Forgiveness is like a coin – there are two sides to it. These two sides of forgiveness are vital for each of us to understand if we are going to live Biblically and build strong, healthy relationships. Not only should forgiveness be shown to an offender, but a person must ask for forgiveness for the wrong he or she has done to someone else (Matthew 5:23-24).
It takes humility and strength of character to admit when we have done or said something wrong and offended a family member or someone at church. Strong, healthy relationships are built on a willingness to both forgive and to ask for forgiveness when offenses occur. The strongest relationships are not between those who never hurt or offend one another – such relationships don’t exist (Philippians 2:21) – but between those who ask each other’s forgiveness on a regular basis.
Pride keeps us back from asking forgiveness or even thinking that we need to ask for forgiveness. When there is pride, we tend to be more critical and judgemental of others. On the other hand, people who realize they are wrong and ask for forgiveness develop a deeper understanding of what it means to be forgiven. It is out of this experience of needing forgiveness that a person learns how to truly forgive those who have hurt him or her.
Scripture says, “Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you” (Ephesians 4:31-32).
Morris Hull, Home Life Ministries