I remember studying biblical theology in my younger years. At that time the machinations of scholars were often portrayed as unfinished (of course they were – they were just dipping their feet in the water of discourse with other academics so you didn’t want to proclaim the “truth” without first checking it out with your peers).
The title for books included the following – “an introduction”. So, here is an introduction on forgiveness.
The Christian viewpoint is strong on forgiveness. In fact, so strong, that if you don’t forgive you will not be forgiven.
Below I have outlined in my own language some definitions of forgiveness that I have run across. I’m not sure I agree with them all. After all, this is just “an introduction”!
Some initial thoughts on defining forgiveness:
Give totally – as though your loss was actually not a loss – you gave it to the other freely.
Give as though nothing has happened – consider things to be as they were before, as though the most recent incident had not happened.
Don’t take offense – refuse to take account. Actually pre-omit the sin perpetrated against you before it happens.
Don’t receive what is given – instead of wearing a velcro suit attracting offenses, you wear a teflon suit that sheds offenses.
Don’t judge in the first place – there are no offenses where there is no wrong.