Thursday, November 15, 2007

Thoughts on Forgiveness

Have you ever heard it said that you havn't forgiven until you've forgotten? I think that is a lie that messes alot of people up because they havn't understood forgiveness. As I study the attributes of God, the omniscience, and immutability of God reminds me that God knows all my sins and because He can't change, then He can't forget them. Now you are starting to think of Hebrews 8:12 which says: For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more. It appears to us that God remembers our sins no more, but in reality, God cannot lose or gain any information, or else God would not be omniscient or immutable. What God does when He saves us is that He chooses to not deal with us according to our sins. He treats us as if our offenses never occurred.

Will you ever forget someones hurtful words or actions against you? Of course not! But if you are still harboring bitterness in your heart against someone although you may have told them you have forgiven them, then you are a liar. When we offer forgiveness, we are telling the offender that we will no longer hold the offense against them and never bring it back up as a point of contention. There are no reminders of the past, no bringing up the past, none of that!

That is how God deals with us and that is how we are to deal with our brethren when they trespass against us. This kind of forgiveness is liberating and healing! Clara Barton, the founder of the Red Cross was reminded by a friend about an offense that someone had done against her, and Clara responded: "I remember deliberately deciding to forget about that." She understood true forgiveness.

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