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Forgiveness 4: Forgiveness and Your Relationship with God

 

 

When we read the bible, we always need to keep in mind that the whole book has very little to do with rules intended to make our lives more difficult, and everything to do with building a more intimate relationship with God.

 

Forgiveness is About Your Relationship With God

 

Corrie Ten Boom, a famous Christian woman who survived a Nazi concentration camp during the Holocaust, said,  ”Forgiveness is to set a prisoner free, and to realize the prisoner was you.”

Our natural desire is to recoil from forgiveness, to prevent being hurt again.  The question in most people’s mind is:

 

What is Forgiveness?

 

Is it a physical act of obedience or sacrifice?

Is it an emotional state of being?

Is it a mindset, a place of logic that you reach?

Is it a conscious choice?

Is it a healing process that takes place over time?

 

The important first step is to realize that some of the verses in the bible that refer to forgiveness were written for the church, to a mature Christian community. They were not written to put extra burden on a Christian who has been abused or misused. For example:

Colossians 3:13   Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. NIV

Matthew 18:21-22    Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?” Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times. (NIV)

Matthew 6:14-16

For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins. (NIV)

 Mark 11:25    And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins. (NIV)

 Luke 6:37      Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. (NIV)

1 John 1:9    “But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us and to cleanse us from every wrong”

Most of these verses are pulled from scriptures that discuss how to have a closer relationship with God. They are written to Christians who want to become Christ-like. They are not written to new Christians, or the hurting, or wounded who are struggling with their walk with Christ.

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