What is right in the middle of the word “forgiveness?” You have “for” and you have “ness,” but right in the middle of“forgiveness” is the word “give.” To “give” is to provide someone with something. To “forgive” is to provide someone with pardon. “Forgiving” is one of the greatest ways of “giving.”

The New Testament words translated “forgive” are indeed graphic. “And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors ” (Matthew 6:12). Here the word “forgive” (aphiemi) means “to send away.” “And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you” (Ephesians 4:32). Here the word “forgiving” (charizomai) means “to bestow a favor unconditionally.” “Judge not and you will not be judged. Condemn not and you will not be condemned. Forgive and you will be forgiven” (Luke 6:37). Here the word “forgive” (apoluo) means “to release” or “to dismiss.”

Send it away! Bestow a favor unconditionally! Release it! Dismiss it! What greater gift can you give to them and to yourself? Give forgiveness!

Dwight Fuqua
Findlay church of Christ
Sparta, TN
Bulletin Digest (April 2012)

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