The University of Wisconsin in its Extension Outreach catalog announced a new course on “Interpersonal Forgiveness.” The catalog explained that students would be exploring “the latest approaches to forgiveness.”
In a world where a spirit of getting even is all too common, it’s good to learn that a major university is concerned about forgiveness. But even though such a course may offer some valuable insights, the Bible has the best answer to the question of how to forgive: By forgiving others as God has forgiven us.
Think of God’s grace and mercy in pardoning totally undeserving sinners on the basis of Christ’s infinitely costly sacrifice (Rom. 5:8). Think of Jesus as He prayed for His executioners, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do” (Lk. 23:34). Think of the forgiveness extended to us when we sincerely repent and confess our sins (1 Jn. 1:9). Think of how the Holy Spirit helps us to carry out Paul’s imperative, “Be kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you” (Eph. 4:32).
No new technique of forgiving is needed. This old method, God’s method, really works.
Since we all need forgiveness, we should always be forgiving.