Have you ever used a term for a while and one day come to realize that you may have been using the term incorrectly?
Being in the church and using “Christan language” as much as I do, I have used the term “forgiveness” for decades and a little while ago, I realized that I wasn’t really clear on a definition of the term.
I’ve heard and read a lot about forgiveness. There are tons of books out there that address various aspects of forgiveness, but they all seem to regularly suffer from the same flaw: I rarely find a satisfactory biblical definition of the term “forgiveness”.
- People will often talk about what forgiveness looks like, meaning they’ll talk about no longer “bringing it up” once you’ve forgiven someone…but that only tells me what forgiveness does, not what it is.
- People will talk about how God forgives and quote various passages that deal with the frequency or gracious nature of forgiveness (seventy times seven, right?), but again those tell me about how forgiveness looks, not what it is.
I recently wanted to really put my thumb down in a biblical idea of what forgiveness is in its essence; a single statement to summarize a definition of “forgiveness” that is positive and gives my mind a nail on which to hang thoughts about forgiveness. I’m not going to answer all the questions on forgiveness at all, but only try to define the term from the scriptures. So, here’s a short definition of “forgiveness” that I’ve come up with some biblical explanation: Continue Reading…