Is forgiveness possible?
Derrida the French philosopher said - forgiveness is an impossible possibility!Let us admit we cannot forgive. But, let me ask again - is forgiveness possible?We need to realize forgiveness starts with God – He is the ultimate forgiver! How often have we said these words? “. . . Forgive us our sins just as we have forgiven those who have sinned against us . . .” Matthew 6:12 God forgives us! Jeremiah 31:34 says: “. . . I will forgive their sins and I will no longer remember their wrongs . . .”
How is it possible that God can forgive us?
Because . . . John 3:16 says, “. . . God so loved the world that He gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”God so loved us . . . It is possible? God is Love! - And He made us to love ourselves and others. Love is the building block for forgiveness.We read in Christ Object Lessons . . . “the ground of all forgiveness is found in the unmerited love of God.” This says . . . God’s love makes it possible!Love covers a multitude of sin, and allows us to see the best in others.We need love, God’s love, to make it possible to forgive. But is it possible to forgive a terrible crime?Matthew 6:14, 15 says: “If you forgive those who sin against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you.But if you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins.”We may ask again:
Is it possible to forgive?
Forgiveness is the only thing . . . That can break the cords that bind us, in order to make us free. It is only love that can melt away our unforgiving attitude. Forgiveness is possible!
The possibility is God’s love and His forgiveness in my life. This helps me to forgive myself and others, and helps me to become a forgiving person with all the benefits that forgiveness offers. Forgiveness is possible with God. Ephesians 4:32 says . . .“Be kind to each other, tender hearted, forgiving one another, just as God has forgiven you.”Mark Twine said: “Forgiveness is the fragrance that the flower leaves on the heal of the one who crushed it.” Forgiveness is impossible for us, but by God’s grace it is possible to smell the flavor of God’s grace!
Pain, healing and Forgiveness
There are people who go through life without forgiving their loved ones, their friends and others that have hurt them. Can you believe it there are homes where people have not forgiven each other and stay mad for 20, even 30 years! The pain continues if we do not forgive. We all need forgiveness in order to find healing.
Forgiveness is one of the most difficult concepts to grasp?
Many have been deeply hurt. Our hearts are full of hatred, revenge and, bitterness. Let us admit . . . Forgiveness is against our grain! What is our greatest need? If our greatest need had been information, God would have sent us an educator. If our greatest need had been technology, God would have sent us a scientist.
If our greatest need had been money, God would have sent us an economist. If our greatest need had been pleasure, God would have sent us an entertainer. But our greatest need was forgiveness, - So God sent us a SAVIOR We need forgiveness. No matter how wonderful a person is, or how well they live, we all need forgiveness, and not just once, but throughout our lives. We were born with a need for forgiveness!
It is one of the greatest gifts God gives to us.
What is forgiveness?
1.Forgiveness is a Gift!
We receive grace and forgiveness as a gift from God. It is not something we have worked for, or something we have earned!It is not about points that we have earned. . . “. . . It is a gift of God.” Ephesians 2:8 In the book by E. White The Mount of Blessings, 115 it says, “Forgiveness, reconciliation with God, comes to us, not as a reward for our works, it is not bestowed because of the merit of sinful men, but it is a gift unto us, having in the spotless righteousness of Christ its foundation for bestowal.”
2. Forgiveness is a choice
Larry James said: “I believe that to withhold forgiveness is to choose to continue to remain the victim. Remember, you always have the choice.” Forgiveness is a choice and a gift - you give to others and yourself!
3. Forgiveness is an attitude
It determines whether the hurt will continue, or the healing will begin.
We’re always free to choose an attitude that works for us.Forgiveness is not just an occasional act – it is a permanent attitude.
4. Forgiveness is an act of faith
By forgiving others - I am trusting that God is a better justice maker than I am. By forgiving - I release my own right to get even and leave it all for God to work out.I leave in God’s hand the scales that must balance justice and mercy.
5. Forgiveness is an emotional ordinance of humility that prepares us to receive Christ! What can the dynamic possibility of forgiveness do for us?
6. Forgiveness brings us back to God We need to forgive to stay in a relationship with our loved ones, and to bring us back to God.
7. Accepting forgiveness brings me back home
When things became difficult for the prodigal son. . . “He came to his senses. He said: How many people my father has working for him – all well paid and well fed.” Luke 15:17 I will ask my father to forgive me and make me one of his slaves. His father welcomed him back with open arms, and celebrated his return.
8. Not to forgive makes us lonely
The older brother was working in the field. When he came home he heard the music and saw everyone dancing for joy. He asked a servant what is going on. They said your brother has just come home! We are celebrating! But the older brother was mad. The older brother became angry and refused to join the celebration. His father begged him to come and take part in the festivities.But his heart was filled with anger and hatred. Everybody was happy and celebrated, but he was alone with his hatred and bitterness.
9. Forgiveness ends self-defeating behavior
Someone has said . . .“Anger will never disappear as long as thoughts of resentment are cherished in the mind. Anger will disappear just as soon as thoughts of resentment are forgotten.”
10. Forgiveness makes us loving and loveable people
Paul Tillich said . . . “We cannot love unless we have accepted forgiveness, and the deeper our experience of forgiveness is, the greater is our love.”Forgiveness is the final form of love.Mother Teresa said: “If we really want to love, we must learn how to forgive.”
11. Forgiveness can improve our mental and physical health
Scientific research has shown that forgiveness is good for our physical and mental health. And it gives us peace of mind.When we are unforgiving we can contract illnesses like: depression, anxiety and fear, raging anger, guilt, devastation, grief and sorrow, even cancer and heart problems.
12. Forgiveness opens the prison doors so that we can live again.
Not to forgive is to be imprisoned by the past.
13. Forgiveness makes us free
Hatred, revenge, and bitterness will destroy you. It will use all your energy, it will deprive you of friendships, and make your life meaningless. We need to forgive to be free! We were made to be free!Forgiveness sets us freeWhen we forgive we are no longer in prison - but we are free.Tim Hansel: “Pain is inevitable. Misery is optional.”Only forgiveness frees us form the injustice of others!
14. Forgiveness makes us transcending people
Benjamin Franklin said . . . “Keeping score of old scars, and getting even always makes us less than we are. Doing an injury - puts you below your enemy; revenging one, - make you but even with him; Forgiving it - sets you above him.” Forgiving others is not our capacity to think, but, our capacity to repent and to forgive that makes us different. When we forgive – we do it for ourselves. The only thing that is more difficult than forgiveness - is the alternative! Forgiveness can change us! To forgive others is a healing inspiration. It is a wonder medicine. It is free, and it works! It has no after effect. It is everyone’s right to live without the pain of the past. When I forgive others - I do it for myself!