A friend who has gone through a hard time sent me a list of things he has learned about forgiveness. Most of what follows comes from my friend, but I have rephrased a few things and added a few items of my own. This is obviously not a comprehensive statement about forgiveness—just a place to begin. What would you add to this list?
- If you wait to forgive until you feel like forgiving, you will never forgive.
- Without God’s grace, we will never forgive.
- Forgiveness is necessary but it isn’t easy.
- Forgiveness is first of all between us and God.
- God does not intend that all of life should be pleasant.
- Nothing gets rid of pride like adversity.
- Nobody understands the art of revenge like the Lord.
- There is coming a day when every dispute will be resolved. When you understand this, you are freed from feeling like you have to personally solve every issue here on this earth.
- Good theology is imperative. What you think about God determines how you respond in the hard times.
- God is good. If you don’t believe that, it will be next to impossible to forgive others.
- God is sovereign. There are no mistakes in God’s economy, and no detail, no matter how small, goes unnoticed by Him.
- God’s grace is always sufficient.
- There is an old saying: "Time heals all.” That isn’t always true.
- Forgiving and forgetting are not the same thing.
- Nothing makes a person more aware of other people’s feelings than a broken heart.
- When you have been wronged, there is nothing worse than feeling like you have been abandoned.
- Forgiveness is a gift I give to someone who doesn’t deserve it. If they deserved forgiveness, they wouldn’t need it.
- True forgiveness costs a great deal, but unforgiveness costs much more.
- Bitterness poisons everything.
- I don’t see myself the way I really am.
- I am more like my enemies than I like to admit.
- If I have trouble loving my enemies, I should remember that I am someone else’s enemy.
- God uses our enemies to make us more like Jesus.
- You are never more like Jesus than when you forgive.
- We never come to the end of needing forgiveness or needing to forgive.
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