Do Unto Others As He Has Done For You
Verse 32 Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.
Since we have already spent some time talking about verse 31 we will skip ahead to address one of the most important eternal resolutions that we can make.
We talked early on in the study about bitterness stemming from not forgiving others but there are stages of unforgiveness that come before that. The world likes to preach that it doesn’t matter if we forgive or not, if we don’t like something someone did to us we can just kick them out of our lives and move on without them. But that doesn’t help the situation at all. Even when it is someone that is toxic in our life we can’t just write them out of our lives without dealing with the forgiveness that needs to be given.
Forgiveness is seldom easy because the situations that make it necessary are often very painful. We may feel that they need to admit what they have done before we forgive them but that isn’t the example that Jesus set for us. He didn’t hang on the cross waiting for the Pharisees to apologize for what they had done. Nor, thankfully, did He wait for us to ask for forgiveness before He died for our sins. Forgiveness is something that we need to be intentional about despite the other person’s attitude.
We need to remember that forgiveness is a choice. A choice that will reflect our Savior. No one forgives like Jesus. His forgiveness brought Him from Heaven to lower Himself to human status all for the purpose of the greatest act of forgiveness. The thing is that, as humans, to make the decision to forgive someone means accepting that relationship and the other person is more important that our feelings.
Knowing that we need to forgive and actually making the choice to forgive are two different things. We need to come to the understanding that forgiving is for our spiritual health and for the spiritual health of the whole Church family. Our willingness to truly forgive those who do things against us, reveals our thankfulness to Jesus for His forgiveness of our sins. If we are truly thankful to Him, we must forgive others.
Making It Personal
Who do you need to forgive? Why haven’t you forgiven them yet? Who do you need to apologize to?
Making It Personal Kids
Is there someone that you need to forgive? Are you thankful for Jesus forgiving you? Do you have someone that you need to tell that you’re sorry for what you did or said to them?
Father, we can’t thank You enough for forgiving us. We don’t deserve Your forgiveness, help us remember that when others offend us. Help us become forgiving people. In Jesus’ name, amen.