4 Minute Read + Scripture readings

TODAY’S BIBLE READING:

Isaiah 48:12–50:11
Ephesians 4:17-32
Psalm 69:1-18
Proverbs 24:5-6

TODAY’S BIBLE VERSE(S):

Ephesians 4:32 (CSB): “And be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving one another, just as God also forgave you in Christ.”

REFLECTIONS ON TODAY’S BIBLE VERSE(S):

Part of my duties as a pastor is counseling. Folks will visit my office or call me on the phone with a problem and I will seek to direct them according to God’s Word.

In my experience, it seems as if forgiveness is one of the biggest problems that we all deal with. Sometimes, as I talk with someone in crisis, I will discover that their root problem is that they cannot forgive a parent or someone who they thought was a friend. Or, they are upset at the Lord for allowing a tragedy to happen when He could have kept it from occurring. Or, they cannot forgive themselves.

As unforgiveness takes root, it ferments and settles into anger. And unresolved anger can eventually settle into anxiety and depression.

Our ability to forgive others and ourselves is no small matter. It is essentially a matter of obedience to God and, if we are disobedient in this area, could have a dramatic negative impact on us for the rest of our lives.

So, given how much God loves us, it’s no wonder that He calls us to forgive. But, on what basis? And how completely must we forgive those who have hurt us?

Ephesians 4:32 (CSB): “And be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving one another, just as God also forgave you in Christ.”

We are to forgive each other because we have been forgiven by God. And we are to thoroughly forgive others because we have been completely forgiven by our Lord.

The forgiveness that Jesus has offered to us is the standard.

Did we horribly offend Him? Yes! Romans 5:8 makes it clear that He offered forgiveness while we were in opposition to Him and His laws.

Romans 5:8 (CSB): “But God proves his own love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

Did it cost Him something to forgive us? Yes! Isaiah 53:5-6 says that Jesus was punished for our sins. From the New Testament Gospels, we realize that forgiving us cost Him His life.

Isaiah 53:5–6 (CSB): “But he was pierced because of our rebellion, crushed because of our iniquities; punishment for our peace was on him, and we are healed by his wounds. We all went astray like sheep; we all have turned to our own way; and the Lord has punished him for the iniquity of us all.”

Does He ever bring up our offenses after He has forgiven us? No! Psalm 103:11-12 makes it clear that God has cast our sins so far away that He will never consider them again.

Psalm 103:11–12 (CSB): “For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his faithful love toward those who fear him. As far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.”

So, friend, this is how completely we are to forgive others and ourselves. Based upon what Jesus has done for us, we are to forgive.

If you forgive, you are the one to benefit. If there is someone that you are struggling to forgive, why not ask God to help you to release that situation to Him? If you are still struggling, seek out a Christian pastor or counselor who can help you.

Friend, life is to short to hold onto offenses. Follow Jesus’ example and let it go.

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