Category Archives: An Expression of God’s Heart

Forgiveness is the choice to avoid any desire for revenge or any temptation to nurse a wounded ego, according to Andrew Murray

cropped-cry_208356-Shutterstock-Free.jpgAndrew Murray was a pastor, author, and one of the founders of the South African General Mission. During his lifetime, he published over 240 books on Christian spirituality. For Murray (1981) forgiveness is defined as avoiding any desire to punish the offender, to nurse a wounded ego, or to maintain one’s rights [to retaliate or seek revenge], and is made possible by the power of Christ’s forgiving love dwelling in the forgiver. It is Christ Himself forgiving in and through the forgiver.

Murray, A. (1981). With Christ in the school of prayer. Springdale, PA: Whitaker House.

When others refuse to forgive us

cropped-woman_face_portrait_201808.jpgThe fact of the matter is that some people do choose to harbor resentments against their offenders, even when their offenders have taken appropriate responsibility for their wrongdoing, offered to make amends where possible and reasonable,  repented of the patterns of behavior that may have contributed to the hurt inflicted, are taking necessary steps to change their ways,  and have requested forgiveness. The Bible is replete with such examples (see Matthew 18:21-35).

So, what if someone you have hurt refuses to forgive you?  Will you now choose to believe that you are doomed to a miserable existence because they have chosen such a road?  If you choose to believe such a lie, then you may inadvertently hand over the deed to your future contentment to the very one who is refusing to obey God (Luke 6:36).  You thus become their victim, by choice.  More, without realizing it, you may end up buying into a more heinous lie: that their refusal to forgive you has greater bearing on whether you can experience forgiveness than God’s declaration that in Christ, you are free from all condemning charges against you because God in Christ has justified you (Romans 8:1-2).

Stuart A. Coleman, host