This is not what forgiveness is. Forgiveness is not immediately stopping the anger that happened from a past event. Many of us think when we want to forgive, that the hurt and the anger just immediately goes away. But that’s not the case. See, you can choose to forgive someone and still have righteous anger for something that happened in the past. Here’s another thing that forgiveness isn’t. It ‘s not believing that something that happened wasn’t terrible. You don’t just forgive someone and then excuse what happened. There are consequences for actions. There are ways that people harm people that are against the law or not righteous, and there’s punishment that happens from that. So, forgiving someone doesn’t mean that there aren’t consequences. Finally, forgiveness is not a free pass to become a doormat and let people walk all over you. That ‘s not what forgiveness is. What is forgiveness? It’s not spending energy plotting or scheming about punishment. Think about that for a second. Forgiveness is not harboring these feelings of how can I retaliate? How can I get back? How can I give worse than what the person did to me? Because when you harbor those feelings, it leads to spiritual ugliness. Think about a time in your life where you have needed to offer forgiveness to someone for something probably horrible that they did to you. And then you start taking out those bitter feelings on other people around you. You start harboring this spiritual ugliness, and you don’t look anything like the king in this scenario. See the King in the kingdom, this kingdom that centers around Jesus. The king is a king of forgiveness, but he expects his followers to be about forgiveness as well.

Many of us can look back on our lives and think, the sins that I have against God are so insurmountable, that there’s no possible way he could actually forgive them. See, the hardest part about Christianity is believing that there is a God that has that amount of grace to actually forgive you. And yet Jesus says, this is how the kingdom works. And what’s interesting is that the kingdom works like that because the king sent his one and only son to pay for the debts that we owed. And yet we walk around living our lives like we are not forgiven people. See, forgiven people forgive other people. But until we grasp the idea that we truly are forgiven, we have a hard time offering that same forgiveness to others. And unfortunately, that’s not how the king of the kingdom wants us to live our lives. 

Yet, there is a God in heaven who loves us so much that he has offered forgiveness and cancellation of the debt that we owe because of sins that are in our lives. So, friends, forgiven people start acting like it!