4 Minute Read

Today’s Bible Reading:

1 Kings 15:25–17:24
Acts 10:24-48
Psalm 134:1-3
Proverbs 17:9-11

Today’s Bible Verse(s):

Proverbs 17:9 (NLT): “Love prospers when a fault is forgiven, but dwelling on it separates close friends.”

Reflections on Today’s Bible Verse(s):

After almost two decades of counseling men and women, I am convinced that one of the biggest problems we all have is forgiving those who have hurt us.

God has placed within us a clear sense of right and wrong and a desire for justice when wrongs are committed. Yet, when we add to this the self-centered sin nature that tends to make ourselves the center of the universe, this makes the matter even worse. Instead of offering grace when an injustice has been done to us, we hold onto the offense. We refuse to let it go. We reflect on it in our minds until our heart rate increases, our blood pressure rises, and our breathing becomes noticeable.

But, when we look at unforgiveness as it really is, we come to see that it is stupid. I mean really stupid! Because someone who refuses to forgive is essentially saying: “You have wronged me, and I will continue to hold onto that memory until it destroys me.”

That’s where the verse I have chosen for today comes in. It tells us that love is free to thrive in that relationship when we forgive those who have hurt us. We can move toward relational and emotional health.

Friend, any pagan can love those who love them and hold onto offenses when they are wronged. If you are a follower of Jesus, you are held to a higher standard AND empowered by the Holy Spirit to do so.

So forgive those who have wronged you.

Ephesians 4:32 (NLT): “Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.”

Matt Ellis is the pastor of First Baptist Church in Polk City, Florida (fbcpolkcity.com). His latest book is God’s Grace in the Real World. Connect with him on FacebookTwitter, or LinkedIn.

Photo by Brett Jordan on Unsplash