Forgiveness Is A Decision – October 5, 2016

Matthew 18:21, Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?” 22Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.”

Luke 6:37, “Do not judge, and you will not be judged; and do not condemn, and you will not be condemned; pardon, and you will be pardoned.”

Ephesians 4:31, Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. 32Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.

My current series at Cottonwood Creek is  titled ‘Relationships Goals God’s Way. Sunday, I spoke on the importance of forgiveness in our relationships. The Apostle Paul spoke of the importance of forgiveness in Ephesians 4:31, “Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you… Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God … has forgiven you.” Paul was saying, if you want to get rid of the bitterness and anger in your relationships, it starts with forgiveness. The only way to bring kindness and tender-heartedness back into your relationships is to forgive.  That is hard to do, especially when you have been hurt so deeply that you don’t feel like forgiving.

Corrie ten Boom once said, “Forgiveness is an act of the will, and the will can function regardless of the temperature of the heart.” In other words, true forgiveness is a decision regardless of what you feel like or what your emotions say. True forgiveness is the only way to bring kindness and tenderness back into a relationship. So today, make a decision to forgive, whether you feel like it or not.

Think about that and have a blessed day!

John Mark Caton, Ph.D