Forgiving Before Forgiving

Have you ever been asked to forgive someone before you were ready to forgive them?  Maybe the wound was too fresh or to deep to tell the person you had forgiven them when they asked to be forgiven.  As I’ve heard… “If you can forgive easily, you have not been wounded deeply.”

Before I can forgive someone… truly, verbally, and in person… I must have first forgiven them privately and in my own heart.  In other words, before I can forgive I must have forgiven.  Make sense?  The mistake is to forgive a person verbally before the process of forgiving has gotten to the point of forgiving them from the heart.  Empty forgiveness is just as hollow as false repentance.

There are times when it isn’t easy to forgive because (In our own heart) we’re not sure that the person who has wounded us is truly sorrowful for their actions (CLICK HERE for the difference between genuine and false sorrow).  Likewise, there are times people are not sure they should forgive us if/when we aren’t genuinely sorrowful for our own mistakes.  Maybe I’m the only one that struggles with the whole notion of forgiveness and repentance… BOTH WAYS.  I struggle to forgive from my heart AND I struggle with being genuinely repentant.  So where I end up is with Paul in Romans…

7:15 I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. 18 I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. 19  For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing.  22  I delight in the law of God, in my inner being, 23 but I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. 24 Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? 25 Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin. 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus…

Then I remember another section where Paul wrote the following and is found in  Ephesians 4:29-32…

Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. 30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. 32 Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.

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One comment on “Forgiving Before Forgiving

  1. Peggy Holder says:

    Great, much needed post. The scriptures are powerful. I plan to print this out for my future studies and as a reminder that forgiveness is a difficult decision at times. It is one I have dealt with and continue to deal with daily. Thank you again for your blogs.

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