Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you. – Ephesians 4:31-32
We have to find ways to fix our relationships. Look at what God did to repair His relationship with us! We have to repair the damage we have done to others, and we have to repair the damage others have done to us. Of course, these are the work of God but, as we discussed in the last devotion, we have some choices to make. There are some commands in God’s Word. Will we follow them?
First, we must forgive those who have hurt us.
Why is that so important? Forgiveness is so important that Jesus died to provide it. You can be sure that Jesus was serious about forgiveness. “and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross. Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior. But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation” — Colossians 1:20-22
We must forgive others because God has forgiven so much of us. For those of us that have suffered so much at the hands of others, this is understandably difficult. We will talk about how to forgive later on, but for now we need to understand that forgiveness is not optional for us as believers. When I think about how much God has forgiven of me, it becomes a lot easier for me to take on a forgiving attitude. I know that I will never have to forgive more than God has already forgiven of me. My hope and my joy lies within the forgiveness that I have received from God through the Lord, Jesus Christ. The difficult part of being forgiving is that we do not truly understand the forgiveness that we have received. None of this will make sense to someone who has not experienced and received and tasted the joy of the forgiveness of God in Christ. If we do not forgive as the Scriptures command, perhaps the problem is with our ignorance of what God has truly done for us in Christ. And, just maybe, our ignorance comes from our carnal mind that cannot please God instead of that renewed, spiritual mind that brings us into the transformation we seek. Maybe we need to “practice” forgiveness every day until it becomes a habit that replaces our habit of un-forgiveness.
God is so good.
“Bear with each other and forgive any complaint you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.” – Colossians 3:13
Father, You are above all in righteousness and power. You alone are Holy. We love You because You first loved us. We seek You because You have given so much in seeking us. We ask You for Your healing, Your help, Your guidance so that we can live our lives here on earth in a way that reflects Your will and your purpose the same way Your will and purpose is known in heaven, until that glorious day when Jesus comes to take us to be with You there. We thank You for forgiving us and saving our lives through the blood and cross of Jesus. Because of Your saving work in Christ, we have hope. We know that Your word says we are to become transformed into the image of Jesus, and we know what He did so we could be forgiven. Please help us to be like Him. We know that forgiveness isn’t easy, but we also know that it is Your will and it is for our own good. Teach us to be forgiving because You have forgiven so much of us. What a glorious God You are. What a good, good Father You are, and what joy and peace we have because of You. Please give us open minds and hearts as we learn about forgiveness in the coming days. In Jesus’ name.