The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA


April 29, 2014

The Unforgiving Heart

— When speaking with family, friends and acquaintances, sometime during the conversation I notice a topic usually surfaces regarding anger, frustration and upsetting thoughts regarding someone who has hurt or wronged them.  It becomes evident they have been unable to come to terms with a particular person or circumstance and as a result, they harbor resentment in their heart (mind/feelings/intellect).  When a situation reaches the point of un-forgiveness, the person can become consumed by the problem as it becomes part of their daily thoughts and conversation in a very negative and harmful way.

From a Christian perspective, what does the Bible teach us in regard to forgiveness?  God’s forgiveness of mankind is first noticed in Genesis 3:15 whereby He proclaimed the essence of the “Everlasting Covenant”, thus giving us the assurance of a Savior (the Seed of the woman) to conquer sin and Satan.  In fulfillment of Bible prophecy, Jesus provided us with His selfless example of forgiveness when He was crucified for our sins at the Cross of Calvary exposing Satan as a liar and a murderer from the beginning (John 8:44).  Jesus practiced forgiveness in every circumstance throughout His earthly life. Therefore, as followers of Jesus Christ, how should we live our lives in regard to our relationship to our families and to others?  The choice we make may alter our eternal destiny, our relationship with God and others, and our emotional and physical well-being.     

Let us discuss what forgiveness is not:  Our forgiveness of another is not the forgiveness of the person’s sin – we are to forgive the person and God will forgive our offender’s sin if they are sincerely sorry and request to be forgiven.   Forgiveness does not mean that we “forgive and forget”.  We are not to condone or excuse the person who has hurt us.  The wrongful act or situation still remains wrong and the person is accountable for their actions against us.  Also, forgiveness does not always result in reconciliation of the parties involved - often the violator does not show remorse and may not ever apologize or repent.  Depending on the situation, forgiveness does not necessarily mean that we have an obligation to go to the person and tell them that we have forgiven them.       

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