What is Forgiveness?
Dictionary.com defines forgiveness as:
The act of forgiving or the disposition or willingness to forgive
Webster’s 1828 Dictionary defines forgiveness as:
The act of forgiving; the pardon of an offender, by which he is considered and treated as not guilty
Forgive, in its original and proper phrase, is to forgive the offense, to send it away, reject it, that is not to impute it to the offender. (We don’t keep a tab of all they’ve done to us.)
Why do we need to forgive?
The Unmerciful Servant-Matthew 19:23-35
“Therefore, the Kingdom of Heaven can be compared to a king who decided to bring his accounts up to date with servants who had borrowed money from him. In the process, one of his debtors was brought in who owed him millions of dollars. He couldn’t pay, so his master ordered that he be sold—along with his wife, his children, and everything he owned—to pay the debt.
“But the man fell down before his master and begged him, ‘Please, be patient with me, and I will pay it all.’ Then his master was filled with pity for him, and he released him and forgave his debt.
“But when the man left the king, he went to a fellow servant who owed him a few thousand dollars. He grabbed him by the throat and demanded instant payment.
“His fellow servant fell down before him and begged for a little more time. ‘Be patient with me, and I will pay it,’ he pleaded. But his creditor wouldn’t wait. He had the man arrested and put in prison until the debt could be paid in full.
“When some of the other servants saw this, they were very upset. They went to the king and told him everything that had happened. Then the king called in the man he had forgiven and said, ‘You evil servant! I forgave you that tremendous debt because you pleaded with me. Shouldn’t you have mercy on your fellow servant, just as I had mercy on you?’ Then the angry king sent the man to prison to be tortured until he had paid his entire debt.
“That’s what my heavenly Father will do to you if you refuse to forgive your brothers and sisters from your heart.”
Matthew 6:12 And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
Forgive (aphiemi), in this passage, means to let go, give up a debt, by not demanding it.
Ephesians 4:32 And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.
When We Forgive
Matthew 6:14-15 For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
Psalm 32:1 Blessed is he whose transgression (rebellion) is forgiven, whose sin is covered.
When to Forgive
Mark 11:25-26 And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought (anything) against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses. But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses.
Luke 17:3-4 Take heed to yourselves: If thy brother trespass (errs) against thee, rebuke him; and if he repent, forgive him. And if he trespass against thee seven times in a day, and seven times in a day turn again to thee, saying, I repent; thou shalt forgive him.
Romans 12:19 Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place (opportunity or power) unto wrath (that in God which stands opposed to man’s disobedience, stubborn resistance to moral influence, and sin, and manifests itself in punishing the same): for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.
Luke 6:35-38 But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil.
Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful. Judge not (unfairly), and ye shall not be judged: condemn (pronounce guilty) not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven: Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.
Romans 12:17-18 Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest (live within your means) in the sight of all men. If it be possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men.
Romans 20-21 Therefore, if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head. Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.
According to Dake’s Annotated Reference Bible:
Coals of fire-A proverbial expression signifying to call up, by favors you confer on your enemy, the memory in him of the wrong he has done you (which shall pain him as if live coals were heaped on his head), that he may the more readily repent. The Arabians call things that cause very acute mental pain “burning coals of the heart” and “fire of the liver”.
“Your life will become less stressful when you give up your right to anger and offense.” ~Brant Hansen, Unoffendable