Saturday, February 7, 2015

Charizomai: To Forgive

This week I found myself studying and pondering about forgiveness.

Over the course of my life, I have found forgiveness to be a very liberating doctrine of the gospel. But that liberation of “frankly forgiving” doesn't come without a price.  And I have to reminded over and over and over again that I in order to truly forgive, I must truly repent.

The word forgive found in 2 Corinthians 2:7 is translated from the Greek word charizomai.

Fascinatingly, this Greek word, charizomai, is also uniquely associated with the following words: give, as in “to show favor or kindness;” bestow, as in “graciously conferred;” and, deliver, deliverance or Deliverer, as in “to gratify or to grant by favor.”  (see Vine's Expository Dictionary for more)

Each of these words, derived from the same translation, leads the true believer of Christ to turn to Him to be forgiven and, very importantly to give forgiveness.

One of Paul’s many teachings to the Corinthians included this counsel: “if any have caused grief, . . .ye ought rather to forgive him, and comfort him, lest perhaps such a one should be swallowed up with overmuch sorrow. . . .”

God, Himself, has issued this sobering command: “For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.”

Recently, I shared with a dear friend some issues I was having with a person we both knew. I seemed to have enough reasons to justify my feelings of resentment and I asked her for her counsel. Her response was as appropriate as it was biting, “You’ll never make it into the kingdom with those feelings. So you better repent! And you better forgive!”


Since then, I have sought to pay the price that yields fruit worthy of repentance that will bring me to forgiveness. It hasn't been easy. I have had to swallow my pride. But I am learning that swallowing my pride is so much better than being “swallowed up with overmuch sorrow. . . .”