We Need This Constantly: Forgiveness
Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you. Ephesians 4:32
Can we ever talk too much about forgiveness?
The Bible uses four different words to describe forgiveness. Three words are Hebrew and one is Greek. The first is translated as, “to cover,” as in throwing a blanket over a pile of laundry. The second word means “to lift and take away,” as if removing a stain from your best shirt. Third, “to pardon” or “to wipe clean” is a weightier term, reminiscent of criminal records. The final word means “to let go,” as if what is pardoned on paper becomes physically embodied.
These words give us an image of God not only blotting out the marks of sin on our own hearts, but throughout all space and time. God releases us from our guilt so that we can be truly free. Whatever mistakes are weighing on your spirit today, see them through God’s eyes – forgivable!
Even more incredible, God doesn’t dangle forgiveness for good behavior or withhold it after relapses. He is as eager to forgive tomorrow as He is today, even when we repeat a sin. King David remarked on this in Psalm 130, saying, “As it turns out, forgiveness is your habit, and that’s why you’re worshiped” (Psalm 130:4, Message).
Just as God forgives you, He also forgives others. That is why we’re encouraged to extend the same level of deep and wide forgiveness to one another as God gives to us. Only the person among us who never needs forgiveness from God can afford to be stingy with forgiveness toward others.
Resource reading: Psalm 130:1-8