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?

  1. If you wait to forgive until you feel like forgiving, you will never forgive.
  2. Without God’s grace, we will never forgive.
  3. Forgiveness is necessary but it isn’t easy.
  4. Forgiveness is first of all between us and God.
  5. God does not intend that all of life should be pleasant.
  6. Nothing gets rid of pride like adversity.
  7. Nobody understands the art of revenge like the Lord.
  8. 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.
  9. Good theology is imperative. What you think about God determines how you respond in the hard times. 
  10. God is good. If you don’t believe that, it will be next to impossible to forgive others.
  11. God is sovereign. There are no mistakes in God’s economy, and no detail, no matter how small, goes unnoticed by Him.
  12. God’s grace is always sufficient.
  13. There is an old saying: "Time heals all.” That isn’t always true.
  14. Forgiving and forgetting are not the same thing.
  15. Nothing makes a person more aware of other people’s feelings than a broken heart.
  16. When you have been wronged, there is nothing worse than feeling like you have been abandoned. 
  17. Forgiveness is a gift I give to someone who doesn’t deserve it. If they deserved forgiveness, they wouldn’t need it.
  18. True forgiveness costs a great deal, but unforgiveness costs much more.
  19. Bitterness poisons everything. 
  20. I don’t see myself the way I really am.
  21. I am more like my enemies than I like to admit.
  22. If I have trouble loving my enemies, I should remember that I am someone else’s enemy.
  23. God uses our enemies to make us more like Jesus.
  24. You are never more like Jesus than when you forgive.
  25. We never come to the end of needing forgiveness or needing to forgive.
You can reach the author at ray@keepbelieving.com. Click here to sign up for the free weekly email sermon.