Forgiveness


Video from Fetzer Institute


Forgiveness is often the hardest thing many of us do in our lifetimes. It is true much of our suffering is owing to someone else’s sins or failures? Since none of us is without sin, forgiveness is simply a given if we want to love and be loved in this life.

Forgiveness is spiritual warfare. Our adversary wants us to hold grudges and be unforgiving as it disrupts our spiritual life with Christ. Jesus calls us to forgive not just once, but tirelessly. “Pay attention to yourselves!” he warns. “If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him, and if he sins against you seven times in the day, and turns to you seven times, saying, ‘I repent,’ you must forgive him” (Luke 17:3–4). In this previous verse, Christ threatens judgment for any who refuse: “It would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck and he were cast into the sea” (Luke 17:2). Withholding forgiveness, even after having already forgiven someone six times in a day, is a wicked offense to God, therefore the wise flee judgment and run to forgive.


Miroslav Volf is a Croatian Protestant theologian and public intellectual and Henry B. Wright Professor of Theology and Director of the Yale Center for Faith and Culture at Yale University.



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