We The Redeemed
Ephesians 4:32 (NIV)
Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.
Paul ends this chapter in Ephesians very nicely by saying that we should be kind and compassionate, to forgive people, not because it is in our own nature to do so, but because God has first forgiven us. I strongly believe that to love in God’s manner is to forgive people for all the wrong things or the misgivings that they have done toward us. That is why the act of forgiveness to me is also an act of kindness, grace and an act of compassion, because most of the time we will probably never feel in our own selves to master that much humility to forgive a person, especially if that person has done something really hurtful toward us. This brings us back to the truth that God’s love for us is that great and that big and because we as Christians have come to know of this love from our Savior, the responsibility lies with us to emulate that kind of love in order for people to realize how differently God operates as compared to the world, all so that others might see the light and come to acknowledge Him as the Savior of the world.
Of course when we talk about the act of forgiving, it can be broadly split into two main categories. The first category that comes to mind would definitely be learning to forgive others. Very often I hear many people say “forgive and forget”, which honestly, is quite hard to achieve even for the best of us. God never once said in His Word that we should forgive and forget, His Word has always emphasized and in fact solely mentioned the fact that we should forgive, which indicates that forgiving and forgetting are not coupled together. It does not mean that if you have forgiven but not yet forgotten, you haven’t truly forgiven. Forgiving and forgetting may not be wrong but what’s most important is the part about forgiving. In fact, when one learns how to let go and forgive, God will definitely cause His love to heal those scars you always thought would be permanent. Sometimes, It really just takes that effort to know that even though in your mind you might be thinking that the person deserves way less than for you to forgive him or her, but God did for you the very thing you said you wouldn’t do, and He did it knowing how you were going to turn out. When you realize that, you would come to know that this may not be such a challenging feat anymore.
The second category that we will talk about is none other than forgiving yourself. It would seem that today, many Christians claim that they know they have been forgiven in Christ Jesus, however, a far lesser number of us actually live out that truth, that we have been forgiven and redeemed. Maybe for some of us, we feel as though the things we did in the past were just so bad that we don’t deserve His forgiveness. You see, when Jesus died for our sins to redeem us, He did not do it only for those who knew how to forgive themselves, He did it for all mankind! That forgiveness was made available thousands of years ago and the truth is that it is because we did such things in the past that we need it more than ever. Refusing to forgive yourself is the equivalent of refusing God’s gift, denying the things He went through for your sake, something we should never take for granted. Thus, remember my friends, that as much as forgiving others is a big part, it really begins from you learning to forgive yourself, so that you can start forgiving others and moving on to the greater things that He has called you to do.
Dear Heavenly Father, thank You so much for what You did for us on that Cross. We thank You that the forgiveness that came from Your blood is enough to cover all of us for the rest of eternity. We thank You that in You, and only in You, we are redeemed from the wages of sin and have experienced Your great love. It is our prayer today that even as we go about our daily lives, You would continue to put in our hearts people we ought to forgive, should there be any. We thank You that it is only because You first loved us that we are able to love now. We pray that this shall constantly ring out in our hearts and souls even as we deal with all the issues in our lives. Thank You Lord Jesus, in Your Most Mighty Name we pray, Amen.