Now Jesus was praying in a certain place, and when he finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray, as John taught his disciples.” And he said to them, “When you pray, say: “Father, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come.
Pray then like this: “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
TITLE: WHAT DOES BIBLICAL FORGIVENESS LOOK LIKE?
Forgiveness, is defined as, “The willful giving up of resentment in the face of another’s (or other’s) considerable injustice and responding with beneficence (mercy) to the offender even though that offender has no right to the forgiver’s moral goodness.”
“Forgiveness is distinguished from condoning and excusing, forgetting, and though sometimes accompanied by but not necessarily always possible, reconciliation.”
Reconciliation involves two people coming together again in mutual trust, whereas forgiveness is one person’s choice to abandon resentment and offer mercy in the face of unfairness.
- FORGIVENESS IS A COMMAND NOT A SUGGESTION
For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.
- UNFORGIVENESS HOLDS US IN BONDAGE
Often, we find ourselves in the bondage of unforgiveness due to our own inadequacies and behavioral characteristics that we see displayed in others.
Therefore you have no excuse, O man, every one of you who judges. For in passing judgment on another you condemn yourself, because you, the judge, practice the very same things.
III. THERE IS NO LIMIT TO FORGIVENESS
Then Peter came up and said to him, “Lord, how often will my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?” Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you seven times, but seventy-seven times.
This means that you can choose to have a consciousness of the person and their sin nature but forgive them for the choices that they have made and will make. You do this by not focusing on the individual event but on the status of that heart and its sin nature. God fully knows your future mistakes when He saves you, but He chooses to forgive you at that moment because He has fully extended Grace.
- FORGIVENESS IS A VOLITIONAL ACT
Look at the person and ask yourself, “How and under what circumstances am I prone to behave in the same way?” It is only when we commit to take an honest look at ourselves spiritually that we can see a truer picture of our transgressor.
- IF AT ALL POSSIBLE, RECONCILE WITH THEM
Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight. Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.
The prudent sees danger and hides himself, but the simple go on and suffer for it.