Post details: The Golden Rule of Forgiveness

12/04/15

Permalink 08:19:25 am, Step(s): 08 Make a list..., 430 words   English (US)

The Golden Rule of Forgiveness

Immediately following "The Lord's Prayer", Jesus said, "For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses." (Matthew 6:14-15 ).
It is hard for many of us to become willing to make amends to at least some of the people we have harmed because of our lack of forgiveness -- due to what they have done to us. We may still think they deserved what we did to them. And really, they probably did, because "the wages of sin is death" (Romans 6:23 ), right?

But wait a minute... I have a friend who I've often heard saying, "It's a 2-way street". It's easy to forget that "all have sinned" (Romans 3:23 ) & (Romans 5:12 ) and that means me to! And since the natural result of sin is death (Romans 6:23 ), I deserve to die just as much as that person whom I don't want to forgive. Now that's a sobering thought. From that perspective, I really can't put myself above that person anymore, because I'm just as much a sinner as he/she is!

I must remember that vengeance is the Lord's. He will repay, and I shouldn't (Romans 12:19 ). And even though "the wages of sin is death... the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord" (Romans 6:23 ). And that doesn't just apply to me. It also applies to everyone who has wronged me. So why shouldn't I forgive them, just as God forgives me?

Forgiveness is a decision. It’s an action of the will. It’s handled just like any other temptation. Yes, just as we can be bound by sins that easily beset us, so we can also be bound by lack of forgiveness. But, forgiveness doesn’t mean forgetting that wrong was done. I think it is more about allowing for other people's mistakes just as I would like others to allow for my mistakes. Hmm... that sounds a lot like the Golden Rule, from a different perspective. Maybe we should also have the Golden Rule of Forgiveness: "Forgive others, as you would have them forgive you".

"Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye." (Colossians 3:12-13 ). "And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any, that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses" (Mark 11:25 ).

"Made a list of all persons we had harmed and became willing to make amends to them all." (Step 8)

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