Learning to forgive

By Dave Henning / March 1, 2016

“Learning to forgive someone who has wronged us is nothing short of learning to think and act like God.”- June Hunt

“Do not repay anyone evil for evil.  Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody.”- Romans 12:7

June Hunt concludes Chapter 3 of How to Forgive by discussing what forgiveness is.  Ms. Hunt states that the New Testament word for forgiveness, aphesis, means “pardon, cancellation of an obligation, punishment or guilt.”  An offense that is not forgiven, in contrast, is an unpaid debt- and even a spiritual debt- between two people.  Unforgiveness binds the two together.  Neither one is free from the debt.

June writes that as we forgive, one offense at a time, our hearts begin to resemble God’s heart.  Ms. Hunt adds that the New Testament Greek verb, aphiemi primarily means “to send away.”  That means when we forgive, we send away, or release, the debt owed when another person wrongs us.  June explains:

“This implies that you need to release your right to hear ‘I’m sorry’, to release your right to be bitter, to release your right to get even. . . . This means to release your right to dwell on the offense, to release your right to hold on to the offense, to release your right to keep bringing up the offense.”

Proverbs 17:9- “He who covers over an offense promotes love, but whoever repeats the matter separates close friends.”

Today’s question: What Scriptures have enabled you to release your right for justice and fairness, to begin the process of learning to forgive?  Please share.

Tomorrow’s blog: “Perceptions of God’s nature and character”

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Dave Henning

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