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Understanding What Forgiveness is and is not
Definition: It comes from the Greek word that means “To send away.” It is used 146 times in the N.T.
God wants us ‘to send away’ the sin and hurt that others inflict on us, as well as the memories, feelings, etc. His grace enables us to do that.
What forgiveness is NOT: -it is not an erasure of memory. Forgiving is not forgetting.
-it does not mean that the seriousness of the offenses have been minimized.
-it does not mean giving the offender full reign to repeat the offense.
-it does not mean excusing the offense.
-it does not mean that the person doesn’t have to face the consequences of his/her sin.
-it does not mean all of the damage is overlooked.
-it does not mean that trust is automatically restored.
-it does not mean the other person was right.
What forgiveness IS: -it is going on with our lives. -it is no longer allowing the offender or the offense to control us.
-it is working through the anger, hurt, bitterness to let them go, so the offender cannot continue to control us.
It is no longer blaming ourselves for the offense or its results.
What causes unforgiveness? -the offense was too great. -the person will not accept responsibility or admit to the offense.
-the person isn’t truly sorry. -the person never asked for forgiveness.
-the person did it too many times. -we don’t like the person.
-the person did the offense deliberately.
-if I forgive, I will have to treat the offender well.
-someone has to punish the person for the offense.
I’ll forgive but I won’t forget.
Let’s look at the Scripture…
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