Currently I am studying the book of Philemon and learning about forgiveness. Reading through John MacArthur's commentary on the book has made a significant change in my view of forgiveness. I thought I understood what forgiveness was all about yet struggled with being a forgiving person. By no means has this study been a quick fix to my struggle but it has allowed me to view forgiveness in a practical way of my life. My struggles came from a lack of understanding the truth found in Scripture. Dr. MacArthur gives eight foundation elements of a biblical doctrine of forgiveness that really opened my eyes to my lacking of understanding. My bitterness toward certain aspects or people in my life ran deeper than I understood but also my view of the gospel has been distorted. This is what sin wants for our lives as believers. In one of the eight foundational elements of forgiveness Dr. MacArthur says:
"Matthew 22:39: 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' We find ourselves eminently worthy of forgiveness, and have a hard time understanding why others would not forgive us. We are quick to forgive and excuse ourselves. It is utter selfishness to fail to extend that same forgiveness to others. Selfishness also cause us to exaggerate the faults of those who offend us. Humble, unselfish people, in contrast, do not see offenses against themselves as significant."
OUCH! I am so grateful God is breaking down this area of sin in my life. I am a very prideful person that needs breaking. What amazing grace from God to forgive me from my lack of forgiveness to others. I want to be more like him.
Grace upon grace,