Forgiveness And Compassion: A Story From Rwanda
If youre finding it hard to forgive, you may be encouraged by Methodes testimony.
Methode was only 6-years-old when the Rwandan genocide occurred, during which, both of his parents were murdered.
Looking back, Methode says, The biggest thing that happened to me, that the government would not have managed to give me, is forgiving my parents killers.
“God convinced me that I would not be any different if I revenged. I thank Compassion, and my sponsor because they introduced me to knowing God bit by bit, until I got born again and my family followed on. My project helped me discover my singing and leadership talent. I am learning to accept Gods love for me and in the end, I know He is enough.
Because I was a sponsored child, I went to the church project every week. Through the regular project activities like singing, games, praying together and reading the Bible, I started to realise that I could get peace from God.
We invite you to consider sponsoring a child like Methode and giving them real hope for the future. Your sponsorship will enable them to go to a local church project every week where they can come to know the grace and peace of God for themselves.
Why Should We Forgive
Forgiveness can even lead to feelings of understanding, empathy and compassion for the one who hurt you. Forgiveness doesnt mean forgetting or excusing the harm done to you or making up with the person who caused the harm. Forgiveness brings a kind of peace that helps you go on with life.
Forgiveness That Is Not Forgiveness
Some signs that we have not forgiven others are common experience. One sign is that we have distanced ourselves from them, instead of living in harmony and collaboration. This is reasonable to protect ourselves from further damage, but the silent treatment is far short of reconciliation. Despite what we may tell ourselves that we have forgiven them and it is all okay now, the ongoing fracture and coldness in the relationship indicates that we have not forgiven the other person.
Another sign that we have not reached forgiveness is that we continue to feel bitterness or frustration about the situation. Whenever the other person comes to mind, we are irritated. The offense of their wrong against us remains unresolved, so we carry this burden. Unfortunately, we get so familiar with carrying these burdens of our bitterness against others that we do not even realize we are doing it, like carrying rocks in our backpack that just seem our normal load in life.
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Bible Verses About Forgiveness
While forgiveness is difficult, its the key to releasing freedom, peace, and life in your life. There is a reason the word shows up all over the Bible. Its not a suggestion, its a command intended to bring you life. Here are some Bible verses about forgiveness.
The Motivation Behind Forgiveness
Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. Colossians 3:13
Of all the Bible verses about forgiveness, this one is really important because it explains why Christians are called to forgive. God is not calling them to do anything He hasnt done, in fact, He is calling them to emulate Him. As an all-perfect Creator, He is worthy of worship and obedience. However, humanity sinned, rebelling against their all-powerful creator.
Instead of sending an asteroid to smash earth, God showed mankind grace by sending His Son to be their mediator. He bore humanitys sin and suffering on the cross so all of mankind could approach the throne of grace. This is the single greatest act of Gods forgiveness in the Bible.
The rich themes of forgiveness running throughout Scriptures originate in this moment. What it is important for Christians to realize is that as forgiven people, they are called to forgive. God is not satisfied with His people receiving forgiveness while harboring bitterness and grudges.
White as Snow
Others Will Notice
Forgiveness, Not Judgement
The Root of a Forgiving Heart
Confession is Necessary
What Is Forgiveness By God
God loves us too much to let us destroy ourselves in Hell. He provided a way for us to be forgiven, and that way is through Jesus Christ. Jesus confirmed that in no uncertain terms when he said, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” . God’s plan of salvation was to send Jesus, his only Son, into the world as a sacrifice for our sins.
That sacrifice was necessary to satisfy God’s justice. Moreover, that sacrifice had to be perfect and spotless. Because of our sinful nature, we cannot repair our broken relationship with God on our own. Only Jesus was qualified to do that for us.
The next day, Jesus died on the cross, taking the punishment due us, and atoning for our sins. On the third day after that, he rose from the dead, conquering death for all who believe in him as Savior.
John the Baptist and Jesus commanded that we repent, or turn away from our sins to receive God’s forgiveness. When we do, our sins are forgiven, and we are assured of eternal life in heaven.
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God Does Not Grade Our Sins
John tells us that “if we confess our sins God is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness”.The word “all” is very important in that verse and also in verse 7.
Whether our sins are small or great whether few or many whether done once or oft-repeated the blood of Christ can cleanse them all every single one.
Will God Forgive Me If I Keep Sinning
If you seek forgiveness and do not intend to keep repeating the same sin, God forgives you. Even if it happens again, he forgives you. If you ask forgiveness but dont intend to stop the sin, your heart is not in the right place. He died so that the consequences of the sins we commit are paid for already.
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What Are The Four Steps Of Forgiveness
4 Steps to Forgiveness
- Talk to someone you trust and open up about how hurt, sad or angry you may feel. Let your emotions out, and dont apologize for them.
- Dont withdraw or isolate yourself. Stay connected and feel the pain, even though it hurts. With someone there to listen, the pain is more bearable.
Forgiving Others Can Be Really Difficult
Forgiving others is important, but sometimes it can be really difficult to do. Why should I forgive, and how can I do it?
Then Peter came to Him and said, Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Up to seven times? Jesus said to him, I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven. Matthew 18:21-22.
For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses. Matthew 6:14-15.
Forgiving others who have wronged you, whether for a relatively small thing, or for a seriously damaging act against you, can sometimes seem like an insurmountably difficult thing to do. In some cases its a process that really takes time. Yet, the Bible is crystal clear on the necessity of it. And there are no caveats such as unless,if, or but. As in all things, we need to look to our Forerunner, Captain, and Master as our example.
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What Are The 3 Unforgivable Sins
I believe that God can forgive all sins provided the sinner is truly contrite and has repented for his or her offenses. Heres my list of unforgivable sins: ÇMurder, torture and abuse of any human being, but particularly the murder, torture and abuse of children and animals.
Unlimited Forgivenesshow Many Times Will God Forgive
Many people are troubled by the fact that they must keeping asking God for forgiveness, and they worry that God will grow weary of their repeatedly coming back. However God is not like that.
Jesus says, “Ask, and it shall be given you, seek and you shall find, knock and it shall be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it shall be opened”.
In the Greek, the verbs ask, seek, and knock, are written in such a way as to indicate, “keep on asking…keep on seeking…keep on knocking”.
In this lovely statement Jesus does not specify what “it” is that we are to keep on asking for and seeking. But surely we do not imagine that “it” excludes forgiveness of sins, the very thing that Jesus shed his blood to accomplish ?
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By Gods Servant And Not By Self
In old testament times prophecy looked forward to the suffering servant whom God would exalt because by his death he would justify many .
The people of the Mosaic age could do nothing on their own to remove their guilt. They transgressed, the punishing stroke was due them, and they had no recourse except this promise of God’s Servant who would be punished in their stead. This was true not only for them but for people in every age.
Because the Lamb would be led to the slaughter, people of faith could sing, “You forgave the iniquity of your people you covered all their sin… Lovingkindness and truth have met together righteousness and peace have kissed each other”..
Does Forgiveness Guarantee Reconciliation
If the hurtful event involved someone whose relationship you otherwise value, forgiveness can lead to reconciliation. This isnt always the case, however.
Reconciliation might be impossible if the offender has died or is unwilling to communicate with you. In other cases, reconciliation might not be appropriate. Still, forgiveness is possible even if reconciliation isnt.
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Old Testament Scriptures Showing Us How God Forgives Sin
The nature and essence of Gods forgiveness
Sometimes we need to be reminded of Gods promise for the forgiveness of sins.
Here are a few Old Testament scriptures that reveal the heart of God in dealing with His people. All of these ancient texts point us ultimately to Jesus whose very purpose on the earth was to save his people from their sins. This same truth is also found in the book of Hebrews, But he has appeared once for all at the culmination of the ages to do away with sin by the sacrifice of himself.
The Apostle Peter tells us how we can experience this forgiveness, Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far offfor all whom the Lord our God will call.
So if we repent of our sins, confess with our mouths and believe in our hearts that Jesus is Lord. We can stand on Gods promise for the forgiveness of sins.
My prayer is that Gods word will fill our heart, heal our souls, wash our minds and renew our strength as we meditate on the wonderful nature of Gods forgiveness as revealed in the Old Testament.
How does God forgive us of our sins?
1. Gods forgiveness is cleansing in nature.
on this day atonement will be made for you, to cleanse you. Then, before the Lord, you will be clean from all your sins. – Leviticus 16:30
2. Gods forgiveness pardons sinners.
Forgiven for Fellowship
Gods Forgiveness Requires Repentance
I stated earlier that forgiving another person who has not repented may be something that God has not called us to do, and may actually be impossible. Does God forgive people who have not repented? The biblical pattern is first repentance, and then forgiveness. Consider a two examples:
2 Chronicles 7:14
turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin and heal their land.
1 John 1:9
If we confess our sins, He is faithful to forgive us our sins
Broadly, the claim that forgiveness requires repentance fits with the biblical idea of salvation that requires personal faith, the voluntary embrace of Gods gift. Gods forgiveness is available to anyone who would appeal to his mercy, and the appeal includes an acknowledgement of ones crimes. Forgiveness must be desired and accepted if the sinner is to be forgiven by God. Not all people are included in salvation, since not all people are willing to repent of their sins. Since not even God forgives people apart from their repentance, then why should we expect that we could do so?
It follows, then, that if we would respond to God by readiness to forgive others as we have been forgiven by God, we must look for repentance from those who have done wrong to us. Many people are oblivious to the ways they violate others, so the imperative that we rebuke him or show him his fault makes good sense of helping them to see the problem that they have a part in fixing.
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What Is Forgiveness Of Others
As believers, our relationship with God is restored, but what about our relationship with our fellow human beings? The Bible states that when someone hurts us, we are under an obligation to God to forgive that person. Jesus is very clear on this point:
Matthew 6:14-15For 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.
Refusing to forgive is a sin. If we receive forgiveness from God, we must give it to others who hurt us. We cannot hold grudges or seek revenge. We are to trust God for justice and forgive the person who offended us. That does not mean we must forget the offense, however usually, that’s beyond our power. Forgiveness means releasing the other from blame, leaving the event in God’s hands, and moving on.
We may resume a relationship with the person if we had one, or we may not if one did not exist before. Certainly, the victim of a crime has no obligation to become friends with the criminal. We leave it to the courts and to God to judge them.
Nothing compares to the freedom we feel when we learn to forgive others. When we choose not to forgive, we become slaves to bitterness. We are the ones most hurt by holding on to unforgiveness.
In his book, “Forgive and Forget”, Lewis Smedes wrote these profound words about forgiveness:
What Does The Bible Say About Forgiveness
forgivenessforgiveforgiveforgivenessThe law is only a shadow of the good things that are comingnot the realities themselves. For this reason it can never, by the same sacrifices repeated endlessly year after year, make perfect those who draw near to worship. Otherwise, would they not have stopped being offered? For the worshipers would have been cleansed once for all, and would no longer have felt guilty for their sins. But those sacrifices are an annual reminder of sins. It is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins. Day after day every priest stands and performs his religious duties again and again he offers the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. But when this priest had offered for all time one sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God. âThis is the covenant I will make with them after that time, says the Lord. I will put my laws in their hearts, and I will write them on their minds.â Then he adds: âTheir sins and lawless acts I will remember no more.â And where these have been forgiven, sacrifice for sin is no longer necessary. blood of the covenantforgive and forgetforgetforgettingforgive and forgetchurch disciplineturn the other cheekresentmentbitternessgossip
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God Does Not Count The Times
Peter asked Jesus how many times should he forgive his brother. Peter thought maybe seven times might be a fair limit. But Jesus said “seventy times seven”.
Of course Jesus didn’t mean literally 490 times, but rather that the number of times are not to be counted.
This is our Lord’s principle of forgiveness, and we may be certain that he did not bind it only upon Peter, but also upon himself.
What Forgiveness Requires
Then Joseph said to his brothers, Come close to me. When they had done so, he said, I am your brother Joseph, the one you sold into Egypt! And now, do not be distressed and do not be angry with yourselves for selling me here, because it was to save lives that God sent me ahead of you. For two years now there has been famine in the land, and for the next five years there will be no plowing and reaping. But God sent me ahead of you to preserve for you a remnant on earth and to save your lives by a great deliverance. Genesis 45:47
Joseph had a solid reason for wanting revenge against his brothers: They planned to kill him but instead sold him into slavery and told his parents he had died. And then, to his surprise, their paths crossed again. Now he was in a position of power and authority he could have had his brothers executed or sold as slaves. Instead, he forgave them.
Joseph understood that God had used the crime to save the lives of others . But knowing God used the situation for good probably didnt remove all of Josephs hurt and pain.
Forgiveness is necessary, but it isnt always easy. Knowing what is and is not required of us can help us through the process of forgiving those who have wronged us.
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