Forgiveness brings great benefits

Published 10:27 am Thursday, April 12, 2012

The greatest beneficiary of forgiveness is the one who forgives.
As a pastor, one of the tragedies I often witness is how a lack of forgiveness ends up destroying the lives and peace of individuals and families. The cause of the initial conflict can be anything from inconsequential to profound, but the hurt or offense that touches the minds and hearts of those involved can cause permanent harm to the spiritual, emotional and mental health of everyone involved if it is not set aside.
In the Bible, “to forgive” has two specific meanings: 1) to cancel or pardon as a debt, and 2) to release from bondage. Both of those meanings can be seen in Jesus’ instruction to his disciples on prayer in Matthew 6:9-14. He tells them to ask God to “forgive us our trespasses [sins, debts], as we forgive those who trespass against us.” It is important to note here that the “as” in this case means “in the same way.” Jesus goes on to say, “For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you; but if you do not forgive others, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.”

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