To forgive means to let go of resentment or anger towards someone who has wronged you. In the Bible, forgiveness is a central theme and is often discussed in the context of the teachings of Jesus.
In Matthew 18:21-22, a disciple asks Jesus how many times he should forgive someone who sins against him. Jesus responds, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.” This statement is often interpreted to mean that Christians are called to forgive others an infinite number of times, always being willing to extend forgiveness when it is asked for.
The parable of the unmerciful servant in Matthew 18:23-35 is another example of the importance of forgiveness in the Bible. In the story, a servant is forgiven a large debt by his master, but then refuses to forgive a smaller debt owed to him by another servant. The master is angry with the unmerciful servant and punishes him, emphasizing that those who have been forgiven much are expected to forgive others in return.
In Colossians 3:13, Paul writes, “Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.” This passage reminds Christians that they are to forgive others as they have been forgiven by God through the sacrifice of Jesus.
In the Lord’s Prayer, Jesus teaches his followers to pray, “Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.” This reminds Christians that they are to ask for forgiveness and also be willing to forgive others.
In summary, the Bible teaches that forgiveness is an important aspect of the Christian faith. Christians are called to forgive others an infinite number of times, as they have been forgiven by God through the sacrifice of Jesus. Additionally, Christians are reminded that forgiveness is a two-way street, and they are expected to extend forgiveness to others just as they have received it.