Christian Living
Forgiveness: At the Heart of the Gospel
Michael Youssef, Ph.D.
Dec 29, 2019

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Getting a relationship back on track often takes a proactive approach. Forgiveness requires reaching out with no guarantee that the other person will respond. It requires overcoming pride and walking in humility.

Yet forgiveness lies at the heart of the Gospel. It should be a litmus test separating those who are committed to Christ from those who are not. When you forgive, you follow the example of Jesus. But when you harbor bitterness and resentment, you follow the example of Satan—because he never forgives.

Leading The Way

Forgiveness is the salve that keeps a wound free of the infection of bitterness and allows it to heal over time.

When someone takes advantage of you, when someone lets you down or speaks ill of you, you have a choice. You can act like Satan, the accuser, or you can manifest the divine nature that became yours the day you said yes to Jesus.

Few things please the heart of God more than a readiness to forgive. That is why, when you truly forgive another person, a deep peace floods your heart. Be aware that forgiveness may not be a one-time act. There are times when it will be a continual, daily surrender. Charles Spurgeon once said, "Cultivate forbearance until your heart yields a fine crop of it. Pray for a short memory concerning all unkindnesses." Forgiveness is the salve that keeps a wound free of the infection of bitterness and allows it to heal over time.

When forgiveness requires more strength than we possess, we have the power of the Father, the example of the Son, and the strength of the Spirit to help us.

Prayer: Father, help me follow Your example, forgiving those who have hurt me. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.

"Even if they sin against you seven times in a day and seven times comes back to you saying, 'I repent,' you must forgive them" (Luke 17:4).