When you forgive someone do you feel like you're letting them off the hook? Do you feel like you're making an excuse for their behavior? Contrary to what we may think, forgiveness isn't any of these things. It's not saying that what's wrong is okay. It's not forgetting hurt feelings. Forgiveness is extending grace. It's commanded by God, and it's something you can do for others . . . and for yourself.
Notice the word "give" in "forgive." When you forgive, you give someone a gift − you waive a penalty − and you give yourself the gift of grudge-free living. When you withhold forgiveness, you not only refuse to offer what God has given to you, but you also hurt yourself. Unforgiveness bears down on your heart and gets in the way of spiritual growth. God knows it's not easy to forgive, but He wouldn't ask you to do something without giving you the strength to do it! Ask Him for the ability to forgive freely as you have been forgiven. He's the Master of the impossible!
What God Says
"Clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you." Colossians 3:12-13
"And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God in Christ forgave you." Ephesians 4:32
"Then Peter came to Him and said, "Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Up to seven times?" Jesus said to him, "I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven." Matthew 18:21-22
Your habits characterize your character. If you are a Christian, your calling is to be clothed in the habit of Christ, with the result that your character actually reflects His character.