EDITOR'S NOTE: Answering life questions with biblical principles is what we do every day at 412teens. The Bible has answers to just about any question we can think of (2 Timothy 3:16). If there isn't a direct answer, then we have biblical principles to help us find what's best for each of us personally. Add to that the fact that Holy Spirit was sent to help us make good decisions, and we can count ourselves well-equipped to deal with life (John 14:16, 26, 15:26).
This blog series will give practical examples of how to use the Bible to solve life's daily problems. Hopefully by seeing these cases, you will begin to understand how the Bible indeed has answers (and we can help you find them). Take note of the Bible references and check them for yourself as you read through Stephanie's answer to the following question.
—Cat, 412teens Editor
So, forgiveness actually has nothing really to do with whether or not a person actually sincerely apologizes or even if they've done anything to deserve forgiveness. We are commanded in God's Word to "forgive as the Lord forgave you" (Colossians 3:13). God forgave us for our sins even though we didn't do anything to deserve it. We ought to forgive because we have been forgiven by God through Jesus.
When we forgive someone, we're letting go of the bitterness we have toward them for the thing they did to us that was wrong or hurt us. It's releasing our emotions toward the situation, and it’s also saying that we won't hold anything against them for what they did. (See Ephesians 4:31-32.) If we wait for a true apology, it may never happen. But that's where grace comes in. We're to extend grace and forgiveness to others even if they're not truly sorry, and even if they don't deserve it.
The Bible is our handbook for life. As Christians saved by Jesus Christ, we're to follow what the Bible instructs and commands (2 Timothy 3:16)—even if our minds and emotions tell us differently. (And because we're all fallible humans, our minds and emotions will often tell us differently.) That's why it's so important to know God's Word and His character and to listen to the Holy Spirit so we can follow His direction (John 16:13). God will reward us in His timing when we follow and obey His Spirit and His Word (John 14:23).
Ephesians 4:32 says, "Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you." So, with the Holy Sprit's help, you can forgive your brother or sister or friend, regardless of whether or not they are sorry or if they deserve it. By doing so, you're being obedient to God, acting as Jesus would, and (hopefully) that will make you feel better too.
Have you ever been forced to apologize to someone else? Has someone been forced to apologize to you? How did you handle those situations? How do you personally deal with your anger so you can forgive someone who doesn't deserve it? Share your story in the comments below!
Stephanie is a 21-year old with a passion to see believers grow and become passionate in their relationship with the Lord. She is a lover of sweat tea, sunshine, and the freedom that comes from Christ. In her free time, she can be found singing, playing guitar, writing or jamming out to Hawk Nelson, Phil Wickham, and worship music. Her dreams are to become a worship leader and a published author, while living a life full of fun and joy that comes from the Lord.