The topic of forgiveness has been discussed at length across the globe, throughout history, and among several different religions and philosophies. However, there is one specific belief system in which the concept of forgiveness encompasses a depth and magnitude unlike any other in all of the world and that is Biblical Christianity.
The concept of forgiveness is mentioned in the bible at least 75 times throughout the Old and New Testaments. Depending on which translation you use, you may see words like “remission” used in place of the word “forgiveness.”
There are different themes in the Word concerning this concept of forgiveness but they are tied together. There is first the concept of God’s forgiveness towards us, as sinners; and then there is the concept of us, sinners, forgiving fellow sinners. The immensity of this biblical concept is extremely difficult for the human mind to grasp; which must mean that it is meant for our spirits to grasp instead.
Perhaps one of the most powerful verses on forgiveness that exists is the following which combines both of the aforementioned concepts in one passage:
Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you. Therefore, be imitators of God, as ...
“I got through it, I feel fine,
I went to school and did my time,
In a sense I'm out, in a sense I'm free
to be what I want to be.”
– MxPx, “Doing Time”
A child of the 90’s, I grew up on a heavy dose of punk rock and emo music. My favorite band, thanks to my older brother who guided 90 percent of my music interest until I was at least 16, was MxPx. A Christian pop-punk band from my native Washington, they were easy to latch onto.
I remember going to my first concert at 13 to see them, back when cigarettes were still allowed indoors. Luckily, I did not have to convince my mother that the overwhelming aroma of stale smoke and sweat that clung to my clothes after the concert was evidence of any of my own indiscretions. She was there in the back singing along at the top of her lungs herself.
MxPx claimed a major role in forming my teenage philosophies and giving me direction. The first song I ever learned on guitar was “Punk Rawk Show” from their sophomore album Teenage Politics. In short, they were a big part of my life (and I may just be listening to them as I write this today).
As I have grown, my philosophies and beliefs have matured and become more nuanced. However, there is some insight ...
As we seek to understand our own grief process, this article will draw from the resource, Understanding Your Grief, by Alan Wolfelt to outline ten essential touchstones.
Touchstone One: Open to the Presence of Your Loss
“You have probably been taught that pain is an indication that something is wrong and that you should find ways to alleviate the pain.
In our culture, pain and feelings of loss are experiences most people try to avoid. Why? Because the role of pain and suffering is misunderstood. Normal thoughts and feelings after a loss are often seen as unnecessary and inappropriate.”
“You will learn over time that the pain of your grief will keep trying to get your attention until you have the courage to gently, and in small doses, open to its presence. The alternative – denying or suppressing your pain – is, in fact, more painful. I have learned that the pain that surrounds the closed heart of grief is the pain of living against yourself, the pain of denying how the loss changes you, the pain of feeling alone and isolated – unable to openly mourn, unable to love and be loved by those around you.”
Setting our intention to heal is a commitment to sometimes being frightened, painful, and often lonely. No words can take away the pain. Ho...
In the Bible, forgiveness is a Greek word that means, “to let go.” It is the act of granting mercy upon the person who has done something wrong against you.
Forgiveness means you are going to let go of what happened. This does not mean that you agree or condone whatever transpired, but that you are willing to move forward in your life and not carry the negative feelings over what happened.
Forgiveness Bible Verses
Scripture is filled with forgiveness Bible verses and stories about forgiveness. The one thing they all teach us is to forgive one another as we have been forgiven by God.
God forgives on a grand scale. He is the example of what we need to be carrying out in our everyday lives. Therefore, because we have received much grace, "while we were yet sinners Christ died for us," we are commanded to give that same grace to others (Romans 5:8).
"Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you." ~ Ephesians 4:32
When understanding this Scripture, it is also important to talk about grace. In my eyes, grace is forgiveness without consequences. I was sitting in church recently listening to the pastor preach about grace. He spoke about Preston Sprinkle’s definition:...
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us. – 1 John 1:9-10
Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.– Ephesians 4:32
Then Peter came up and said to him, “Lord, how often will my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?” Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you seven times, but seventy times seven. – Matthew 18:21-22
When I have worked with individuals and with families, forgiveness has often arisen as a stumbling block in the path of progress. It’s a simple concept, to forgive, but often so hard to truly do.
In marriages, the inability to forgive can begin to eat away at the foundation of the relationship to a greater extent than the act that needs forgiving, itself. For individuals, holding onto anger and bitterness towards others can dampen moods. Holding onto anger directed inward, even more so.
The inability to forgive acts like an anchor, keeping us from growing and living a m...
Have you felt a desire to grow and develop spiritually? If so, it is God who placed the desire within you. Have you felt unsatisfied with a faith that lacks the depth and transformational power you long for? God is drawing you closer.
Have you felt helpless and confused in the face of painful situations? God is calling you deeper into harmony with His will for your life. This is not a divine guilt-trip or a sign of heavenly disapproval. As always, God’s motivation for this calling in your life is pure, perfect, relentless love.
As the hymnist George Matheson wrote in 1882,
“O Love that wilt not let me go,
I rest my weary soul in Thee;
I give Thee back the life I owe,
That in Thine ocean depths its flow
May richer, fuller be.”
Why do so many Christians live with spiritual stagnation and defeat? Perhaps many considered the moment of their justification before God (by grace, through faith in Christ) as the pinnacle of their spiritual journey. However, this allows no active role in the life of the Christian for the Holy Spirit, who Jesus said “the Father will send in my name” to “teach you all things” and “remind you of everything I have said to you” (John 14:26). The Holy Spirit is also the One who can produce the “fruit” of divine love...
What does it mean to actually forgive someone who has wronged us in some way? It seems like such a simple concept that we are taught even at a young age. When someone says ‘I’m sorry,’ we say ‘I forgive you.’ And as Christians we are often taught to grant forgiveness even if that ‘I’m sorry’ never comes. But what is forgiveness beyond the spoken words?
What is Forgiveness?
Forgiveness is releasing the ‘right’ you may feel to be angry and resentful, laying down all claims to retribution. It is relinquishing any guilt, punishment, or debt that someone may owe you.
Forgiveness seeks pardon, not punishment of the other person. Forgiveness carries the price of surrendering revenge, but the reward is worth it. God began by forgiving us, and He invites us to forgive others.
There are many misconceptions about what it means to forgive, as well as what it means about ourselves as the forgiver. These messages can come from social media, Hollywood, or even our own friends and family.
Ultimately as Christians, we can find clarity in the Scriptures to sort out “What is forgiveness, really?”
Common Myths About Forgiveness
The following are a few myths that the world tends to portray about forgiving.
Myth: Forgiveness is letting ...