“Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.”
(Ephesians 4:32 NASB)
Is there anyone in your life right now that you are holding resentment toward? What would it take for you to forgive them and let it go? If you are a follower of Jesus Christ, you have no choice but to forgive them. Forgiveness is a non-negotiable subject in God’s kingdom. If you do not forgive others, the Father will not forgive you (see Matt. 6:14-15). It’s that simple. When we accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, the filth of our sin is washed clean by the Blood of Christ. Each of us becomes a new creature in Christ (see 2 Cor. 5:17). We are then to “put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth.” (Eph. 4:24) But what does all of that mean?
First, it’s important to realize that we are righteous and holy before God not because of anything we have done or can do, but because He says we are. Submitting oneself to Jesus Christ is the deciding factor. We are saved from eternal death by God’s grace through faith, and it is a gift (see Eph. 2:8-9). Nothing we do, or have done, can make that happen other than to be willing to allow it to happen. Accepting Him means accepting all of Him, not just the parts we like or think we need. It means reading His word and examining ourselves to see what areas of our lives need changing, and then prayerfully changing them.
As the above passage says, we are to be kind and tender-hearted to one another. This is difficult if not impossible to do when you are holding ill feelings toward someone. When we are not willing to let go of the offenses in our lives, we will eventually become bitter. We are warned against allowing this bitterness to take hold in Heb. 12:15. In many cases, really forgiving someone is only possible through Christ. There are some offenses that seem too great to forgive, but nowhere in God’s word does it give us the option of not doing it. We must be willing to forgive regardless of the severity of the offense. For that we need God’s grace.
God does not ask us to do anything that He is not willing to help us with. The hard part for us is our own willingness to allow the forgiveness to happen. The Bible says to freely give what we have received. We have received unconditional love and forgiveness. It is up to all of us who have been touch by the saving grace of Jesus to freely give all that we have received back to anyone that crosses our path.
Have a great week and God bless.