Are you ready to forgive? Let bygones be bygones? Have you decided yet that the sooner you forgive, the quicker you can forget? Nope, me either!
But I do think it is time to consider forgiveness.
When the subject of forgiveness is broached, it is often associated with forgetting, no longer holding responsible, concluding that everything is okay, and that any offense has been rectified. This is an unfortunate association, because forgiveness has little, if anything, to do with these dynamics.
There is an interesting verse in Isaiah 43:25. God says, “I, even I, am the one who wipes out your transgressions for My own sake.” Paul emulates God’s action when he says, “I determined this for my own sake, that I would not come to you in sorrow again” (2 Cor. 2:1).
Notice that both of these verses use the common phrase, “for my own sake.”
It is a fascinating consideration to amplify God’s quote out of Isaiah: God makes a determination, based upon His self-awareness. He decides that for His own good, and the benefit of His own soul, He will forgive. And Paul employs the same logic as he reflects upon his earlier interactions with the Corinthian church.
Both decide to forgive because it is in their best interest.
More about forgiveness is coming in part two.