By Harold and Bette Gillogly
We talked about the first kind of forgiveness in our last two blogs: “to cancel a debt, to pardon.” Today we’re going to explore the second kind, and we want to warn you, this one is harder than the first. The second kind of forgiveness means “to relinquish resentment against your debtor.” Canceling someone’s debt against you is hard enough, but how do you cancel a feeling?
To relinquish resentment against someone who hurt you? That’s pure grace. And that is exactly what this second word for forgive means: “to bestow the favor of forgiveness unconditionally.” In other words, God says to us, “Forgive like Me.” That means forgiveness without conditions and without waiting for the person who offended you to deserve it. Boy, are we glad God doesn’t wait to forgive us until we deserve it, because we could never deserve His forgiveness! We could never do enough to earn it. Never be good enough to be worthy of it. Our only hope is for Him to grace us with His free gift of forgiveness. And He calls us to give the same free gift! (Ephesians 4:32 and Colossians 3:15)
And here’s the astonishing outcome when we do! We find happiness…and peace…and relief. We discover when we swing open the door to what we thought was their prison, we find it was our prison all along. And we held the key to the door. We only had to choose to use it. To let go of our resentment and freely grace the one who hurt us with forgiveness.
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 2)” (https://marriages.net/the-faces-of-forgiveness-pt-2-of-2/).” We also encourage you to watch our webinars How to Handle Differences (https://marriages.net/webinars-3/how-to-handle-differences/) and What Did You Expect? (https://marriages.net/webinars-3/what-did-you-expect/)