FORGIVENESS is an act of our will. That involves both our attitude and actions. If you find it difficult to forgive those who have hurt you or wronged you, try responding with kindness. You may discover that the right actions could lead to the right feelings.
We can’t be expected to be forgiven by others, if we don’t practice forgiveness. In the Scriptures of the Bible, Jesus gives a startling warning about forgiveness that if we refuse to forgive others, God will also refuse to forgive us. Why? You may ask and it is because when we don’t forgive others, we are denying that we too are sinners that need God’s forgiveness. Although God forgiveness of sin in not the direct results of our forgiving others, but it is based on us realizing what forgiveness really means. In the book of Ephesians 4:32 in the Bible, it says to “be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.”So for you it may be easy to ask God for forgiveness, but difficult for you to forgive others. Remember, when we ask God to forgive us for our sins, we should ask ourselves if we have forgiven the people who have wronged us.
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In the patterns of this world in which we live, forgiveness can seem contrary to biblical scripture teaching. Today with the constant “lawsuits” and “incessant demands” for legal rights, what apostle Paul’s talks about in the Bible sounds almost impossible. When you are hurt deeply by someone, instead of giving them what they may deserve, apostle Paul says to “befriend” them. Why does apostle Paul tell us to forgive our enemies? First, it could lead to a break in the cycle of “retaliation” and can lead to a “mutual” reconciliation. Secondly, it could place guilt on the other person that they may change their ways. Thirdly, if we return “evil for evil,” it will hurt you just as much as it hurts your enemy. But if your enemy never repents of his or her wrongdoing, forgiving him or her will “free” you of a lot of bitterness in your heart.
In the Bible when the apostle Peter asked Jesus how many times should we forgive another, He said “seventy times seven,” meaning that we shouldn’t even keep track of how many times we forgive someone. We should always be ready to forgive anyone who is truly repentant, no matter how many times they may ask.