What is Forgiveness?

Matthew 18:21,22. Then Peter came and said to Him, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me and I forgive him? Up to seven times?” Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.”

I don’t know about you, but I am glad that God does not put a limit on how many times He will forgive me. I’ve found I cannot restore freedom from something until I will admit it as an area of struggle. The first few steps of forgiveness, in short, begin by admitting I have been offended. It’s easier to forgive when we remember the gracious gift of God’s forgiveness to us. As we have received forgiveness, we are called to extend forgiveness to others.

Forgiveness does not mean we have to confess that we are no longer affected by the actions of another or that their actions should not have consequences. Forgiveness means that we must release what we are owed and not give your offenders what they deserve. Forgiveness isn’t saying that we are not owed something. Forgiveness acknowledges the debt, but you are choosing to cancel it. This is the essence of forgiveness - releasing the other person’s indebtedness to you.

God releases your debt in forgiving you. The only way for you to be free is to release the debt. In releasing the debt you are releasing your tie to the debtor, and the result is freedom! Until then- you are still in bondage to the offense and in bondage to the offender.

Forgiveness means that you are releasing the offender into the care of Jesus who is our just Judge and our Defender. Read Romans 12:19 and ask God to help you forgive as you have been forgiven.

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