What is biblical forgiveness?
Biblical forgiveness is the process of forgiving someone or being forgiven as illustrated in the Bible. Forgiveness itself is defined as letting go of sin. In the Bible, this includes forgiving everyone, every time, of everything, as an act of obedience and gratefulness to God. It acknowledges the sacrifice God made through His Son Jesus who died to restore the relationship between God and man. Forgiveness does not mean excusing, forgetting, permitting repetition of the sinful act against you, or guaranteeing reconciliation with the perpetrator.
We’ve all been hurt at times in our lives. Sometimes we forgive. Other times, we hold grudges and anger. What does it look like to walk through the process of biblical forgiveness? In the past few years, I’ve it difficult to forgive people in my life who hurt me. However, I can assure you that harboring unforgiveness is the worse alternative. This post will help you to avoid falling into some of the same patterns of unforgiveness that I did.
Forgiveness is letting go of sin. God has forgiven us our sins, and we forgive others of theirs. It is moving on instead of dwelling on that sin and refusing to harbor it against them. To take that a step further, however, you need to understand the context of the human condition. Humans are sinners from the beginning and are therefore born condemned, keeping us from having a relationship with God. However, God, in His great love and mercy, has created a way for our debt of sin to be repaid, resulting in the forgiveness of our sins. Ephesians describes this act of mercy and grace:
In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth. Ephesians 1:7-10 ESV
It is out of the forgiveness that we have been given that we must also forgive all those around us. Regardless of what they have done, or how they have hurt you or those you love, we must continue to forgive.
Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you. Ephesians 4:32 ESV