Forgive as God Forgave You
Through forgiveness God tears down the walls that our sins have built, and he opens the way for a renewed relationship with him. This is exactly what we can do when we forgive as the Lord forgives us: We release the person who has wronged us from the penalty of being separated from us. We do not hold wrongs against others, do not think about the wrongs, and do not punish others for them. Therefore, forgiveness may be described as a decision to make four promises:
- “I will not dwell on this incident.”
- “I will not bring up this incident again and use it against you.”
- “I will not talk to others about this incident.”
- “I will not let this incident stand between us or hinder our personal relationship.” **
By making and keeping these promises, you can tear down the walls that stand between you and your offender. You promise not to dwell on or brood over the problem or to punish by holding the person at a distance. You clear the way for your relationship to develop unhindered by memories of past wrongs. This is exactly what God does for us, and it is what he calls us to do for others.
** In cases of abuse, forgiveness can and should include the establishment of safe boundaries for emotional and physical safety. See The Peacemaker, pp. 156-7, 284.
Adapted from The Peacemaker: A Biblical Guide to Resolving Personal Conflict © 2004 by Ken Sande. All Rights Reserved. See Chapter 10 for more information on forgiveness. Download Chapter 1 for free at this link.