Tim Keller on How to Forgive

Timothy Keller | May 24th 2017

Whether it’s our spouse, friend, colleague, child… Forgiving people is hard. So here’s a brief reminder from Tim Keller on the day-to-day discipline of forgiving those who have wronged us.

The only way to avoid bitterness and angry resentment is to practice forgiveness. How can we do this? Three ways:

1. Realize what forgiveness is. Forgiveness is granted before it is felt (Luke 17 v 3-6). It is a promise to not bring up the wrong with the person, or with others, or in your own thoughts; not to dwell on the hurt or nurse ill-will.

2. Realize how forgiveness is possible. We will only forgive if and as we see and feel the reality of God’s massive and costly forgiveness of us through Christ. Only knowing how vast our debt to God was, and that it is now canceled, will enable us to have perspective on someone else’s debt to us (Matthew 18 v 21-35).

3. Forgive before we try to be reconciled (Mark 11 v 25). That way we won’t approach someone angrily, or try to “beat” them. We will be able truly to seek to restore the relationship.

(From 90 Days in Judges, Galatians and Ephesians, a devotional by Tim Keller and Richard Coekin)

Timothy Keller

Timothy Keller is the founding pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York City. He received his Master of Divinity from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, and his Doctor of Ministry from Westminster Theological Seminary. He is the author of such New York Times bestselling books as The Reason for God and Prayer. He is also Chairman of Redeemer City to City, which has helped start over 380 churches in global cities worldwide. He lives in New York City with his wife Kathy.

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