Biblical Character Development — Forgiveness (Part 2)

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The Man In the Mirror #37


In keeping with our theme of dealing with the man (or woman) in the mirror, we are going to continue discussing the building of important biblical character traits in your life. Today, we will continue looking at the quality of forgiveness from “The Power for True Success” by the Institute in Basic Life Principles.


— How Forgiveness Relates to Pardon


If someone kills a member of our family, we are to forgive that person. However, we do not have the authority to grant a pardon, because we do not have authority to punish the offender. Therefore, even with our forgiveness, that person will suffer the continuing consequences of the offense. Forgiveness is clearing the record of an offender and restoring fellowship. However, the seeds of destruction may continue to have serious consequences.


After David committed adultery with Bathsheba and arranged the murder of her husband, he repented. Then “Nathan said unto David, The LORD also hath put away thy sin; thou shalt not die.” David’s sin was forgiven, but there were further consequences. Nathan said, “Thus saith the LORD, Behold, I will raise up evil against thee out of thine own house, and I will take thy wives before thine eyes, and give them unto thy neighbour.”


— How We Learn to Forgive


When people are asked if they can recall someone who deeply hurt or offended them, they usually respond immediately by saying, “Yes!” The question must then be asked, have these offenders been fully forgiven?


A lack of forgiveness creates bitterness, and bitterness is like the disease of leprosy. Those who have leprosy lose any sensation of pain; therefore, they are unaware of situations in which they are hurting themselves. Similarly, those who are bitter are often unaware of how they hurt other people with their words, attitudes, and actions.


In order to motivate people to forgive, God uses commands, contrasts, and concepts. Listen to these commands to forgive.


Ephesians 4:32 says, “And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.”


Colossians 3:13 says, “Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.”


Luke 6:37 says, “Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven.”


Luke 17:3 says, “Take heed to yourselves: If thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke him; and if he repent, forgive him.”