Forgiveness. Such an important part of any relationship whether it be you and your spouse or you and the traffic cop. Where would life be without forgiveness?
It is a basic Christian action. It is at the root of turning the other cheek. It is necessary for salvation. In the Lord’s prayer our forgiveness by God is tied to our willingness to forgive others.
I have a question about forgiveness. What is the proper response to forgiveness? Gratitude? Relief? Affection? The most significant and meaningful response is too often overlooked. It is the same thing which often generates forgiveness: Repentance. Repentance in the sense of willingly changing that part of our behavior or attitudes which caused the difficulty in the first place.
When you have wronged someone it is a glorious thing for them to forgive you. For Christians it is a mandate. When asked how many times we must forgive, Jesus told Peter it should go to 70 times 7. The point is that we all make mistakes and our culture can only continue if we make allowances for that. It reminds the person doing the forgiving that retribution and vengeance are not supposed to be in our repertoire.
It should also remind the person being forgiven not to push their luck. Although it seems that forgiveness is unending largess, there will come a time it will not be extended.
If forgiveness does not generate a difference in the person forgiven it will eventually become destructive. Take advantage of this form of love in action. Change the behavior that caused the problem. Make it a two way street. Why is this important? I started off with the words of Jesus. Let me finish with what He said a few verses later.
(Matthew 6:15 KJV) But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.Get the point?
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