Summary: We will fail to grow healthy relationships unless we purpose to forgive other’s mistakes and move beyond constantly reminding them of their errors.
Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice:
And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.
Forgiveness is a skill, a choice we purposefully make. When we forgive, we lift the burden of another’s guilt, and promise to not constantly remind them of their wrong any more.
The Four Aspects of God’s Forgiveness
Kind—In the sense of helpful; giving what is fitting to a need
Tenderhearted—Compassionate to those in distress
Forgiving—Letting the wrong go without punishment
As God in Christ forgave us—We forgive because we’ve been forgiven first.
Steps to Our Forgiveness of Others
1. Choose to Forgive
As a free choice; but not as “fun” as anger
Trust God to allow you to renew your mind now
2. Lift the Burden of Guilt
Tell them they’re forgiven
Don’t bring it up to them
3. Seal Forgiveness with Behavior
Continue showing kindness
Demonstrate your love in suitable ways
If we refuse to forgive…
Our resentments turn to bitterness (Hebrews 12:15).
Refusing to release another’s guilt makes us carry it (Hebrews 12:13-15).
If we are unwilling to forgive, our personal relationship with God will suffer (Matthew 6:14-15).