Forgiveness. It’s a word you hear tossed around these days like the word love. Everybody wants it but no one really wants to give it. Isn’t it funny though, that the root word of forgiveness is GIVE?? Just as love has many definitions, so does the word forgiveness. People think if you forgive them then you must forget all about it, as well. What exactly is forgiveness and how does it relate to me, not just during the holidays, but every other day of the year?
Forgiveness is really a topic too big for a single blog article (forgive is in the ESV version of the Bible 84 times in 76 verses, so it’s definitely a topic of interest)! But, there are two aspects that we can quickly look at that will be a huge perspective changer this Christmas season.
First, forgiveness doesn’t mean forgetting. There’s no possible way we can forget all the wrongs done to us. What it does mean is that we decide not to bring it up over and over again to the person who’s offended us, to others around us and silently to ourselves when we’re tempted to have a little pity party.
Secondly, forgiving is a process. It’s not a magical emotion we are all the sudden awarded when all the stars align correctly in the sky. It’s the ‘already’ but ‘not yet’ tension. We forgive now, but we also have to remind ourselves that we have forgiven. We live it out while we’re learning the process. Kind of like love-it’s something you’ve finally come to understand and then something happens in your life that stuns you and you realize you actually had very little of a concept of love at all.