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Magazine > Content

Freely Forgiven

By Dr. Charles Stanley

“How could God ever forgive me? You don’t know what I’ve done.”

“How could I have done such an awful thing? I can never forgive myself.”

As a pastor, these are similar to questions I hear from people who have never fully understood God’s forgiveness. When we do not realize how the Lord’s mercy applies to our daily lives, the result is bondage, which stifles our ability to love and accept others. It also chokes the abundant life that Christ promised to those of us who believe.

Forgiveness is “the act of setting someone free from an obligation resulting from a wrong done against you.” For example, a debt is forgiven when you free the offender of his responsibility to pay back what he owes you. True forgiveness, then, involves three elements, all of which are necessary: an injury, a debt resulting from the injury, and a cancellation of the debt.

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