Forgiveness. Now that can be a tough one. We talked about this a couple of weeks ago in Wednesday Night Bible Study.
If I’ve done this article before, please forgive me! Actually, if you are like me, I need reminded. Sometimes, more than I care to admit. We are wronged in some way, our hearts are broken, someone really hurt us or our family! I can deal with a lot, but when someone hurts my family – all bets are off! It’s like this nagging pain in your gut that just keeps growing. Have you ever made bread and watched the dough rise? That kind of the way unforgiveness is. It starts out small and next thing you know, it has doubled in size. And you know what? It is unlikely that the person you are not able to forgive, knows or even cares. So guess who is getting hurt… again. The pain and bitterness continue to grow until something has to give and that something is probably going to be the one who just can’t let it go. We shouldn’t be in the judging business, but God is. Forgive and move on, let God take of the rest.
Forgive Because God Forgave You
“Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” (Ephesians 4:32 NIV)
We will all be hurt in this life. Many times we’ll be hurt intentionally by what people say about us or what people do to us. In fact, any time we read the word “forgiveness” we instantly call to mind certain heartaches, hurts, and problems from our past. The memories are still fresh because we’ve been hurt very deeply.
Because of how deeply we’ve been hurt, it’s hard to consider forgiving the perpetrators. But the Bible gives us one very important reason we need to forgive.
We forgive others because God forgave us.
The Bible says in Ephesians 4:32, “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you” (NIV). Ponder how much God has forgiven you, and it’ll cause you to be more forgiving of those who have hurt you.
The converse is also true. If you don’t feel forgiven, you’ll have a hard time forgiving others. If you typically have a tough time forgiving others, you may not truly feel forgiven yourself.
Think of it like this: God has completely wiped your sin slate clean because of what Jesus Christ did on the cross. All of the things you deserve to be paid back for have been cleared away because God has forgiven you. Own that statement for yourself, and you’ll find it increasingly tough to hold a grudge against someone else.
Remember this: No matter what anyone does to you, you’ll never have to forgive any other person more than God has already forgiven you.