Forgiveness and pardon are separate issues. Forgiveness is a personal decision to release an offender from your condemnation. Pardon is a release from the legal penalties of an offense. You can forgive an offender and no longer hate him or wish him harm, but you cannot pardon him unless you have the authority to do so. For example, if a man killed someone in your family, you could forgive him and want to help him come to repentance, but you could not pardon him. He would still be guilty before God and before the law and would be held responsible for his actions.
In a similar fashion, unless you are in a place of authority, it is not your responsibility to dole out consequences for wrong actions. You can trust God to be just in every situation. Avenge not yourselves. God works through authority structures family, church, employment, and government , life circumstances, and final judgment at the end of time to bring justice to offenders. See Matthew —7. In appropriate instances, an important aspect of forgiveness can be the ability to invest in the life of your offender.
When you willingly give to an offender, God can supernaturally give you sincere love toward him. Ask God how He wants you to demonstrate His love to your offender. You should be able to invest in his life through prayer, words of affirmation, acts of service, or material gifts. Whether the offense was intentional or not, forgiveness enables you to have a greater concern for a person after he offends you than you had before he offended you. As a follower of Christ, you can rejoice in suffering because of the good work God intends to accomplish through it.
My name is Gopal Majumdar from India , I am challenged to read the articles. Looking forward to receive more such blessings. Thanks Gopal Majumdar. Skip to main content. How can I develop a forgiving spirit? Have a Forgiving Heart.
Consider how much God has forgiven you. Realize that God is working through the actions of your offender.
Recognize the difference between forgiveness and pardon. Voluntarily invest in the life of your offender. Understand that suffering is part of the Christian life. Command Forgive Offenders.
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Forgiveness vs. The man was so hurt, so angry, that all he lived for was to avenge his son's death. His hatred for his neighbor was all consuming.
A father, a son, a story of fury and forgiveness : Tammy Lenski
Finally, a famine came upon the land, and the neighbor had no seed for his field. One night, the father shed his grudge, went out, and planted his neighbor's field.
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He explained his action by saying, "I sowed seeds in my enemy's field that God might exist. Hatred, anger, and resentment block the flow of God's healing love. Unforgiveness damages us more than it does the person to whom it is directed. The first step in freeing ourselves from our painful yesterdays is to forgive ourselves. It is difficult to forgive others when we are filled with self-condemnation and guilt.
To forgive our past is to view our lives from a different perspective, from the perspective of love. When we look at ourselves through the eyes of love, we see that every experience, every person has been a part of our souls' unfoldment. Don't we all sometimes make unwise choices?
Don't we all sometimes do or say things we wish we hadn't? The way we reacted to life yesterday is perhaps not the way we would choose to act today. However, each new day, each new moment is an opportunity to choose again. If we had a friend who had made some mistakes in the past but was today living a good life, would we constantly be reminding that friend of his or her past behavior?
Of course we wouldn't, so why do we do this to ourselves? Guilt binds, confines, and keeps us from a creative future. As we waken to and become conscious of our divine nature, we can forgive that child in us who acted from a consciousness of fear and ignorance.
Now I know in part; then I shall understand fully, even as I have been fully understood. So faith, hope, love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love" 1 Cor. It is true that people do bad things to one another, and it is difficult to understand why some people behave as they do.
However, if we can look beyond the act and into the person, we will see that it is their fear—their lack of awareness—which makes them act in destructive and painful ways. That's not to say that we must accept bad behavior or that we should stay in abusive relationships. On the contrary, to do this is to not respect ourselves and certainly not to help the abuser. However, it is not our responsibility to try to change others. It is our responsibility to release them to God.
We do this through the power of love. The greatest gift we can give others is our faith that God's healing love is at work within them, bringing forth peace and harmony into their souls as well as into ours. The ultimate lesson in forgiveness was given by Jesus on the cross when He prayed for His persecutors: "Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing" Lk.
We, of course, are not Jesus, but we have within us the same spirit that expressed itself through Him. And although from our human perception, it is not understandable why we have suffered, at some point in time we will see in retrospect that everything which has ever happened to us—every experience we have had, every person we have met—has been important in our souls' evolutionary journey. We will then be able to paraphrase Joseph's words to his brothers, who had sold him into slavery: What you thought was evil, God meant for good Gen. The following are healing affirmations to help you move into a conscious awareness of the love that is always with you.
Forgiveness is Freedom
As you let go and let God, love's healing power will do its perfect work in you. I let go of any feeling of anger, resentment, or hurt.
I am a spiritual being on a spiritual journey, and no person or experience can keep my good from me. I release you to God, and I bless you on your way.
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