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Forgiveness is an Investment: What it Costs
Published by Molly Friesen at 9:59 am under Forgiveness
Following up on my Monday post about the dark “benefits” of unforgiveness, Paul Tripp goes on to explain that “forgiveness is an investment in your relationship with God and in your relationship with one another. As with all investments, there is cost involved. In any investment you make, your concern is that the return will be greater than the cost” (95).
So, what are the costs involved? Tripp lists a handful of costs, along with a full paragraph of explanation for each. I’ll include an excerpt of each explanation, but it’s certainly worth reading in full.
Forgiveness requires humility. ”When we stand in the center of our own universe with nothing more important to us than ourselves, we find nothing more offensive than a sin against us … Nobody gives grace better than someone who is convinced he needs it as well.”
Forgiveness requires compassion. ”Compassion is being moved by the plight of another, coupled with action to help him or her. Husbands and wives, does compassion ever grip you when your spouse sins against you? … You forgive [him or her] because, by God’s grace, you look at [him or her] through tender, rather than judgmental, eyes.”
Forgiveness requires trust. “Forgiveness is not so much an act of faith in your spouse as it is an act of faith in God.”
Forgiveness requires self-control. ”If you are going to forgive your spouse for committing a sin against you, you must say no to yourself, exercising the self-control that only God is able to give you. To forgive, you have to say no to bitterness… to the desire to lash out with angry words and actions of vengeance … [and] to the impulse to share your anger with a relative or friend.”
Forgiveness requires sacrifice. “Forgiveness requires that we be willing to let go of our desire for safety and comfort and the surface peace of silence, and, as an act of faith, that we endure what we do not want to face in order for the other to be helped and our relationship to be reconciled.”
Forgiveness requires remembering. “Perhaps a lifestyle of unforgiveness is rooted in the sin of forgetfulness. We forget that there is not a day in our lives that we do not need to be forgiven… When you remember, when you carry with you a deep appreciation for the grace that you have been given, you’ll have a heart that is ready to forgive.”
From Paul Tripp "What Did You Expect: Redeeming the Realities of Marriage", pages 95-97