What is forgiveness?

Hot Air Balloons

What is forgiveness, and how do you know if you've really forgiven?

Forgiveness isn't a theology.  It's not a doctrine you accept and then you feel much better.  It's a lifestyle.  It's a lifestyle of release.  It comes from living in God's perspective where you now people are doing the best they can do for where they are at.  It doesn't make it right.  But you live in a place of releasing them.  They aren't obligated to love.  We are obligated to love.  

In 1 Samuel 24, when David forgave and valued Saul, it totally shifted David. Saul had been unmovable and hated David. One time at dinner, Saul threw a sphere at David. David still didn’t get it, he thought that Saul was just having a bad day. Jonathan told David that Saul was trying to kill him. Yet David let it go. He didn't kill Saul when he had the chance, he honored him as an authority and father.

Forgiveness is our loving response to God for who He is to us.  


  • Forgiveness looks at a perceived enemy and calls that person their true name.

  • Forgiveness takes a person who is broken and seemingly difficult to love, holding them in our arms, knowing that despite any actions or lack of actions, what a person really desires is simply love.

  • Forgiveness trashes the record of wrongs at the door and confessed to a person their true nature.

  • Forgiveness forgives seventy times seven if it meant that person could find His joy.

  • Forgiveness pursues kindness because it sees the life-giving power of healing as triumphant over the stinging death of bitterness.

  • Forgiveness is not willing to sacrifice years of togetherness, laughter, and love for a few moments of being right.

  • Forgiveness says you are more important.

  • Forgiveness says we can still be stronger together than apart.

  • Forgiveness says we can be different and still be lovely.  You don't have to be like me.

  • Forgiveness is not giving in to the demon of misunderstanding but fighting for Jesus' view of one another.

  • Forgiveness is not allowing the fog of pain to blind us from seeing the sunshine of His love in one another.

  • Forgiveness is not being lonely lovers.  It takes a hurting person and says "Take my hurting hand: we can be free together."