I have a yellowed clipping hanging on my refrigerator. I think it is from CCM Magazine, because on the back of it is a review of ‘The Great Adventure” by Steven Curtis Chapman. That would make this clipping date back to 1992, and would also explain the yellowing!
The section heading of this clipping reads Make a Decision to Forgive. And it simply says:
It’s a decision (not based on feeling) to give up your right to hate and strike back at the person who has hurt you. This is forgiving as God has forgiven you.
I cut this out, all those years ago, because forgiveness had been somewhat of a struggle for me. And for a very long time, I struggled with what forgiveness – and my difficulty with it – meant. Much of that struggle ended when my knowledge of Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior went from my head to my heart some 2 1/2 to 3 years later.
God’s word has this to say about forgiveness:
Matthew 6:14-15: For if you forgive men for their transgressions, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions.
1 John 1:9: If we confess our sins, He [God] is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
Luke 17:3-4: Be on your guard! If your brother sins, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him. And if he sins against you seven times a day and returns to you seven times saying ‘I repent’, forgive him.