The Motivation of Forgiveness
The motivation to forgive occurs when we fully acknowledge the vast sin debt that God has canceled in our own lives. Forgiveness understands God’s amazing grace and the trespasses that Christ forgave each of us. When we truly grasp the enormity of our canceled debt, it is unthinkable to withhold forgiveness from another. In releasing those who have hurt us from liability, we absorb that debt and lay it at the foot of the cross. We cannot expect repayment. True healing begins when that debt of hurt, anger, and loss is forgiven in its entirety.
In the parable recorded in Matthew 18:21-35, God is represented as the king and we the servants. He completely forgave our mountain of debt and therefore sets the example for our behavior regarding forgiveness. What kinds of debt has God absorbed and canceled in your life?
Colossians 2:13 says it like this: When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins.
He makes us alive through His forgiveness because it's motivated by His love. Even though it may be extremely difficult for us to forgive the person who has hurt us, our love for God and obedience to His calling serves as our chief navigation. Some hurts are deep. The thought of extending forgiveness may seem impossible right now. Keep praying and asking God to mold in you a tender and forgiving heart. At first, you may pray through gritted teeth, but persevere. God will not disappoint!
The Result of Forgiveness
Unforgiveness keeps the pain alive, prevents deep wounds from healing, and imprisons us in the past. Assigning blame or re-living the wrong done to us only builds up escalating degrees of anger. Forgiveness sets us free from our past and allows us to joyfully live in the present. It permits us to open our hearts and hands to receive the hope and future that God has planned for us [Jer. 29:11].
If you struggle with unforgiveness, pray for a changed heart—not for the offender, but for you. Forgiveness has everything to do with our actions, not theirs. Ask trusted, godly friends to pray for you. If need be, seek godly counseling to work through deep-seated anger and resentment. Then, through the power of the Holy Spirit, start walking towards that person that you need to forgive.
God is right beside you.
He will guide you and give you the words needed.
Begin that walk of freedom today.