• W. Austin Gardner

forgiveness is a promise



That’s really what it is. It’s a promise. It’s a promise never to take revenge. It is the opposite of a refusal to forgive which is a promise to seek revenge. If you want a simple definition then of forgiveness, think of it as a promise never to take revenge. It is a verbally declared promise. It is a statement of love that affirms “I hold no anger, I hold no hatred, I hold no bitterness against you.” And it has a three-fold perspective. I won’t ever bring it up to you, I won’t ever bring it up to anybody else, I won’t ever bring it up to myself. That’s forgiveness. No matter what you have done to me, no matter how you have offended me, I make a promise never to seek revenge. I hold no anger, I hold no hatred, I hold no bitterness, I won’t ever bring it up to you, I won’t ever bring it up to anybody else and I won’t ever bring it up to me. That’s forgiveness.


Forgiveness, we have noted, is the most God-like and the most Christ-like act a Christian can do. Never are you more like God or Christ than when you forgive because that is what God does, that is what Christ does. Forgiveness is a magnificent virtue.


John F. MacArthur Jr., John MacArthur Sermon Archive (Panorama City, CA: Grace to You, 2014).


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