The word and concept of forgiveness sounds simple enough, but ask several people to define it and you will probably get a variety of answers.
“I’ll forgive them, but I will never trust them again.” I’ve actually heard that statement more than once over the years. I probably have said it myself. If not, I surely have thought it.
If a bank employee embezzles thousands of dollars, returns it and asks forgiveness, the only right response is to forgive, but is the employee’s position reinstated?
What about injustices upon the innocent, unfaithfulness in a marriage, and other numerous types of betrayal? How is forgiveness defined in those contexts?
We have been looking at living the Lord’s Prayer in this series of blogs. Now we are entering into the portion where Jesus led us to pray, “Forgive us our sins, as we have forgiven those who sin against us.” (Matthew 6:12) Perhaps the two most potentially powerful and effective phrases within and on humanity are these: “I love you.” and “I forgive you.” What were the Lord’s intentions when He prayed this? What response and expectations does He intend to see manifest in us? What we can be certain of is that if we want to be like Jesus, we have to forgive like Jesus and there is power in forgiveness.
(The “Living the Lord’s Prayer” blog series is based from Craig’s book, The Vigil, available at village2village.co store. Proceeds support missions work around the world.)