Tippens explains that we all must find it in our hearts to forgive. He reminds us that “Jesus came to forgive; we have been forgiven by him; we must forgive others.”
I remember that when I was growing up my mother would always tell me “two wrongs don’t make a right.” I think that what she was trying to say is that the failure to forgive someone for their wrong is just as wrong as the original wrong. Tippens says, “First, we should consider that forgiveness is a grace that begins with God, not with us.”
Just as Tippens says in the next section of the chapter, I believe that good can come out of any bad situation, no matter how horrendous it may seem to us. I do not think that God wills bad things to happen to us to teach us a lesson. It just happens. I know that everything I have been through in my life has made me a stronger person. This has happened through God’s grace, and in the strength he has given me, I can forgive.
Tippens tells us though that we must remember to forgive ourselves as well. This is where many of us lacking. We tend to blame ourselves because we have “allowed ourselves” to get hurt. Tippens warns if you do not forgive yourself, this can lead to “guilt and shame,” which can turn into “anger toward others.” I never thought that when I verbally lash out toward others, which does happen sometimes, that I could be from my inability to forgive myself.
In American culture, it is difficult to forgive people, because it is difficult to trust others. We must remember that we can forgive people for how they have wronged us, but trust is earned. Also in American movies, vengeance is the answer to the problems that plague us. We all must remember, “Vengeance never settles the matter” (Tippens 121).
But with you there is forgiveness, so that we can, with reverence, serve you. Psalm 130:4
Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?” Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times. Matthew 18:21-22
This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. Matthew 26:28
And so John the Baptist appeared in the wilderness, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. Mark 1:4
to give his people the knowledge of salvation through the forgiveness of their sins, Luke 1:77
He went into all the country around the Jordan, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. Luke 3:3
and repentance for the forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. Luke 24:47
Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. Acts 2:38
All the prophets testify about him that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.” Acts 10:43
“Therefore, my friends, I want you to know that through Jesus the forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you. Acts 13:38
to open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.’ Acts 26:18
[ Forgiveness for the Offender ] If anyone has caused grief, he has not so much grieved me as he has grieved all of you to some extent—not to put it too severely. 2 Corinthians 2:5
In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace Ephesians 1:7
in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. Colossians 1:14
In fact, the law requires that nearly everything be cleansed with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness. Hebrews 9:22
[ Light and Darkness, Sin and Forgiveness ] This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. 1 John 1:5