“Forgive one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.”
Everyone at some point in life is going to have the opportunity to forgive someone. But when that time comes, it is never easy. The very last thing our human desires want to do is to let go of anger and bitterness. Instead, we hold onto it, replaying their wrongs over and over in our mind. But this is not how Jesus wants us to act. He wants us to extend the same forgiveness He gave us. Now, you are probably saying right now, “But how? It’s not that easy! You don’t know what _____ did to me!” You fill in the blank. We all have someone in our lives who seems absolutely impossible to forgive. They just hurt us too bad. The wound just goes too deep. Before I go on, I want to ask you a question. What if Jesus said the same thing about us? What if He decided that our sins were unforgivable and we weren’t worth the horrible death He endured? But, good thing for us, He didn’t. Instead, He forgave every sin we have ever committed and ever will commit. He even forgave the sins of his persecutors by crying out to God and saying, “Father forgive them. They do not know what they do” (Luke 23:34). Wow! That’s a lot of forgiveness.
So how do we forgive the unforgivable people in our lives the same way Jesus did? There’s only one word to answer this: prayer. The only way is to pray and ask God to give us a forgiveness for that person in our life that swallows up the bitterness. There is a verse in James that says, “Yet you do not have because you do not ask” (James 4:2). Maybe the reason it seems impossible to forgive some people is because we do not ask for the strength to forgive. Right now, pause and pray to God, asking Him to give you the strength to forgive.
Another thing to keep in mind is that forgiveness is a process. Anger and bitterness don’t just magically disappear into thin air. It is something you must surrender to God every day. In the morning before you do anything, pray and ask God to give you a spirit of forgiveness. Continually surrender the life of your offender (or offenders) into the very capable hands of God. Whenever Satan tries to lead you back down the dangerous path of bitterness, turn your face to Jesus and His example of true forgiveness as He hung on the cross for you. Know that no matter how deep the pain someone has caused, Jesus is always there to take your hand and help you forgive. Healing comes through forgiveness, and overtime, the wall of bitterness in your heart will fall down brick by brick. Today I challenge you (along with myself) to “forgive one another, even as God in Christ forgave you” (Ephesians 4:32)…to give others a second chance just as you were…to forgive the unforgiveable in others the way Jesus forgave the unforgiveable in you.