Forgiveness is a powerful tool that can heal wounds, mend relationships, and bring peace to our lives. As Christians, we are called to forgive others just as Jesus Christ forgave us. Forgiveness is not always easy, but it is necessary if we want to live a life of love and compassion that God expects us to live.
Jesus is the ultimate example of forgiveness. He forgave those who crucified him, and he taught his followers to forgive others as well. The Bible instructs us in Ephesians 4:34 that we are forgive others just as God has forgiven us. This passage reminds us that we are all sinners in need of forgiveness, and that we must extend that forgiveness to others.
However, forgiveness is not always easy, especially when we have been hurt deeply. It can be tempting to hold onto anger and resentment, to seek revenge or to distance ourselves from the person who hurt us. But Jesus teaches us that forgiveness is the only way to truly heal and move forward. In Matthew 18:21-22, Peter asks Jesus how many times he should forgive someone who sins against him. Jesus responds, “I say not unto thee, until seven times: but until seventy times seven.” This means that we should forgive others not just once or twice, but as many times as it takes. Forgiveness is not a one-time event, but rather a process that requires patience, compassion, and a willingness to let go of our anger and hurt.
Forgiveness does not mean that we condone the actions of the person who hurt us. It does not mean that we forget what happened or that we allow ourselves to be hurt again. Forgiveness means that we choose to let go of our anger and resentment, and to extend grace and compassion to the person who hurt us for us to treat the offender as if they are not guilty at all.
Therefore, forgiveness is a choice, and it is a choice that we must make every day. It is not always easy, but it is necessary if we want to live a life of love and compassion. When we choose to forgive, we are choosing to follow in the footsteps of Jesus Christ, who forgave even those who crucified him.
Forgiveness is also a gift that we give to ourselves. When we hold onto anger and resentment, we are only hurting ourselves. We are allowing the person who hurt us to continue to have power over us, and we are preventing ourselves from moving forward and finding the peace that God says we can have. When we choose to forgive, we are freeing ourselves from the burden of anger and resentment.
The freedom that is found in forgiveness is one of the most amazing gifts that God has al-lowed us to experience in this life. Take Him at His word, forgive, and experience the peace that comes with it.
from Pastor Aaron Smith