What Does Forgiveness Mean?
By Harold and Bette Gillogly
There are two different kinds of forgiveness. Wow! Who knew? First, it means “to cancel a debt, to pardon or remit guilt.” That’s probably what you always thought it meant. Right? The second kind of forgiveness is “to relinquish resentment against the debtor.” This second meaning is harder to understand, isn’t it? We can cancel a debt…but how do we cancel a feeling?
We are going to look closely and both of these kinds of forgiveness. But we’ll tackle only the first kind in this week’s blog. (Don’t know about you, but our little minds can only wrap themselves around so much at one time.) So what does it mean to us that God cancelled our debt of sin, that He pardoned us and set us free from the penalty of our own waywardness? And amazingly, He keeps on pardoning us and setting us free just like 1 John 1:9 says: If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. He forgives us because Jesus already paid our penalty. Can you imagine the love and grace that goes into every time God forgives you? It’s truly overwhelming and must never be taken for granted!
God has forgiven each one of us so very much! Now we must be ready, even eager, to pardon others. If someone who has wounded us comes and asks our forgiveness, we have only one option – to cancel their debt to us. That’s hard, isn’t it? We want to see them hurt like they hurt us. We want them to have to deserve our forgiveness. But what if God forgave us like that? We break God’s heart over and over with our sin, yet He forgives us. We never, no never, deserve forgiveness, yet He forgives us. And He commands us to forgive others “just as in Christ God forgave you.” (Ephesians 4:32)
Forgiveness is so FREEING! We are set FREE when we are forgiven. And we are set FREE when we ourselves forgive!
We encourage you to follow our blog through September and discover more about forgiveness and how to walk in FREEDOM. For more information, you can read our articles “Done Dirty – Do Good” (https://marriages.net/done-dirty-do-good/) and “The Faces of Forgiveness (Part 1)” (https://marriages.net/the-faces-of-forgiveness-pt-1-of-2/).” We also encourage you to watch our webinars How to Handle Differences (https://marriages.net/how-to-handle-differences/) and What Did You Expect? (http://marriages.webliteseo.co.uk/what-did-you-expect/)