Today's entry is titled "Forgiveness: Extending Mercy to Others" and is found in my The Woman's Study Bible. Forgiveness is something I have noticed is a big theme throughout some journals I read, including my own.
When someone comes seeking your forgiveness, you have an obligation to grant forgiveness and extend mercy - even if the person has sinned against you repeatedly and regardless of how severe the sin may have been (Matt. 18:21-22; Luke 17:4; Eph. 4:32; Col. 3:12-13). Your forgiveness of others is a prerequesite for your receiving God's forgiveness (Ps. 32:1-5, 103:12, 130:3-4; Is 43:25; Jer. 31:34; Eph. 1:7; Col 1:14, 2:13). We forgive others, if we do not want to disobey God and break our fellowship with Him (Matt. 6:14-15; Mark 11:25-26; Luke 17:3-4). No less important is the willingness for one who blames God for wrongs experienced to remember that the Lord does not direct evil against us, though He may choose to allow us to go through a trial resulting from our own sinful choices or from the sinfulness of the world in which we live (Gen 50:20; Deut 32:4; Rom 8:28, 38-39). Finally, we must be wiling to forgive ourselves since we are finite beings and since our failures often opent he door for His glory and provide the environment for our own growth (Phil 3:12-14).
Love is the prime ingredient in forgiveness (Prov 10:12). Often the one wounded must forgive with an act of the will, giving time for working through feelings and experiencing healing. Forgiveness comes with the removal of past offenses fromt he mind (Phil 3:13), followed by meditation upon Scripture (Ps 119:157-160), giving over to God our hurts (1 Peter 2:21-23), praying for the offender (1 Sam 12:23; Matt 5:44), and serving as a willing channel for God's grace. God has promised that He will take care of all judgment so that revenge is not an option (Rom 12:19-21).
Meaningful forgiveness demands thought and planning. Forgiveness is the willingness to search for new solutions. Forgiveness insists on a new way - neither yours nor theirs but one mutually acceptable with seeking forgiveness only for your wrong (Ps 51:1-4). You must remember that a forgiving attitude does not excuse self (Gen 3:12), defend self (Gen 3:10), or accuse another (Gen 3:13).
Seeking forgiveness frees you to receive God's mercy (Prov 28:13). Showing mercy by a forgiving spirit brings blessing from God and gratitude from the one forgiven. A forgiving spirit brings good to yourself (Prov 11:17) and to others (15:23).