Hope Reflected

Encouragement and Hope from God's Word

3 facts about forgiveness Archive



January 2022

Forgiveness: Lord, increase our faith

Written by , Posted in Christian Living, Published Work

Forgiveness is often very difficult and hard. Read more about why on hopereflected.com

Why does forgiveness seem like such a hard option?

When someone wrongs us, our initial response is to set up our favourite defence mechanism. For some, it’s avoidance. For others, it’s revenge. For even more, it’s what I call the slow cooker, where we internalize whatever has happened. We put our hurt feelings in the slow cooker and set it to low, or high, and let it cook, stew, burn, and eventually harden to the sides of the slow cooker until getting that thing clean is near impossible. All of these responses are wrong, but it seems as though forgiveness is just as hard an option.


Forgiveness is part of God's nature, not ours. Read more on hopereflected.com

Forgiveness is part of God’s nature, not ours

To start, forgiveness is part of God’s nature, and because we’re fallen, sinful creatures, forgiveness is not something that comes naturally to us. Some people are born with the natural ability to sing, while others sound best when they keep their mouths closed. Other people have a natural aptitude to dance, while some people are safest when they stand still.

“For thou, Lord, art good, and ready to forgive; and plenteous in mercy unto all them that call upon thee,” David prayed in Psalm 86:5. God – without trying – is good and ready to forgive. He doesn’t need time, He doesn’t need to think about it, He is ready to forgive and shower us with mercy when we call on Him.

Forgiveness is an act of humility. Read more about forgiveness on hopereflected.com

Forgiveness is an act of humility

Another reason that forgiveness is so hard for us is that forgiveness is an act of humility. C.S. Lewis wrote, “…if God forgives us we must forgive ourselves. Otherwise, it is almost like setting up ourselves as a higher tribunal than Him.”

James wrote in his eponymous epistle, “Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.” (James 4:10). Similarly, Peter wrote “Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time:” (1 Peter 5:6). To humble ourselves is first a choice, and also an act of repentance. Each one of us understands how humiliating it can be to go to another and say, “I’m sorry, I was wrong, please forgive me”. It is a difficult task to admit that we are wrong and repent.

Like humility, forgiveness is a choice. It is something that we do, and that we are called to do over and over and over again, many, many times (Luke 17:4).

“Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord,

and he shall lift you up.”

James 4:10
Forgiveness is a method of healing. Read more on hopereflected.com

Forgiveness is a method of healing

Anyone who has been injured, sick, or undergone surgery knows that the road to recovery is not easy. Some days, healing hurts. Initially, forgiveness may hurt as well. Who wants to uncover old wounds or rip off the bandages hiding our hurt? Spurgeon said, “It is nobler to forgive and let the offense pass. To let an injury rankle in your bosom and to meditate revenge is to keep old wounds open and to make new ones.” Wounds must be treated if they are to heal properly.

When Hezekiah prayed for the Lord to pardon those that prepared their hearts to seek God, we read that the Lord healed the people (2 Chronicles 30:20). Forgiveness is no easy task. Like the disciples, we ought to approach it by asking the Lord to increase our faith.

Originally published as “Lord, increase our faith.” Independent Plus. August 19, 2021: 5. Print. Web.



February 2016

Hope Reflected: 3 Facts About Forgiveness

Written by , Posted in Christian Living, Published Work

C.S. Lewis quote

Ever been on the receiving end of advice like, “Just forgive, and move on.” Seriously, people. Is it ever really that simple? Is the concept of ‘water off a duck’s back’ really so straightforward and easy to achieve? If we’re being honest, the answer is no. It doesn’t matter if the wound is fresh, or several decades old: Each one of us has been in at least one situation that has had a life-altering impact – and that doesn’t have to be a bad thing if we can learn the art of forgiveness. Done right, forgiveness is something that brings with it great reward. Forgiveness is also something that requires a huge helping of grace (when we’re forgiving) and mercy (when we require forgiveness).

  1. Forgiveness is a process. Forgiveness is more than just an action or a couple of words. Odd but true, there are some people in this world who think that uttering the words, “I’m sorry,” can wipe the slate clean. Depending on the degree of the wrong that needs to be forgiven, that may be true, however more often than not, forgiveness is a process. Rebuilding trust takes time, and can be especially hard if you’ve been burned before. Proverbs 17:9 (KJV) says “He that covereth a transgression seeketh love; but he that repeateth a matter separateth very friends.” It’s like the analogy of the broken plate: Once the plate is dropped on the floor and broken – even if it’s put back together again – chances are the plate will not look the same as before. Forgiveness is a process, and it’s not a guarantee that circumstances and relationships will return to their previous state.
  2. Forgiveness is a commandment, not an option. There are several places in scripture where we are commanded to forgive one another. A couple of my favourite examples include the parable of the unforgiving servant and Paul’s letter to the Colossians. In Matthew 18:21-22 (the parable of the unforgiving servant), Peter asks Jesus, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me and I forgive him? Up to seven times?” Jesus responds, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.” And again in Colossians 3:13 (NIV), “Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.” It doesn’t get much more clear than that!
  3. Forgiveness feels good. It’s almost like a release. I believe it was Buddha who said that bitterness is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die. When someone wrongs you, it’s human nature to hold on to that and stew over it. My college pastor frequently said of difficult situations, “You can let it make you bitter, or you can let it make you better.” Choosing forgiveness is like a weight being lifted from your shoulders. It doesn’t mean that you forget what happened to you; what it does mean is that you choose to not let those wrongs touch your today and tomorrow.

Forgiveness is a choice, and with it comes great power. Forgiveness does not excuse bad behavior; it helps the heart and encourages forward movement in life. C.S. Lewis said, “Getting over a painful experience is much like crossing the monkey bars. You have to let go at some point in order to move forward.” It is from learning to let go that we are able to grow.