The Bible indicates that forgiveness of others is required in order to be forgiven by God. Forgiveness requires that there be confession of the wrong that was done, either to God or to fellow man and a sincere repentance of the act. When these actions are taken, it will be as if the wrong act was never committed. God will not hold forgiven sins against us. This is the ultimate “do over”. This aspect of God’s character is not a license to continue sinning, but it is an indication that He understands our frailties.
Bible texts on the topic of forgiveness help to remind us that God is merciful and full of grace. Those sinners who are truly repentant of their wrong actions are forgiven. He also provides the promise of a clean and renewed heart. A new beginning with Jesus is the opportunity to change the previous pathway. The kindness of God in allowing us to learn from errors and mistakes is deep and wide.
Forgiving others can be hard to do. We are commanded to do so by God, so it must be possible. He will provide the strength and the grace to forgive those who have wronged us. It is necessary for us to forgive others in order to be forgiven by God.
When we harbor resentments and hatred against others because we cannot truly forgive them, it is harmful to both physical and emotional health. These verses describe both the benefits and the necessity for forgiving others and for being forgiven.
This is the day the Lord has made and I will rejoice and be glad in it.