I believe one reason we fail to exercise grace in our relationships is because we don’t view people as they actually are. Instead, we look at them through the lens of how they hurt us, or our prejudices, or past experiences.
The word forgiveness draws various reactions. If we’re talking about God’s forgiveness of us, it can be a soothing topic resulting in gratitude and peace. If we need to seek forgiveness from someone we’ve wronged, we might wrangle a bit with our pride before we finally approach that person in humility—but our resulting cleared conscience makes it well worth the effort.
Usually, however, the most uncomfortable kind of forgiveness is what we must extend to someone who has wronged us or hurt us deeply. The Bible says a lot about this kind of forgiveness—perhaps because our emotions arm wrestle with it and other lingering memories skirmish with it. It’s really hard to do.
Find out what God’s Word says about forgiveness, how essential it is to understand, and how to actually do it...if we want to grow in our walk with God.
Two millennia ago, God answered the anguished cry of humanity by making “the problem of evil” His own. God Almighty became Immanuel, “God with us.” He lived as we live, suffered as we suffer, died as we die, yet without sin.
Walking closely with the Lord means we must come to terms with forgiving others. Yes, must. We can’t avoid or deny the fact that relationships often bring hurt and the need to forgive.
Perhaps the waters of guilt have washed over you, and you feel like you are sinking in sorrow and regret. What could be preventing you from moving beyond your past and feeling forgiven?
Our teacher is the world’s leading expert on forgiveness. No one has more experience in forgiving than Him. His exams can be tough when we’re asked to put into practice what we’ve learned.
Family relationships are bound to strain at times and in many cases fracture, leading to feelings of failure and guilt, but there is a way to repair and rebuild damaged relationships—whether or not we’ve chosen them.
People, including Christians, are confused about forgiveness. The Bible speaks mostly about God’s forgiveness of us and doesn’t say much about how forgiveness between people works.
Even though God doesn’t sin, you may treat Him as if He has sinned. If this is the case you need to go through a process with God that resembles forgiveness. You may need to "forgive" Him.
Be honest—do you talk too much? Do you find yourself saying, “I shouldn’t say anything...” and then spill it out? If these habits sound like yours then you’re like the majority. Verbal restraint is rare.
Sometimes we’re on the receiving end of deception and sometimes we’re the deceiver. Here are two lessons we can learn from Gehazi’s error as we seek to avoid a similar fate.