FAIR FIGHTING RULE #9: Forgive Freely
The other side of saying “I’m sorry” is saying “I forgive you.” Can you allow God’s forgiveness to flow through you?
Sometimes we have no desire to forgive someone. We are not interested in forgiveness; we’d rather brood in our anger a little while longer to be sure they know how much they’ve hurt us.
But when we withhold forgiveness, the person we hurt most is ourselves. We hold ourselves hostage to our own anger. We define ourselves as a victim in need of vindication. We build up walls of self-righteous resentment. We carry bitterness, which eventually burns our hearts and distorts our view of the world.
Forgiveness breaks down those walls of anger in our relationships, and flushes the resentment away. Forgiveness frees us from the burden of anger.
COL 3:13 — Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another.
God commands forgiveness and it is for our own benefit. Forgiving frees us from anger and gives God the job of establishing justice. In forgiving, we give up our right to retaliation and allow God to be in charge of retribution.
EPH 4:32 — Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as Christ forgave you.
Can we follow Christ’s example and forgive one another? Can Christ’s power work within us? We are told all through scripture to forgive as we have been forgiven. That is often beyond our comprehension! Christ forgave us while we were still sinning. Christ forgave us though he knew the pain that we would cause him. Christ forgave us through great sacrifice. Yet we are so often not ready to forgive. Through God’s strength, this impossible task is within our grasp and it can bring transformation to our relationships.
The other side of saying "I'm sorry" is saying "I forgive you." Can you allow God’s forgiveness to flow through you?
Rev. Deb Koster
Dr. Robert Ritzema