It's time to get down to the nitty gritty of Christian living. Forgiveness may be one of the grittiest decisions a Believer faces day by day. Forgiveness often travels hand in hand with what Jesus stated is the second greatest command of loving our neighbor as ourselves. God says in His Word that those who love Him obey His commands, and Scripture abounds with verses on forgiveness. So, if you want Biblical confirmation of the necessity of forgiveness, it can be found in the Bible.
Online concordances and Bibles are available for use free of charge if you would like to use an online source. Bible Gateway is one website; others can be located with an online search. Now, let's get down to the nitty gritty of living Jesus, find out what pleases our Heavenly Father, and be about His business.
Who will we focus on?
"You can focus on the person who hurt you or the God who healed you."
- Christine Caine
Will we obey and forgive?
"Forgiveness doesn't diminish justice; it just entrusts it to God."
- Max Lucado
Searching out scriptures that focus on the topic we are growing in helps us retain laser like focus. Many people write verses on index cards or sticky notes and place them in places they will see most such as above the kitchen sink or on the bathroom mirror. One of my daughters creates images with her chosen verses on a Bible app. Another one of my daughters has a journaling Bible with art work in the margins she can color. My youngest prefers to draw her own graphic art in her personal journal. Whatever helps us learn God's Word is the best method for each of us to use. The technique that works for you may not work for me so each one of us is free to personalize our study.
Now that we have each selected our method of learning the scriptures, here are some verses on forgiveness to get us started:
Matthew 6:14 - For if you forgive people their trespasses [their reckless and willful sins, leaving them, letting them go, and giving up resentment], your heavenly Father will also forgive you.
Matthew 6:15 - But if you do not forgive others their trespasses [their reckless and willful sins, leaving them, letting them go, and giving up resentment], neither will your Father forgive you your trespasses.
Matthew 12:7 - And if you had only known what this saying means, I desire mercy [readiness to help, to spare, to forgive] rather than sacrifice and sacrificial victims, you would not have condemned the guiltless.
Matthew 18:35 - So also My heavenly Father will deal with every one of you if you do not freely forgive your brother from your heart his offenses.
Mark 11:25 - And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him and let it drop (leave it, let it go), in order that your Father Who is in heaven may also forgive you your [own] failings and shortcomings and let them drop.
Mark 11:26 - But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father in heaven forgive your failings and shortcomings.
- Judge not [neither pronouncing judgment nor subjecting to censure], and you will not be judged; do not condemn and pronounce guilty, and you will not be condemned and pronounced guilty; acquit and forgive and release (give up resentment, let it drop), and you will be acquitted and forgiven and released.
Luke 17:3 - Pay attention and always be on your guard [looking out for one another]. If your brother sins (misses the mark), solemnly tell him so and reprove him, and if he repents (feels sorry for having sinned), forgive him.
Luke 17:4 - And even if he sins against you seven times in a day, and turns to you seven times and says, I repent [I am sorry], you must forgive him (give up resentment and consider the offense as recalled and annulled).
2 Corinthians 2:7 - So [instead of further rebuke, now] you should rather turn and [graciously] forgive and comfort and encourage [him], to keep him from being overwhelmed by excessive sorrow and despair.
Colossians 3:13 - Be gentle and forbearing with one another and, if one has a difference (a grievance or complaint) against another, readily pardoning each other; even as the Lord has [freely] forgiven you, so must you also [forgive].
1 Peter 4:8 - Above all things have intense and unfailing love for one another, for love covers a multitude of sins [forgives and disregards the offenses of others].