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Crosstalk: July 13, 2018

Some have said that forgiveness is the most difficult commandment that we're given as Christians. Why? Perhaps it strikes at the core of our pride that says we deserve better than what we're getting. It could also be a case where we feel that if we forgive someone, we're letting someone get away with something.

Joining Jim to discuss this very important issue in the Christian walk was Jeff Miller. Jeff is a pastor and author of several booklets including, 'Forgiven People Forgive: A Biblical Response to Forgiveness'.

Jeff defined forgiveness as releasing someone from a debt. Someone wrongs you or you perceive that you've been wronged and you let them know that they're no longer obligated to make restitution for the wrong that was caused. It's not an issue any longer. It's over. The debt has been canceled.

Is there a difference between the world's perspective on forgiveness compared to God's perspective? Jeff described the world's perspective as just keeping the peace or just being civil toward one another or perhaps being forgiving only in the way you say it.

However, the Bible's motivation for forgiving others isn’t' just saying, 'You don't owe me anything.' Forgiveness has to be a heart disposition for wanting to do that. It admits having been wronged, but by God's grace you want to move on from that and you don't want it to be an issue anymore.

Jim has 3 big lessons on forgiveness that he described:

(1) I forgive because relationships are important. (2) I forgive because it's expected. (3) I forgive because I am forgiven.

Other points discussed related to the issue of forgiveness included:

--Failure to forgive can turn us into bitter/resentful people. How does this happen?
--Is forgiving others as Christ has forgiven us our prime motivator?
--What about those who say their case is different and we can't possibly understand the level by which they've been hurt?
--What if the other person doesn't want to reconcile? Does that take us 'off the hook'?
--What about the following excuses: 'He/she has to come to me.'/'They'll just do it again.'/'I will forgive, but I won't forget!'

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