Lessons in Forgiveness

Scripture tells those who have a relationship with God to imitate His characteristics... “Imitate God, therefore, in everything you do, because you are His dear children.” [Ephesians 5:1]

Imitating God would be unattainable if the Scriptures did not record His characteristics in such vivid detail.

Here are three aspects of Gods forgiveness that we can learn and practice toward others and to ourselves:

1. God is constantly ready to forgive:

“… But You are a God ready to forgive, gracious and merciful, slow to become angry, and rich in unfailing love. You never abandoned them…” [Nehemiah 9:17]

We may not be aware of how true forgiveness works or be reluctant to practice it. But, God forgives quickly and constantly! That forgiveness comes with His being gracious, merciful, slow to anger and loving. As we practice these same qualities we'll be better able to forgive when its needed.

2. When God forgives, He forgets:

"…I will forgive their wrongdoing and forget the evil things they have done."[Jeremiah 31:34]

“As far as the eastern horizon is from the west, so far God removes the guilt of our rebellious actions from His consideration of us.” [Psalm 103:12]

“My acts of iniquity were overwhelming me, but You (God) forgave all of my transgressions.” [Psalm 65:3]

It’s easy for faults to overwhelm us, whether they’re by our doing or others… We may at times struggle with forgiving faults and forgetting them, but neither is an issue for God, and He can show us how to forgive and forget.

3. God is merciful with us:

"He (God) has not treated us as we deserve for our sins nor paid us back for our wrongs." [Psalm 103:10]

World traditions and popular theories may teach that 'we always get what we deserve'. But, God's forgiving nature intervenes on our behalf. We too can choose mercy over 'pay backs'.

The Scriptures teach things we need to know for an intimate relationship with God and an enjoyable life. Gods example shows us how to treat others and ourselves.

Click on "Forgiveness" for additional Scriptures by Topic (also found under Resources)