“He who covers a transgression seeks love, but he who repeats a matter separates the best of friends” (Prov. 17:9).
“The discretion of a man makes him slow to anger, and it is his glory to overlook a transgression” (Prov. 19:11).
Forgiveness is about pardoning wrongs and cancelling debts. It is a glorious thing, according to the Scripture above, to wipe out a transgression. Forgiveness promotes fellowship and love. Jesus says in Luke 7:47 about the “sinful woman,”Therefore I say to you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven, for she loved much. But to whom little is forgiven, the same loves little.”
When we receive forgiveness, when we have a sense of how big the debt was that was cancelled for us, then we love much. If God has forgiven us much, and we know it, we love Him much. But if we don’t understand forgiveness, or if we think our sins were no big deal in the first place, then we don’t love God as we ought.
Forgiveness should always result in love for God. When we love God, we extend forgiveness to others, and this is what Scripture calls our glory. We are glorified when we forgive people. When we refuse to extend forgiveness, we are condemned.
A fervent love is characterized by forgiveness (1 Peter 4:8). Forgiveness should be something we extend often and readily. Love doesn’t just cover a couple of sins. It covers a multitude of them (1 Peter 4:8) . Forgiveness is like the silver polish on a blackly tarnished piece of silver. The more forgiveness extended, the more glory revealed in the forgiver.
The way we forgive others is the way we are asking God to forgive us: “And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors” (Mt. 6:12). How do we want God to forgive us? The same way we forgive our kids or our parents or our friends. Quickly. Generously. Lovingly. And that is glorious.