The first principle

Selwyn continues to look at the issue of unrealised forgiveness. He says: “If we really understood how much we have been forgiven then we would have little difficulty in forgiving others. …

There are many principles to consider in relation to forgiveness, but this is without doubt is the first principle: the more we realise how much we have been forgiven the more forgiving we will be.”

We know from Scripture that all have sinned – there are no exceptions. In our sin (even if we sin only once – we become outlaws – exactly the same as if we had broken all of the commandments), we were separated from God – it was impossible to please Him – it was totally impossible to save ourselves from an eternity of being separated from God. That means – our eternal future was a place; which is dark, lonely, constant pain and anxiety, full of hatred and misery – there are no friends there – only enemies.

Yet, through God’s love, He gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. Those, who follow Jesus, have the assurance of being with Him – forever. The difference between heaven and hell – measures the magnitude of Christ’s loving sacrifice – how, could it be possible not to forgive others? If, we, could even comprehend a miniscule of just how much has been given to us – and, we didn’t do a thing to deserve His grace!

in Paul’s letter to Galatians 5:13-14 (NIV), we read: ‘You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love. For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbour as yourself.”‘

We cannot love our neighbour if we do not completely forgive them. A heart that can forgive, has Jesus as Lord and King; a heart that finds it too hard to forgive – has not been fully surrendered to God. I guess that’s an issue, which all of us must constantly examine.