The Challenge and Necessity of Forgiveness
You’ve probably come to this study because you’re longing for forgiveness. Now, that could mean you need forgiveness from another person or you need to learn how to forgive others or perhaps even that you’re looking to forgive yourself. Whatever your specific circumstance is, know that the challenging road to forgiveness is worth it.
Studies have shown that neglecting forgiveness can lead to various mental, spiritual, and even physical health issues. According to an article from Johns Hopkins Research University, “forgiveness... calms stress levels, leading to improved health.”
Of course, these studies don’t tell us anything more than what God’s Word has laid out for us.
They merely affirm it. We need forgiveness in order to live a healthy, full life.
In this study, we will examine two aspects of forgiveness: forgiving and accepting forgiveness. Both can be tricky, but God’s Word helps us with both.
We will look at some stories of forgiveness and redemption, but each of them will point to a larger, more wonderful narrative: the story of God forgiving us, His broken and sinful people who have betrayed Him over and over again. We will learn to live in the reality of that forgiveness and see how it empowers us to forgive others.
As you read the short passages for today, focus on the words associated with forgiveness as well: love, mercy, grace. When we understand forgiveness, we begin to understand all these characteristics of God as well. Start praying that the Lord will open your heart to accepting His forgiveness towards you so that you can also go and forgive others and yourself, displaying the love of Christ that He offers you.