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Friday, January 5, 2018

Think About It

By Pastor B.J. Knefley

Forgiveness, what does that mean? Some synonyms are clemency, pity, mercy, compassion and understanding. Perhaps the real question is, what does forgiveness mean to you?

I believe that we all want to receive forgiveness, but giving it is another matter. Why? Is it because we want something that we feel is owed to us? Do we want restitution? Satisfaction? Do we feel that we are owed a due recompense? Whatever the reason, we all want forgiveness, but we are often reluctant to give it. Perhaps the reason is that to give it requires more than just saying the words.

I remember that I once offered forgiveness to someone only to learn that I never dealt with the offense. I was angry, really angry. I was bitter. I felt violated and yet I had forgiven, or had I? The answer to that is a resounding NO. I hadn’t really forgiven even though I had uttered the words. All I had given was lip service; I had not engaged my heart and forgiveness. To be real it must come from the heart.

The Bible says that we will be forgiven as we have forgiven others. Remember that part of the Lord’s Prayer… “Forgive us our sins, as we have forgiven those who sin against us” (Matthew 9:12). Whoops! You mean we will be forgiven in the same manner in which we’ve forgiven? Yup, that’s what it says.

Okay, so what might forgiveness look like? First, it’s not lip service. Forgiveness requires our whole being, body, soul, and spirit. It is a choice and an act all rolled up into one. It simply means that you’re not going to require payback. But, and remember this, forgiveness does not mean restoration. In other words, the person who you are forgiving is not automatically restored to the same position that they once had with you. That position might never been gained. One simple act can and does destroy trust and trust is something that must be earned. Oh, and one other thing, forgiveness is not forgetting. Remember that. Think about it.


Anonymous said...

Wow!! That's all I can say to this!! I have some forgiving to do!

Anonymous said...

Thank You for this! I felt that this message was speeking to me!!

Anonymous said...

Great message Bernie....your message sure has convicted me big time...great way to start the New Year..I have some work to do..thank you so much for sharing....God bless you...