In my counseling experience I have seen that there is no greater impediment to change than the unwillingness to seek and grant forgiveness. The lack of forgiveness causes us to fight God rather than submit to him and causes us to stand against rather than with one another. (War of Words by Paul David Tripp)
Forgiveness is a key to relationship issues, and it needs to happen on both sides no matter who has been the offender and who has been offended, no matter if sin has been involved or if there is just misunderstanding. When forgiveness is not free offered it stops the relationship and as Paul David Tripp states is impedes further change and can keep reconciliation from happening.
Tripp defines the difference between two different types of forgiveness: judical and relational. He states that forgiveness starts vertically by going to God and letting go.
- Judical forgiveness is the willingness to let go of offenses before God
- Relational forgiveness is the willingness to forgive anyone who comes seeking it
Forgiveness is not easy, but it is clear in Scripture that not only are we called to forgive, but there is a connection between our forgiveness toward others and God’s ability to forgive us.
Don’t fight God, but submit to him, stand with one another, and choose to forgive!