How can you forgive someone who has wronged you and has not apologized, has not repented, and has not repaired the damage? They deserve to be found guilty, they deserve to be judged, and they deserve to be punished. But, instead, you are hurt, you are damaged, and you are suffering. They don’t deserve to be forgiven. Why should you forgive them? How can you forgive them?
Here is the amazing 1-step way to forgive that is guaranteed to work…
1) Use your mediator
I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people. Ask God to help them; intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them. Pray this way for kings and all who are in authority so that we can live peaceful and quiet lives marked by godliness and dignity. This is good and pleases God our Savior, who wants everyone to be saved and to understand the truth. For there is only one God and one Mediator who can reconcile God and humanity—the man Christ Jesus. He gave his life to purchase freedom for everyone. This is the message God gave to the world at just the right time. And I have been chosen as a preacher and apostle to teach the Gentiles this message about faith and truth. I’m not exaggerating—just telling the truth. (1 Timothy 2:1-7)
Are you grateful that Jesus Christ paid the penalty of your sins? Do you realize the significance of that penalty. Jesus Christ was found guilty of all your sins as though he actually did them. Jesus Christ was judged for all your sins as though he actually did them. Jesus Christ was punished for all your sins and paid the full penalty as though he actually did them. He didn’t deserve any of that but He accepted it for your sake because He loved you. That is the good news of the gospel.
Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. (Colossians 3:13b)
Remember, when Jesus Christ died on the cross, He became guilty of the sin of the person who wronged you. He didn’t just forgive them, He was found guilty for their sin, He was judged for their sin, and He was punished for their sin. Then He rose from the grave because he atoned for their sin. He didn’t deserve any of that but He accepted it for their sake because He loved them. Now, he can apologize to you in their name. Can you accept a real genuine sincere apology from the Lord Jesus Christ?
For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ. (2 Corinthians 5:21)
I have often heard the advice to “forgive for Christ’s sake.” I used to think this meant to “do the right thing — for the wrong reasons — because Jesus Christ wanted you to do the right thing.” Buzzer! Wrong! Wrong! Wrong!
Forgive because Jesus Christ already paid the penalty. He already paid a much worse penalty that you can imagine. He already paid more than you could ever demand. He was rejected by His father and suffered and died the sinner’s death. Therefore, just as God has accepted Jesus Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection on your behalf, you can accept Jesus Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection on the behalf of the one who wronged you.
Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamor, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be you kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake has forgiven you. (Ephesians 4:31-32)
If you don’t forgive, your pain can turn to malice, evil speaking, clamor, anger, wrath, and bitterness. Carrying bitterness has been likened to carrying hot coals in your hands and hoping it hurts someone else. It doesn’t work!
UPDATE: forgiveness does not mean trust, respect, or obedience. Those are subject for a future post.
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