As Christians we are told to forgive as God forgives us. If we don’t forgive it is an act of disobedience and it will literally eat us up inside spiritually, emotionally, and eventually physically. You have to let it go. I mean let go the “bothering” of the event. And if the person repents then we give complete forgiveness and restoration of the relationship.
Repentance or turning away from that sin Luke 17:3 for the one who sinned is important to his being forgiven and his making right with God. In other words, you can’t just say you are sorry. If you don’t repent, your words are just words. Some people just say “I am sorry” and go on like nothing happened.
There is a follow up to asking forgiveness. There is a responsibility to be different and make it right. If you are really sorry for what you did, your actions will go with your words.
In Pastor Mark Driscoll’s blog this week he gives eight questions to ask yourself to help make decisions about repentance and restitution.
- What have you taken you need to give back?
- Have have you defrauded and what should you pay?
- When have you been lazy, and what does it look like to change?
- Whom have you neglected and what does your restitution require?
- Which sinner have you not called out, but only grumbled about?
- What joys have you stolen and need to repay?
- What sins have you tolerated, and what does repentance look like?
- Have you been greedy, and if so, what does it look like to be generous?
Humility is the key to even being in the right frame of mind for repentance and restitution. You have to be willing to see things from the view of the one you have offended. If the person feels offended, he is offended. It is the responsibility of the offender to make it right, or to make an attempt to make it right.
Then it is up to the offended one to forgive.