What actually is forgiveness?

Disclaimer – These thoughts are simply how I see life and I only share them because I was prompted to. Everyone has their own relationship with Father, and will see life differently. 🙂

Forgiveness is a basic and much used term in most Christian circles. In fact, it can be used so much, and have so many different layers put upon it, that it can sometimes be difficult to see exactly what forgiveness is, and what we have been forgiven from!

If I was to ask you “what have you been forgiven from?”, then depending on what background you came from, you might answer one of the following…

– I have missed the mark, and not lived up to what was expected of me. That’s what I’ve been forgiven from. ( most people from this background might still be trying to reach this invisible ‘mark’ )

– I have been forgiven from all the wrong things I have ever done, but I need to keep asking for forgiveness when I still do wrong things.

– I have been offered forgiveness, but I am only forgiven if i follow the 4 steps necessary for forgiveness. I must believe in the sacrifice of Jesus for my sins. I must forgive everyone else. I must confess my sins daily ( or weekly) and I must repent and change my ways.

– I have been forgiven from all my sins, past, present and future!

– I know I’ve been forgiven, but I still feel guilty about the things I do wrong.

There are many ways to view this thing called forgiveness, and it can be very difficult to see right through it clearly, because it involves the very nature of Father. It comes right out of his nature and is part of who he is.

Those of us who still feel guilty, have possibly not fully come to know Father and who he really is yet!

Those who only feel forgiven if they first forgive others, and have to confess each sin and ‘repent’ if the sin, have possibly not comprehended the grace Father offers!

Those who say they are forgiven of everything, so they can live however they like despite how it impacts others, ( So this is from a self centered view of the world ) perhaps haven’t realized that what happened when they were saved was that they have entered into a relationship.

So the question is, “what actually is forgiveness?”

To answer this we need to step back and see the whole picture. Father made us in order to draw us into a loving adult friendship. The sort of relationship which a parent would like to have with their adult children. Mutual respect, love and acceptance.

So this is what he offers at the cross, and when we accept Jesus as our savior, or be baptized or accept salvation, however it happened for you, we are entering into a loving relationship with Father. This is the sort of relationship which will grow and blossom and deepen over time.

So in order to understand Fathers forgiveness, we need to keep in mind where he is coming from, and where we are going.

Any healthy, well adjusted parent will understand, that there is nothing their child can do, which will stop you from loving them. Sure, sometimes they make you angry or frustrated, but you never stop loving them. You brought them into the world, and all you really want is the best for them, and to be able stay in a healthy and open relationship with them, as they grow up and leave home.

So what is forgiveness in this context? How does the parent show it? What part does it play in the relationship?

Unless we understand this, we will miss the power and amazing beauty of Fathers forgiveness.

A parent will forgive any action or attitude of their child, in the sense that they will still love them regardless. There may well be boundaries or limits placed for a while, depending on the age of the child, but these are only ever done in love, for the best outcome for the relationship and the child.

So forgiveness in a parent / child relationship, is still loving your child and wanting the best for them, despite anything!

So this is Fathers forgiveness! He will love us and want the best for us despite anything we can do!

If we believe this, then our relationship with Father will grow!