1.  You cannot forgive in your own strength.

2.  Forgiveness is neither a feeling nor forgetting, nor excusing.

3.  Sin creates a debt that must be paid (1 Pet 2:24; Matt 6:12)

  • Will you take payments? (demand payments)
  • Or make payments? (put away desire to make others suffer)

4.  Forgiveness is a decision modeled after God’s forgivness (Col 3:13; 1 Cor 13:4-5)

The Four Promises of Forgiveness

“In response to God’s love for me and in reliance on his grace, I forgive you.  Specifically, with God’s help…

  • I promise I will not dwell on this incident.”
  • I promise I will not bring up this incident and use it against you.”
  • I promise I will not talk to others about this incident.”
  • I promise I will not allow this incident to stand between us or hinder our personal relationship.”

The four promises as summarized in The Young Peacemaker:

Good Thought
Hurt you not
Gossip never
Friends forever

5.  God’s forgiveness inspires our forgiveness (Matt 18:32-33).