Many of us, if we’re honest, struggle with forgiveness. Well, when it comes to forgiving others anyway. We often do a pretty good job at forgiving our own sin. But when it comes to others, it often takes more time and effort. Why?
There are several reasons that we struggle to forgive others. A major reason is that people think they are still in control. They have been hurt by someone else’s sin. If we don’t forgive them, we feel like we’re getting back, and getting even. How can we overcome this attitude and freely forgive others when they sin against us?
First, God says that we must forgive. The apostle Paul tells us in Ephesians 4:32 that we must forgive because as believers, God has forgiven us. Not only must we forgive, but we know how to forgive because we have been forgiven.
Second, some people misunderstand forgiveness with approval. They think, if I forgive this thing, I am saying it was alright for them to do this wrong against me. But forgiveness is actually the opposite. It is saying, you have done me wrong, and I forgive you anyway. We are not talking about excusing sin, but forgiving it.
Third, if we don’t forgive others, it is actually hurting ourselves as well. I Peter 4:8 says that through love, we can “cover a multitude of sins.” What does it mean to cover sins?
Covering sin says, I’m going to hide it. I’m going to put it somewhere where neither of us can see it. Do you see the blessing you receive for loving someone else through forgiveness?
Yes, it is honoring and obeying God to cover sin even though it sounds counterintuitive. Secondary to that, it is that you won’t see that sin as well. If you cover it, you won’t be reminded about how someone else has hurt you. If you leave it uncovered, it is there for you to see as well.
All sin will be punished eventually. It is either paid for on the cross of Christ for those who believe. Or it is punished in Hell for those who don’t believe. Because it will all be paid for eventually, that helps us cover it.
Do you forgive people of their sins against you? Do you see how unforgiveness can hurt you, reminding you of how you have been sinned against? Do you forgive others as Jesus has forgiven you?
Thanks for taking time to read this Maddening Theology post. If you enjoyed this content you can find Pastor Tim’s sermons at www.cornerstoneforestcity.org. You can also join us at 520 Marion St. Browndale, PA 18421 on Sundays at 10 AM. To make following the blog easier you can also register. You can also join us on Facebook at Cornerstone Forest City. Also, don’t forget to download our APP on iTunes or Googleplay.