Biblical forgiveness is hard. I’ve wrestled through this issue personally and with dozens of others over the years. The deeper the wound the harder it is to forgive. Those of us who have been forgiven, however, must learn to forgive. My guess is that includes you!
Here are 5 ways to truly embrace forgiveness:
Give it first. Before it’s “deserved”, extend forgiveness. It seldom will be.
Expect nothing in return. Forgiveness is based on a choice you make, not the reaction you receive.
Make it genuine. Forgiveness should never be lip service. You have to get gut-level in your release; even of the right to get even.
Make it permanent. It’s not forgiveness if you continually take back the grudge. Forgiveness means you let it go. Period.
Do it now. The longer you wait, the more damage it will do to your heart and harder forgiveness will be.
I’m not saying any of these is easy. I’m not saying it removes consequences, which need to be in place. I’m not saying you won’t be tempted to remove your forgiveness the next time the person comes to mind. I am saying that if you want to offer Biblical forgiveness, you must embrace it…not partially, but fully.
Who was the hardest person you’ve ever struggled to forgive?
(I’ll go first. Mine was my father, but granting him forgiveness paved the way to a deeper intimacy with Christ and a restored relationship with my father.)