From the blog: What is a good definition of forgiveness?

I’m currently reading a book entitled “Unpacking Forgiveness: biblical answers for complex questions and deep wounds” and thus far I’ve thoroughly enjoyed it. Forgiveness in some form or fashion is at the root of every relational problem. Thus, it’s appropriate to share a definition that I believe is spot-on.  Forgiveness is a commitment by the offended to pardon graciously the repentant from moral liability and to be reconciled to that person, although not all consequences are necessarily eliminated (55).  Ken Sande in The Peacemaker offers some additional comments about the definition and nature of forgiveness. She says that Christians make four promises when they forgive:

  1. I will not dwell on this incident.
  2. I will not bring up this incident again and use it against you.
  3. I will not talk to others about this incident.
  4. I will not let this incident stand between us or hinder our personal relationship.

How is forgiveness such as previously defined and described possible?  Apart from the redemptive work of Christ in a person’s life it isn’t.

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