This post overlaps the last one a bit, but we will take it down a different path. Number 9 on our list of ten ways to love is:
“Forgive without punishing.”
13 Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye. Colossians 3:13
Forgiveness is not for the one who hurt you; it is for you.
Forgiveness is not saying “it’s ok”; Forgiveness is saying I choose not to hold it against you.
Forgiveness clears out the icky stuff–the stuff that will lead to bitterness.
The real thing about this statement, however, is to forgive without punishment. This kind of forgiveness is not forgiveness at all.
Forgiveness without punishing involves:
Not holding it against the person.
Not bringing it up every time you get angry (or at all).
Not using passive aggressive digs to make the person suffer for what they did.
Not saying, “I’ll forgive you, but. . . .”
Not holding on to it like a dog with a bone and using it to bash the other person.
When God forgives us of our sin, there is no longer any repercussion (eternal) for our sins. Jesus paid the price and took the punishment. Now, when God looks at the believer, He sees His Son and His righteousness. It is no longer laid to our account. That’s the way forgiveness should be with us.
A few other remarks:
Forgiveness does not require the other person asking for forgiveness.
Forgiveness does not require staying with an abuser or trusting the untrustworthy.
Do you forgive without punishing? Are you a grudge holder? Have you felt the freedom of true forgiveness — for the self or for others? Do you have anything to add?