It’s Time to Forgive
“Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.”
As Christmas approaches, you’ll probably be gathering with family. Maybe you’ll be traveling, or maybe your family will be coming to you.
There are some family members that you’re probably looking forward to seeing. And there are some that perhaps you’re not looking forward to seeing because they’ve hurt you. So I’d like to offer a word of advice this Christmas: forgive people who’ve wronged you and hurt you in life.
I don’t know what those people have done. But I do know what God has done. Ephesians 4 says, “Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you” (verses 31–32 NLT).
Here’s my question for you: Do you deserve to be forgiven by God?
No, you don’t. Neither do I. But He forgave us. Therefore, we should forgive others.
It isn’t about whether they deserve forgiveness. Forgiving someone isn’t letting them off the hook. Forgiving someone is a way for you to be free from a life of bitterness. Otherwise, you can be living in a prison of anger and even despair.
Really, forgiveness is more for you than it is for the one who wronged you. As I’ve said many times, when you forgive someone, you set a prisoner free: yourself.
You’re the one who’s being tortured, so let it go. Forgive. That is the unique characteristic of a true follower of Jesus Christ. We have the ability, given to us from God, to forgive people who have done horrible things to us.
It might surprise you to know that failing to forgive others, even when they have sinned against you, is a sin on your part against God. If you’re a Christian, then you need to be a forgiving person.