Forgiveness vs Rejection
This is WEEK 20 of the Character Development Series I am doing for 2012. So glad you stopped by!
Forgiveness is the fragrance that the violet sheds on the heel that has crushed it. – Mark Twain
He that cannot forgive others breaks the bridge over which he must pass himself; for every man has need to be forgiven. – Thomas Fuller
Forgiveness is the key which unlocks the door of resentment and the handcuffs of hatred. It breaks the chains of bitterness and the shackles of selfishness. – Corrie Ten Boom
Forgiveness is the well from which we draw the water to wash others’ feet. – D. Siler
There are definitions for Forgiveness in the dictionary but when developing Godly character, we are not concerned with dictionary definitions. We want to cling to the definition of Biblical Forgiveness because it is key to the Christian walk. Biblical forgiveness involves our correct responses to God when people offend us.
What the Bible says About Forgiveness:
1 Corinthians 13:4-7 Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. (attitude: can love cover it?)
2 Corinthians 2:5-8 Now if anyone has caused pain, he has caused it not to me, but in some measure—not to put it too severely—to all of you. For such a one, this punishment by the majority is enough, so you should rather turn to forgive and comfort him, or he may be overwhelmed by excessive sorrow. So I beg you to reaffirm your love for him. (attitude: stand ready to forgive)
Galatians 6:1-2 Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted. (attitude: approach gently and stand ready to restore the relationship)
Ephesians 4:31-32 Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.(attitude: loving and forgiving just like God forgave you)
Examples from the Bible:
Esau forgives Jacob (Genesis 33)
Joseph forgives his brothers (Genesis 45, 50)
Moses forgives Israelites (Numbers 12)
David forgives Saul (1 Samuel 24-26, 2 Samuel 1)
David forgives Shimei (2 Samuel 16, 1 Kings 2)
Solomon forgives Adonijah (1 Kings 1)
The prophet of Judah forgives Jeroboam (1 Kings 13)
The Example of Jesus to Us:
Matthew 6:14 For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you (attitude: forgive because you love the Lord)
Matthew 5:22-24 But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ will be liable to the hell of fire. So if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar and go. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.
Luke 7:47-48 “…Therefore I tell you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven—for she loved much. But he who is forgiven little, loves little.” And he said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.” (Jesus speaking to the accusers and the woman caught in adultery)
Luke 23:43 And he said to him, “Truly I say to you, today you shall be with me in Paradise (Jesus talking to the thief on the cross).
Luke 23:34 Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” (Jesus referring to those who wanted him crucified.)
Personal Thoughts and Application:
Who taught me about Biblical Forgiveness? A pastor and Christian counselor by the name of Don Dunlap. He and his wife have written a very effective book about Biblical Forgiveness that I urge you to buy a copy of. The book is composed of very interesting easy reading and will change your spiritual life. To get your own copy click on the picture for a link:
I was refered to Dr. Don Dunlap by my personal pastor on the day after my husband filed divorce papers. When I walked into the office of this gentle giant, I liked him instantly. He proceeded to tell me that he couldn’t guarantee that my marriage was salvageable but he could guarantee me this: If I would commit to working on my personal spiritual life through what he would teach me in counseling that if the day came that I had to walk in to the court room and hear my marriage legally ended, that I would have peace. Well, I agreed and thus my journey began toward realizing what a bitter, angry, and resentful person I had become because of how I viewed the offenses of my husband during our 7 years of marriage. What he taught me about God’s sovereignty, the biblical perspective I should have toward all of life’s hardships and trials, and the biblical way to forgive….changed me tremendously. My husband also went through the counseling and we were able to reconcile our marriage. A few years later, my husband tried to contact Dr. Dunlap to work through some spiritual issues he found resurfacing and we learned that Dr. Dunlap had passed away expectantly. His wife Debbie ( and mother of their 10 children) took over his counseling ministry and we were able to see the same principles lived out in her life as she met with us and blessed us by her counseling as well.
I believe it is critical for Christians to understand Biblical Forgiveness. The main theme of the Bible is God’s love for us in that he sent us a Savior so that we could be forgiven and reconciled to him. Our trials and , yes, the offenses committed against us all work together in God’s great plan to make us more like Christ. To be Christlike is to know how to forgive.
Prayer For You: May God teach you true Biblical Forgiveness so that trials, tribulations, wrongful persecution and suffering can be transformed into opportunities for you to become more Christ like and for God to be the one glorified! May you be free from the bitterness, and resentments that act like a poison in your spiritual life when you do not forgive, and may you know the peace and joy of forgiving as He forgives.
Posted on May 30, 2012, in Character Series and tagged Biblical character, character development, Christian character, Christian living, forgiveness, God's sovereignty. Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.