Forgiving someone is a difficult task. The consequences of failing to forgive are monumental. Please read what God says about forgiveness.
God’s example of forgiveness
“In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;” (Ephesians 1:7)
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us [our] sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9)
“Be it known unto you therefore, men and brethren, that through this man is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins: And by him all that believe are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses.” (Acts 13:38-39)
How often should we forgive?
“Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times?22 Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven.” (Matthew 18:21-22)
“Take heed to yourselves: If thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke him; and if he repent, forgive him.4 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.” (Luke 17:3-4)
What are we to do and why?
“Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.” (Colossians 3:13)
“Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.” (Ephesians 4:31-32)
“For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.” (Matthew 6:14-15)
“Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful.37 Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven:” (Luke 6:36-37)
“And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have aught against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses. 26 But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses.” (Mark 11:25-26)
What is the result when we forgive? Reconciliation.
“Then Esau ran to meet him, and embraced him, and fell on his neck, and kissed him: and they wept.” (Genesis 33:4) Jacob and Esau.
“So shall ye say unto Joseph, Forgive, I pray thee now, the trespass of thy brethren, and their sin; for they did unto thee evil: and now, we pray thee, forgive the trespass of the servants of the God of thy father. And Joseph wept when they spake unto him.18 And his brethren also went and fell down before his face; and they said, Behold, we be thy servants.19 And Joseph said unto them, Fear not: for am I in the place of God?20 But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive.” (Genesis 50:17-20) Joseph and his brothers.
“And when Saul was come to Jerusalem, he assayed to join himself to the disciples: but they were all afraid of him, and believed not that he was a disciple.27 But Barnabas took him, and brought him to the apostles, and declared unto them how he had seen the Lord in the way, and that he had spoken to him, and how he had preached boldly at Damascus in the name of Jesus.28 And he was with them coming in and going out at Jerusalem.” (Acts 9:26-28) Saul and the disciples/apostles.
Tom Stearns, WASI Chaplain, 907 715-4001