Scripture Passage: Ephesians 4:31-32
“To err is human; to forgive is divine.”
It is our human nature to make mistakes, but we have to fight hard against our human nature to forgive others. Yet forgiveness is the sole remedy to two very poisonous human conditions: guilt and bitterness.
God’s forgiveness of us sets us free from guilt, and our forgiveness of others sets us free from bitterness. God’s nature is to forgive. Therefore, an unforgiving spirit is a terrible thing. An unforgiving spirit does personal harm. It’s not just simply what your unforgiveness does to someone else; it’s what it does to you. If we don’t forgive, we will only know bitterness, and our souls will only know grief. It is not merely missing a blessing; it is a sin.
Once we decide to follow Jesus and join the family of God, we must learn to practice forgiveness like our Father. If we don’t, not only do we bring harm to our Christian life, we destroy family fellowship. There is no excuse.
But there is help.
Adrian Rogers puts it this way: “It is the power of Jesus Christ, who forgave us, that enables us to forgive somebody else. And don’t you insult the grace of God by saying, ‘I can’t forgive.’ You forgive freely. You forgive finally. You forgive fully. And you forgive forcefully.”
The same one who has forgiven us is the one who puts His spirit in us and enables us to have the force and the power to forgive. A brother in Christ is a precious thing and a terrible thing to waste. When you forgive, you heal a broken relationship and you gain back a brother.
Have you been wronged? Forgive.
Have you been ignored or does it seem as if you are forgotten? Forgive.
Is this not the first time? Forgive again.
Do not keep score. Forget the math. Forgiveness has no limit. Forgive freely and completely, for their sake, for Jesus’ sake, and for your sake. Because when you forgive, you set two people free, and one of them is yourself.