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Forgiveness: Should I Forgive All My Enemies?

With the increase in wickedness, it has become extremely difficult to handle the topic of forgiveness.

Although this does not mean that it is no longer a Biblical topic or is impossible to handle. Yes, it is still a Biblical topic and can still be handled despite the situation of the world.

What is forgiveness?

Forgiveness is simply the act of a wronged person deciding not to punish his offender. It is a refusal to pay back to someone evil for evil.

Why should we forgive?

Sometimes, we may imagine why we should forgive at all, especially when it involves serious offences. However, the following are the reasons we should forgive.

  1. We should because we love God and our fellow human being.
  2. We should because God command us to.
  3. We should because God does forgive us also. (COLOSSIANS 2:13-15)
  4. We should because, if we don’t, God, too, will stop forgiving us. (MATTHEW 6:14-15)
  5. We should because all of us are imperfect and offend one another, in one way or another, from time to time.

With the above reasons, it is evident that, despite how hard it may be, when we forgive, we have done the right thing.

How should we forgive?

As good as forgiveness is, there are certain principles that govern the practice of forgiveness. These principles do not apply in vain. They apply for good reasons. Take a look at the following points.

(1) THE FREQUENCY OF FORGIVENESS

When Peter came to Jesus and asked him how many times he should forgive his brother or sister who sins against him for a day, suggesting up to seven times, Jesus told him not seven times, but seventy-seven times. (MATTHEW 18:21-22)

(2) THE CONDITION FOR FORGIVENESS
Jesus says if your brother or sister sins against you, rebuke him or her and if they repent, forgive them. Even if they offend you seven times in one day and seven times approach you saying ‘I repent,’ you must forgive them. (LUKE 17:3-4)

Whoever conceals their sins will not prosper, but those who confess and renounce them obtains mercy.(PROVERBS 28:13)

(3) FORGIVENESS IS NOT A LICENCE FOR ANYONE TO SIN WILFULLY AND CONTINUOUSLY

A woman was caught committing adultery. According to the law of Moses, she was supposed to be stoned to death. Jesus, however, intervened and forgave her but warned her to stop sinning. (JOHN 8:10-11)

(4) FORGIVENESS, TAKEN FOR GRANTED, IS DESTRUCTIVE

Certain people perished. When the incident was reported to Jesus, he told the reporters that unless they repent, they too will all perish. (LUKE 13:1-5)

Jesus Christ healed a man. When he saw him later in the temple, he cautioned him to stop sinning or something worse might happen to him. (JOHN 5:14)

If you continue to harden your heart and refuse to repent, you are storing up wrath against yourself on the day of judgement. (ROMANS 2:4-5)

(5) FORGIVENESS IS NOT A COMMAND FOR ANYONE TO BEFRIEND, ASSOCIATE WITH OR SHOW MERCY TO INCORRIGIBLY WICKED, UNREPENTANT PEOPLE WHO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF IT.

The Bible says that in the last days people will become extremely wicked and advised that we should have nothing to do with such people. (2 TIMOTHY 3:1-5)

Furthermore, the Bible commands us to take special note of anybody who does not obey biblical instructions so as to refuse to associate with them, in order that they may feel ashamed. Although when refusing to associate with such people, we should not regard them as enemies, but caution them as you would fellow believers. (2 THESSALONIANS 3:14-15)

“Those who associate with the wise will become wise, but anyone who is a companion of fools will perish.” (PROVERBS 13:20)

“Do not be deceived: “Bad company always distort good character.” (1 CORINTHIANS 15:33)

“Because the sentence for committing an evil deed is not executed swiftly, therefore the hearts of human beings are given fully to do evil.” (ECCLESIASTES 8:11)

“Do not give dogs what is holy. Neither should you throw your pearls to swine. If you do, they might trample them under their feet, and then turn to tear you to pieces. (MATTHEW 7:6)

“Even when wicked people
are treated mercifully
in this land of justice,
they persist in doing wrong and are blind to your glory, our LORD. (ISAIAH 26:9-10)

“I am aware of your deeds, your hard work and your patience. I am aware that you cannot tolerate godless people, that you have tested all those who claim that they are apostles but are not, and have found them false.” (REVELATION 2:2)

But I have something against you. It is that you tolerate that woman Jezebel, who describe herself as a prophetess and she is instructing and seducing my servants to habitually commit sexual immorality as well as to eat food sacrificed to idols.” (REVELATION 2:20)

“Those who reject the law praise the ungodly, but everyone who keep the law resist them. Wicked men do not understand justice,
but everyone who seek the LORD understands fully.” (PROVERBS 28:4-5)

CONCLUSION: Forgiveness Does Not Abrogate Discipline And Justice Or Punishment

The conclusion of the matter is that forgiveness is good and is commanded in the Bible. Nevertheless, our attitude towards it is what will determine whether we deserve it or discipline, justice or punishment.

FURTHER READING

Was It God Or Satan Who Incited David To Number Or Count Israel?

What Does The Kingdom Of God Is Within You Or In Your Midst Mean?

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