Friday, April 13, 2012

Bible Verses About Forgiveness

Unfortunately, hurt and forgiveness are aspects of relationships we sometimes have to face. My latest article highlights some Bible verses that have helped me move toward forgiveness after a particularly traumatic experience.

My mother has sometimes accused me of being "too forgiving," if there is such a thing. But there have been times in my life when I've been so deeply wounded by words or actions that I have trouble finding forgiveness in my heart, letting go of the hurt, and mending the resulting damaged relationship. The road to forgiveness is certainly a dark uphill climb, but thankfully there are some Scripture verses that have helped illuminate my way.

We are all God's children.

Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from the will of your Father. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don't be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows. (Matthew 10:29-31)

This Bible verse reminds me of a very important fact: we are all God's children. Despite our flaws, mistakes, and poor choices, God loves us each exactly the same - and more than we can imagine. When I'm having trouble forgiving, I try to remember that God loves the person who has offended me just as much as he loves me. I am not better than that person, and I should not be so self-righteous as to think I should not love someone who God loves.

Forgive others as God forgives us.

When they came to the place called the Skull, there they crucified him, along with the criminals - one on his right, the other on his left. Jesus said, "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing." (Luke 23:33-34)

There is no greater example of forgiveness that I can think of than when Jesus forgives his executers in this Scripture passage. If the goal of life is to become more like God (and I believe it is), we must imitate his forgiving heart, even when faced with the most grievous sins. Whatever someone has done to offend me likely offends God, but He probably forgave that person long ago. And furthermore, perhaps the people who hurt me really did not realize how deeply they affected me, or they truly believed they were not in the wrong.

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