Forgiveness is tough. In a sermon, giving forgiveness sounds so easy and clean. Yet, in real life, it is difficult and messy.
I mentioned in a sermon recently that whenever we withhold forgiveness, we deny the power of the cross. Whenever we say, “I can’t forgive that person.” Or, “I can’t let go of that situation.” We deny the power of the cross.
- Forgiving someone does not mean pretending it didn’t happen. Forgiving does not mean forgetting as the old saying goes. Those scars still exist. They are still there. Forgiving means acknowledging it happened and the pain associated with it.
- Giving forgiveness means bearing the other persons sin. There is a cost to forgiveness (see #1). You must bear their sin. The cost of forgiveness is always on the person granting forgiveness. This is why forgiveness is so hard.
- Forgiveness is possible because Jesus bore your sin and the cost of your forgiveness. When we look at the cross, we see how Jesus bore our sin, knowing we would fail again and again. Yet, he forgave us. The power of this moment is what enables us to forgive the way Jesus did.