Forgiveness — one powerful word. Something that is most needed and hardest to give.
Not long ago I was driving in the car and a song came on the radio that says it all. It is by Matthew West and the title is simply “Forgiveness”. I share a video of it down a little farther in the posts. But I also want to show you what I found in the Bible about this one powerful word.
Jesus spoke about forgiveness when he was questioned by Peter about how many times we should forgive our brother:
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)
Of course that does not mean that literally when we have forgiven 490 times we stop forgiving. Jesus was conveying the message that we should be always standing ready to forgive, no matter how many times we have already been offended. It is an attitude of forgiveness that we should have in our heart. Some other things that Jesus said about forgiveness include:
Matthew 5:22-24 But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire. 23 Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee; 24 Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift.
Luke 7:47-48 Wherefore I say unto thee, Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much: but to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little. 48 And he said unto her, Thy sins are forgiven.
Luke 23:43 And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, Today shalt thou be with me in paradise.
The Bible says we should forgive because we love one another:
2 Corinthians 2:5-8 But if any have caused grief, he hath not grieved me, but in part: that I may not overcharge you all. 6 Sufficient to such a man is this punishment, which was inflicted of many. 7 So that contrariwise ye ought rather to forgive him, and comfort him, lest perhaps such a one should be swallowed up with overmuch sorrow. 8 Wherefore I beseech you that ye would confirm your love toward him.
We should be meek and forgive because we are interested in restoring a broken relationship:
Galatians 6:1-2 Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted. 2 Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.
And we should forgive because God forgave us:
Ephesians 4:31-32 Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: 32 And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.
Matthew West in his song “Forgiveness” says:
It’ll clear the bitterness away
It can even set a prisoner free
There is no end to what it’s power can do
So, let it go and be amazed
By what you see through eyes of grace
The prisoner that it really frees is you
Enjoy the video and sing along if you like. I think Matthew sort of sounds like Neil Diamond in this one … do you know who that is?