Matthew 6:14 – “For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you,”
The list of scriptures in the bible related to forgiving others is a long list. Longer than I would really like it to be. If I’m being honest, one scripture related to forgiving others is enough for me.
Often times when we think about forgiving others for what they have done to us, we tend to weigh the offense. Some are not as hard to forgive as others. Some offenses, once talked through, can be forgiven quickly and forgotten almost as easily.
Luke 6:37 – “Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven;”
But, then there are others.
There are those that cut deep. Wrongs that have been done by people who we thought would never hurt us. Those are the ones we can’t forgive. Those are the ones we replay in our mind. And, we wonder why would God, who loves us, want us to forgive someone who did something so hurtful?
Because we’ve been forgiven.
Ephesians 4:32 – “Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.”
When we think about forgiving those who have hurt us, we sometimes forget what we’ve been forgiven for.
God sent His Son to die on a cross for ALL of our sins so we could spend eternity with Him. If most of us are being honest, there are sins we have been forgiven for that we don’t even want our closest friends to know about. Hearing people talk about God being all-seeing and all-knowing frightens us a little bit because we know the deep dark areas we try to hide.
But you’re forgiven.
When we remember what we’ve been forgiven for and who has forgiven us, it should make forgiving others a little easier.
Matthew 18:21-22 – “Then Peter came up and said to him, “Lord, how often will my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?” Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you seven times, but seventy times seven.”
See, we are created in the image of God. We are image-bearers. If God is a God of forgiveness, as his children we should show God’s love by forgiving others. We know this world will hurt us. We know people we love will cause us pain. But, we know above this, that there is a God in Heaven who loves us greater than any love on earth and any hurt we will bear.
We forgive others not because we want to make them feel better.
We forgive because we’ve been forgiven.
Forgiveness doesn’t make us weak.
It makes us stronger in Christ.