False forgiveness – Hope 103.2

False forgiveness

By David ReayTuesday 11 Nov 2014LifeWords DevotionalsFaithReading Time: 0 minutes


Read Ephesians 4:32

32 Be kind to each other,be understanding. Be as ready to forgive others as God for Christ’s sake has forgiven you. (JBP)

Followers of Jesus agree that forgiveness is an essential part of our Christian lives. But we can easily misunderstand what it is and tie ourselves in knots as a result. Paul tells us to forgive as God has forgiven us-and that gives us some clues as to how we are to forgive.

Forgiveness is not leniency,or taking a wrong done to us lightly. God didn’t: he took our sin so seriously that Jesus died a painful death to deal with that wrong. Forgiveness is not excusing a wrong either. God didn’t,and nor should we. When we forgive,therefore,we recognise wrong has been done to us. We take it seriously. It hurts and it matters.

But we don’t chew over it endlessly and plot some sort of revenge on the wrongdoer. We may confront the wrongdoer if need be and speak of our woundedness. Or we may resolve matters internally. What we don’t do is to bury it all and pretend it doesn’t matter and speak of moving on. We can’t move on till the hurt is faced and a decision is made to release the wrongdoer from our resentment or revenge.

This is not easy: if we feel that forgiveness is a ‘piece of cake’ then it is likely we have mistaken forgiveness for denial or excusing or dismissing. We can only forgive truly if we call on the help of God. He empowers our forgiveness and models what forgiving others is all about.

David Reay