Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.
It is a blessing to be forgiven. What a relief! It is also expected that we will forgive as we have been forgiven. So why is it so hard to forgive when we have been forgiven so much? We suffer three injuries every time we forgive:
- The Initial Offense – We suffer from the harm that happened because of the event
- The Pain of Reconciliation – We must come to terms with the pain of offense and let that pain go, since we consider it as though it never happened
- The Absence of Justice – We suffer knowing that since we have chosen to forgive, justice will not occur for the offense
Yet, we are called to forgive as we have been forgiven. But why does it seem that every day people are getting more evil than ever? Perhaps this is why (Matthew 24:12-13):
Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved.
Besides, everything has already been paid in full already. Just as some physical injuries take longer to heal than others, the pain of sin and forgiveness can take longer for certain events. Either way, we are called to be perfect like God. So, like everything else in life, practice makes perfect – make forgiveness the first state of mind when someone wrongs you. And let God take care of the rest. Lean on Him for strength and healing. For:
The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me,
because the Lord has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim freedom for the captives
and release from darkness for the prisoners,
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor
and the day of vengeance of our God,
to comfort all who mourn,
and provide for those who grieve in Zion—
to bestow on them a crown of beauty
instead of ashes,
the oil of joy
instead of mourning,
and a garment of praise
instead of a spirit of despair.
They will be called oaks of righteousness,
a planting of the Lord
for the display of his splendor.
Be an oak of righteousness; forgive as God has forgiven you. And let God give you the oil of joy and a garment of praise.
A short prayer of preparation:
Father in Heaven, You have forgiven us more that we can even comprehend. From the worst of sinners as Paul described himself to the ones who led good lives, we have all sinned and fallen short of Your glory. Forgive us this day our trespasses, and help us to forgive the trespasses of others. Strengthen us as we deal with the consequences of not only our own sin, but the sin of others. Help us to remember what it cost You to forgive our sins, that we might put everything into perspective. Touch our hearts and comfort us as we draw close to you. This we ask in Jesus’ name, Amen.
Want more? Why not try A. B. Simpson or A. W. Tozer?