The Heart of Forgiveness
By: Jessica Shaffer
Forgiveness. A lot of people think they know what this is. But the truth of the matter is, forgiveness can be twisted into a very selfish thing. It has long been argued that forgiveness is a choice we all make in our lives to help ‘us’ move on. But are we truly forgiving the other person? Or are we saying that we forgive the other person so that we feel complacent.
True forgiveness is a process. It’s not just a phrase that we coin to someone when they have done us wrong. “I forgive you,” is a very complex statement – and in doing so we need to understand the significance it can have in our lives. Jesus Christ’s crucifixion on the cross is the epitome of forgiveness. Ephesians 1:7 says, “In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace.” The meticulous process that Jesus Christ planned to show us and prove we are truly forgiven began with a virgin birth, a dedication in life, and a spotless sacrifice on the cross. His actions screamed love, and his motives were clear – “I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” John 10:10
Forgiveness is not a choice. Whether the conviction be there or not, Christ said, Matthew 6:14-15 “For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.” This quote is a revelation. Tried and true in the statement, do unto other’s as you would want done unto you. Forgiveness is a requirement. Though the heart may take time to heal, we have to choose to lay our burdens at the feet of Jesus.
Letting someone who hurt you take hold of your life is like leaving an open wound to fester. We have to make the conscious decision to truly be Christ-like and decide and live like we have moved on from the indiscretion. First pray about the situation that has hurt your or caused a quarrel. Secondly, fast – do as Christ did in letting his flesh die. Let the Holy Spirit touch your lips to express the words that should come out of your mouth when the situation needs to be resolved. Thirdly, love and move on. Once these steps have progressed, let go.
Nothing about the process of forgiveness is easy, but it is essential in showing the world that we can be the light. Let us be an example of Christ’s love – a true Heart of Forgiveness.
Who is a God like you, who pardons sin and forgives the transgression of the remnant of his inheritance? You do not stay angry forever but delight to show mercy. You will again have compassion on us; you will tread our sins underfoot and hurl all our iniquities into the depths of the sea.