And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another even as God in Christ forgave you. Ephesians 4:32
Jesus taught that our generous and constant forgiveness of sin should be the natural result of our understanding of the forgiveness that God has extended to us. Forgiven people should be forgiving people.
In The Lord’s Prayer, Jesus instructed us to pray, “Forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors”. He was saying, “As you are receiving the forgiveness from God for the wrong that you have done, be sure to extend that same forgiveness to others who have wronged you.” It is a spiritual cycle – God starts it with us and we pass it on to others.
Because we are often on a quest to find things that are perfect, we tend to be intolerant of people who are not as perfect as we want them to be. We want the perfect husband. The perfect wife. The perfect church. The perfect friends. The perfect children. And we don’t find that perfection, because the people we expect to be perfect are just like us. They are flawed just like us. They have their weaknesses, just like us.
A man once came to the great preacher John Wesley and said, “I never forgive and I never forget.” Wesley replied by saying, “Well, sir, I hope, then, that you never sin.” We have to recognize that we sin and that people sin against us as well. We fail people and people also fail us. We are not perfect people living in an imperfect world. The truth is that, we are imperfect people living in an imperfect world.
Are you willing to be judged with the same judgment that you judge others with? Aren’t you so thankful God does not deal with you according to your sins? Show your gratitude by forgiving others as you have been forgiven.
Prayer: Lord, forgive me my sins as I resolve to forgive all those who sin against me.
Scriptural Reading: Ephesians 4:32-35