Writing Prompts: Forgiveness

Week 1: Forgiven and Forgiving

forgiveness-sunsetJesus taught His disciples an important principle in forgiveness: ask God for it and then offer it to others, too.

He pointed out an important truth: “If you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins” (Matthew 6:15, NLT) because His character cannot tolerate unforgiveness. God calls us to respond to His grace by practicing forgiveness with others in the same way He shows mercy to each of us.

Writing Prompt

Think over your most recent request for forgiveness. How might God be calling you to respond and forgive someone else, too?


Week 2: Forgive and Forget. Really?

What a blessing to know that the Father has forgiven you even before you ask.  Yet Jesus challenges you to do the same with others: “For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you” (Matthew 6:14, NIV).
You may struggle to sincerely forgive someone else because you mistakenly think that forgiving means forgetting what they did or denying what happened.

Writing Prompt

Even though forgiving does not mean forgetting or denying a hurt, forgiveness can be a liberating experience that frees you from negative feelings.  How has offering that kind of forgiveness impacted you?

Week 3: Who Me – Forgive Myself?

1 John 1:9 says, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (ESV).

God forgives you and wipes the slate clean. Yet you may have difficulty forgiving yourself.
Consider this: if you believe you cannot forgive yourself, you may be positioning yourself as having a higher standard than God. Part of accepting God’s forgiveness means forgiving yourself.

Writing Prompt

What are some ways you go about forgiving yourself?


Week 4: Soooo Bad. That’s Me.

God forgives sin. But like most of us, perhaps this thought has crossed your mind: “My sin is sooo bad. God can’t possibly accept me as one of His children.”

The truth is that “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” (2 Corinthians 5:17, NIV).

Writing Prompt

The Word of God is always true. How can believing the totality of God’s forgiveness change your life?


Week 5: I Gotta Stay Under the Limit

As with many lessons of the Gospels, Jesus challenges our perceived limitations about forgiveness and inspires us to put His words into practice.

Peter experienced this truth when he approached Jesus and asked, “‘Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?’ Jesus answered, ‘I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.'” (18:21-22, NIV). In other words, forgiveness has boundaries, but no limits.

Writing Prompt

When it comes to offering forgiveness, how do you create healthy boundaries – and how do you justify drawing a personal line in the sand at some point?