- Col 3:13 bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.
- Eph 4:32 Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.
- Mat 7:12 Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.
In a message that I preached last year (30 Apr 2006) on "The New Commandment",
- 1John 3:23 And this is his commandment,
- (1) That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and
- (2) love one another, as He gave us commandment.
The Love others as yourself becomes "Love one another as Jesus with His Love"
By believing in Jesus, we are rebirthed with His New Life and we are filled with His Character and Love. With His love in us, we are then able to love others and to forgive others.
Someone mentioned that loving others as yourself is not trustworthy enough ( How do I know whether you love yourself or not? and what you like may not be what I like...). It is better to love as Jesus loves and with His love in us.
While we are on the subject on forgiveness, we need to clarify and get rid of some misunderstanding about forgiveness.
- Forgiveness is about the hurt, the debt and not the debtor.
- You can forgive the debt by yourself alone . You do not need the corresponding action of the offender.
- You can only be freed by forgiving... otherwise , you are bond by bitterness (that the offender may not even be aware of ). It is all about you. You grow by forgiving.
- You should not and never wait for the offender to make the restitution or apology. He may not know. He may not be able. He may be gone (death, or un-contactable). He may not even care.
- Forgiveness is not Reconciliation. Reconciliation is a relationship and needs the offender to admit or clarify. You can forgive and need NOT has or want to has relationship with him. Relationship depends on the other party as well. Rom 12:18 If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.
- Forgive does not meant you trust. The forgiven person needs to earn your trust again if he has betrayed your trust before.
- Consider your future, do you want to be trapped ?
- Consider the forgiveness that you have received from others and from Jesus Christ.