Is it an event? Or a process?
Is it based on our feelings or on our choices?
God calls us to forgiveness.
“And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.” Ephesians 4:32
“Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; bearing with one another, and forgiving one another,” Colossians 3:12
To not forgive would be disobedience. Is it difficult? Yes. It may even seem impossible at times.
Forgiveness is a choice, a decision we make at a point in time to obey God and forgive our offender.
However, that is not the end of it. From that point forward, probably a thousand times a day to start, we need to choose to keep our word and to think, act and show the forgiveness we decided to give.
We need to choose to not dwell on the offense.
We need to choose to not continue to talk about it with others.
We need to choose to treat that person with a heart of forgiveness.
We need to choose to trust God with the details of consequences.
Although there may be consequences due to the offense, they should not be used as a weapon of retaliation or revenge.
We need to choose to NOT hold the offense against the person.
Is forgiveness an event or a process? Yes. The event or decision we make to forgive is then lived out through a thousand choices a day.
Diane Hunt is a Biblical Counselor, Women’s conference and retreat speaker and author. She serves as the Director of Partner Care and Director of Women’s Ministries at America’s Keswick. She and her husband John have two married children and four grandchildren. She loves reveling in warm sunny climates and playing with her grandchildren.