Ephesians 4:32 (NIV)
32 Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.
Let’s be honest for a moment; forgiveness is much easier said than done at times. Especially as Christians, we can talk about forgiveness and how it is a big part of our walk with Christ. However, it is not always easy to just forgive someone when they have really hurt us. Hearts take time to mend and there are times when forgiveness is a process. Yes, apologizing to someone is the right thing to do, and offering forgiveness is equally important, but it can certainly be difficult at times. Thankfully, Jesus is with us throughout the process. We are reminded of the ultimate sacrifice, His death on the cross so that we can be free from our sins. We get to live a life of freedom because Jesus already paid the highest price for us. When we can truly understand the depth of what Jesus did for us, we can understand why forgiving others when they hurt us is so important and a huge way we can live out the Gospel (and gratitude for our forgiveness from God) in our lives. We should try our best to be quick to forgive since we are already forgiven by Christ! The two small words in this verse, “just as,” are key to understanding how we are to forgive others.
When we forgive others for doing us wrong, or when we ask others to forgive us for our wrong-doing, we are living out the fruit of the Spirit that Jesus wants us to have in our lives. We can live life with others in harmony and show each other kindness and compassion that is not always in our sinful nature to do. In Christ, we are so many things that we alone cannot be. Humans are sinful, selfish and stubborn. In Christ we are loved, forgiven, and free. What a joy that is!
Is there anyone in your life that you need to ask to forgive you? Similarly, is there anyone who God is asking you to forgive that you just haven’t been able to forgive in your own strength? How can you trust God to help you do that this week?