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Written by Dynamis Ministries | September 14, 2023

To all the guys out there, we probably have a bit of a reputation for not always being the most observant. For instance, has your wife ever returned home from a hair appointment without you noticing her amazing new look even while looking her in the face? Or, have you struggled to find something essential for one of your littles, and your child shows you it’s in the most obvious spot? What about road signs, have you “overlooked” the lane closure sign racing down the interstate only to find yourself in trouble trying to merge into traffic? Warranted or not there seems to be a reputation that men tend to miss things that are “hidden in plain sight.”

When it comes to growing our generosity potential, there’s one area of giving that all of us could stand to increase, that’s hidden in plain sight. That area is forgiveness. In fact, has it ever struck you that “give” is actually part of the word for-give? We know that forgiveness is a big deal in the Bible. Through Jesus, God has forgiven us and granted us salvation (Ephesians 1:7). Jesus himself also instructs us to forgive others (Matthew 18:21-22). We may even know that practicing forgiveness can increase our own physical and emotion well-being¹. But when we forgive someone, how are we practicing generosity; what exactly are we giving?

Throughout Scripture forgiveness is used to describe the act of pardoning an offense. In this way forgiveness is just as much about what we don’t give as much as what we do give. Consider an offense that many of us can probably relate to: gossip. It’s hurtful when others talk about us behind our back in ways that challenge our character and integrity or bring us embarrassment. This offense can be very damaging to our reputation, family or even career. When we are hurt in this way, we may think that a fair and just payment for this offense could be to publicly expose the offender’s own failures or fight fire with fire in spreading rumors against them. Yet when we are generous with forgiveness, not only do we pardon their offense by not giving them the punishment they may deserve, but in doing so we are giving them love, mercy and grace.

Forgiveness might be one of the hardest things to give because it requires us to be generous to someone who we are least inclined to be generous towards. However, the more we grow in this area of our generosity, the more peace and freedom we’ll experience. Interestingly, in the original Greek language of the Bible, forgiveness is literally translated as “letting go” or “to set free.” When we forgive an offender, we are freeing ourselves from potential feelings of resentment or bitterness that can swell up in our hearts.

Is there anybody in your life who you need to forgive today? Are you holding any feelings of resentment or anger that you need to let go of by generously forgiving someone who has hurt you? Take a step towards forgiveness by not holding that offense against them, giving them love, mercy and grace instead. Extending forgiveness is one of the most generous things you can do – a gift, just like you have received the gift of forgiveness. Like Andy Stanley said in his book, It Came from Within, “In the shadow of my hurt, forgiveness feels like a decision to reward my enemy. But in the shadow of the cross, forgiveness is merely a gift from one undeserving soul to another.”

 

¹Mental and Physical Health Benefits of Forgiveness: 7 Things to Know (2022, October 12). https://www.stelizabeth.com/healthyheadlines/mental-and-physical-health-benefits-of-forgiveness-7-things-to-know/