Prayer, Christ taught that you must forgive and love your enemies.
When you forgive instead of seeking revenge, you show that the Holy Spirit dwells in your heart and by His power you overcome hatred and bitterness. (2 Timothy 1:7).
For God did not give us a spirit of timidity but one of power, love, and self-discipline
2 Timothy 1:7
According to Minister Mel Lawrenz of the Elmbrook Church, the best way to forgive and trust is to start at any time, take 20 to 30 minutes, and confess to God the sins and beg for forgiveness:
“Today is as good a time as any to take at least 20 or 30 minutes in a private room or on a walk-and-confess to God the sins of the past. Take the cover off. Talk to God.” commented Mel Lawrenz.