You can’t have the word “forgiveness” without the word “give.” Giving is an inherent part of true forgiveness: it isn’t meant to be withheld. And within this idea, the central truth of forgiveness can be found. The root of “forgiveness” comes from the Latin root perdonare, meaning to give completely, without reservation.
When we practice forgiveness, we are embodying a “giving-ness.” Giving becomes central to our essence, taking the place of the pain, anger and confusion we so often hold firmly in our grasp. When giving takes up residence in our heart, something is unlocked within us: when we offer forgiveness to the people who have hurt us, we are finally able to understand the beauty of the forgiveness and grace that God has freely extended to us through the son, Jesus Christ in the crucifixion and resurrection.
See, we can’t truly accept forgiveness unless we are willing to extend it.
As long as we refuse to open the doors sealed shut from within by bitterness and resentment, expecting the people who have wounded us to earn our forgiveness, will we continue to walk around burdened by the notion that we ourselves must garner God’s forgiveness, that we must work for it. But if we give, we become like Jesus—we learn how truly beautiful it is to give of ourselves freely as he did.
You can’t have the word ‘forgiveness’ without the word ‘give.’ Giving is an inherent part of true forgiveness: it isn’t meant to be withheld.
We’ll be the first to admit that actually putting this into action is by no means easy. And that extending true forgiveness doesn’t always equate to reconciliation and restoration of the relationship to the state it was in before the wound was caused. Sometimes, the grace of forgiveness is practiced within the quietness of your own heart. What matters is that it’s practiced.
For advice and encouragement on how to take the first step, either toward extending forgiveness or toward receiving it, check out these articles and videos that recognize the difficulty, but necessity of learning to forgive.
1. God Isn’t Limited by Your Imperfections
Reaching perfection will never be attainable. But we aren’t called to be perfect; Jesus calls us to accept forgiveness and follow Him. We’re not expected to carry the load by ourselves.
2. Forgiveness Could Be the Key You're Looking For
There’s no better time than now to give the gift of forgiveness. Author Michelle McKinney Hammond lays down key advice on how to forgive well so you can be well.
3. Is God Mad at Me? 3 Biblical Truths About God’s Anger
The tragedy filling our news feeds have led some to wonder, “Is God mad at us?” It may be easy to believe He is, but here’s why He isn’t. Read on for truths about God’s anger and His forgiveness.
4. Praying for the People Who Have Hurt You the Most
It can be hard to pray for those who’ve caused us pain, even when we know we should. We’re on a mission to forgive those who have hurt us. Want to join us?
5. Is There Power to Forgive?
God calls us to forgive, but is it always possible? Evangelist Matt Brown answers with a compelling story of how God empowered one woman with the strength to forgive.
6. Repair Broken Relationships Before It’s Too Late
Relationships are precious. Don’t wait to repair a relationship with a friend, family member or even your spouse if repairing needs to occur. Here’s your wake-up call.
7. When Emotional Healing and Growth Hurts
Emotional healing can be an incredibly long process. And it can also be incredibly painful. But this healing is necessary for you to become the person you were intended to be.
8. Learning to Forgive the Impossible
He lost his wife, but not his hope.
9. The Importance of Forgiveness in the Home
It’s important for our kids to hear us apologize when we’re wrong. This encourages good behavior and shows our kiddos that even we—as parents—mess up too.