Philippians 4:1–9 (GS trans.) - Thus, my loved ones, my brethren, whom I long to see, you are my joy and my crown; in this way, stand firm in the Lord, my loved ones: I urge Euodia and I urge Syntyche to think together in the Lord. 3 Yes, and I ask you also, my team-mate in ministry [Luke?], take hold of these women, for they have struggled beside me in the work of the gospel, together with Clement and the rest of my co-laborers, whose names are in the book of life. 4 All of you should continually be glad that you are in covenant with the Lord; again I will repeat, be glad! 5 All of you, let your gentle, reasonable side be seen by everyone. The Lord is near. 6 Stop worrying about things and pray about everything very specifically with thankfulness so that what you ask for instead of worry about is made known to God. 7 And then the peace of God, which exceeds all your thinking, will protect your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. 8 Last of these exhortations on how to stand firm, beloved, in such problems affirm whatever is true, whatever is honest, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable, see in this what is excellent and glorious. 9 Keep on putting into practice the things that you have been discipled in and the things you received and heard in me, and the God of peace will be with you.
The Greek verb we translate “forgive” (aphiemi) literally means to “not send or set in motion” or to “send away, free, abandon, let go, leave” (Rev. 2:4 left first love; Mt. 5:40 give your coat too; Rom. 1:27 men abandoned the natural function; Lk. 4:39 rebuked the fever, and it left her). In personal reconciliation, it is to “cancel, remit” (Newman); to “release, on the part of the creditor or offended party, of any expectation that a debt will be repaid” (Lexington); to “let go, or give up a debt” (Thayer). Forgiveness is quite literally, “letting it go.” Believers have the ultimate basis for letting it go, namely our own forgiveness in Jesus (esp. Mt 18). There are two kinds of forgiveness: “Decisional forgiveness occurs when a person decides to act without malice or to act in such a way to treat the offender as a valued person and forswear vengeance. Emotional forgiveness is … the emotional replacement of negative unforgiving emotions with positive other-oriented emotions (i.e., empathy, sympathy, compassion, or even love toward the offender)” (Everett Worthington, perhaps the most important researcher in the area). RINSE: Recall the specific action. Initiate letting it go. Negotiate with the offender the exact sin. Say the same as God says of the sin. Expiate the sin by letting it “scapegoat” away.
The Philippians 4 counseling of Paul included several exhortations for ongoing practice:
Rejoice Always (4:4) Experience Peace (4:7)? Endure with Others (4:5) Affirm the True, Good, and Beautiful (4:8)? Petition God vs Anxiety (4:6) Teachers and Models (4:9)