Forgiveness

Forgiveness

All of us, at some time in our lives, will be in the position of giving forgiveness. Whether someone comes to us and asks for forgiveness, or we simply offer it to someone who has wounded us, it is never an easy task to accomplish. Small offenses can seem simple to forgive, while more grievous offenses require a lot more grace.
 
But why and how should we forgive?  Ephesians 4:32 states, “And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.” We have been forgiven for more than we could ever begin to repay, and so we should be willing to forgive others, as we have been forgiven of God. What if Christ were like us? What if He forgave as we forgive? Thankfully, He isn’t like us. Christ has set the example of true forgiveness and encourages us to follow His lead. In Lk. 23:34, the Bible says, “Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.” Even on the cross, Christ gave forgiveness.
 
It is most difficult to forgive when the wound is very deep. It is in our nature to act in our own self interest. We want to protect ourselves and often do so by harboring that hurt in our hearts. The heart then becomes hardened and cynical, as a defense against any future infraction. But as a child of God, we are still called to be tenderhearted and forgiving. This is what sets a true child of God apart from the world and it was this kind of forgiveness that brought us our salvation.
 
Let us remember to give forgiveness to those around us, and prove our Christianity by the way we live our lives, not just by the words we speak.
 
– Pastor Crawford