Have you felt wronged during a difficult trial in your life? Yes, some hard times come from our own hands or are just a consequence of living in a broken world. But some trials come at the hands of others, and it can be challenging to endure the trial while figuring out how to forgive someone who hurt us somehow.
“Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.”
These words in Ephesians 4:32 ESV help remind us how and why we should forgive others.
- God wants us to be kind and tenderhearted. Instead of dwelling on our anger, God says to show kindness and empathy.
- God tells us to forgive. That should be enough of a reason, right? The creator of the universe commands us to forgive.
- God in Christ forgave us, so we should forgive others. We have a debt of sin we cannot pay. Christ paid it for us. If God isn’t going to count our sin against us, we should let the Holy Spirit help us let their sins go.
Even though forgiveness is what God wants us to do, not all forgiveness can or should result in a restored relationship. Be sure to talk with a trusted, godly friend or counselor when it isn’t clear if a relationship is healthy or helpful.
Forgiveness is a gift we give the other person, as well as ourselves. When we aren’t so focused on keeping the records of wrongs against us, letting these situations overtake our thoughts, we are free to go about the business God has given us to do.
Father, We want to follow Your example of forgiveness. Help us to have compassion on others as You have had great compassion on us. Thank You, Lord! In Jesus’ Name, Amen.