Forgiveness is a popular subject among Christians and in devotionals. It’s easy to talk about but not so simple to do. But for the Christian to forgive is vital. In fact, God may not forgive us of our wrongdoings, if we can’t forgive others.
“If you forgive others the wrongs they have done to you, your Father in heaven will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others, then your Father will not forgive the wrongs you have done.” Matthew 6:14-15
Wow. That’s a pretty powerful statement. But God’s word is truth, so we better take it to heart.
“But, God, you don’t understand,” I’m tempted to say sometimes. “That person told a lie which cost me my job. He hates me and has no compassion on me. Besides he’s not a Christian.”
Does that change God’s mind? I don’t think so.
“Well, God. What about my alcoholic wife who left me to raise our three children? Am I supposed to forgive her? She doesn’t deserve it.”
Forgiveness is way harder than we think, but ponder this. On the cross, Jesus said, “Forgive them for they don’t know what they’re doing.” The Roman army pierced Jesus’ hands and feet with nails, yet he didn’t hold it against them.
All of us are like sheep and have gone astray. None of us is without sin, but did God forgive you when you sought salvation? Forgiveness is like God’s grace—letting go of someone’s wrongdoing against you. The Bible commands us to be more like Jesus.
Do we deserve forgiveness? The question has an obvious answer. No. So if God can forgive us, can’t we forgive another?
“Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.” Colossians 3:13
Dear Lord, in Your strength I can forgive that one who hurt me so deeply. Amen.