Some time ago, I passed a church sign that asked the same question, but the answer was very different. This time relief was spelled “F-O-R-G-I-V-E-N-E-S-S.”
That’s hard to argue with; isn’t it?
I’m reminded of Paul’s words in Ephesians 4:32: “And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God in Christ forgave you.”
I will confess that I need forgiveness. I need forgiveness from those I have wronged. I do hope I will never become too proud to say, “I’m sorry; please forgive me.”
Since any sin is a personal affront to God, I also need his forgiveness. Thankfully, He has revealed in His Word exactly what I must do to receive that forgiveness. (cf. Acts 2:38; 1 John 1:9).
But, as Paul reminded us, we must be willing to forgive others, too. Those of us who need forgiveness must be ready and willing to extend it to others.
Dave Wills wrote: “Holding grudges doesn’t make you strong; it makes you bitter. Forgiving doesn’t make you weak; it makes you free.”
Yet, we tend to hold grudges; don’t we? We play “tit for tat.” We make mountains out of molehills. We try to get even with those whom we feel have wronged us. And, we end up making ourselves and those about us miserable.
Furthermore, when we do not forgive those who wrong us, we close heaven’s doors of forgiveness against ourselves. At the end of the Parable of the Unforgiving Servant, Jesus said, “And his master was angry, and delivered him to the torturers, until he should pay all that was due him. So My heavenly Father also will do to you if each of you, from his heart, does not forgive his brother his trespass” (Matt. 18:35).
It is relief to be forgiven by God and others we have wronged, and it is also a relief to forgive those who have wrong us. Don’t live in misery. Throw off the burden.
How do you spell relief?