Be A Forgiver!

The Apostle Paul writes: “If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men” (Romans 12:18). One of the ways in which we can “live peaceably with all men” is to not live with resentment against others.

We bear a great responsibility before God as His emissaries of Christianity, and central to our role is that we must be willing to forgive. Here is what Jesus taught in this regard:

“‘For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses’” (Matthew 6:14-15).

We have all seen people who seethe with bitter resentment and who hold grudges sometimes for years. That kind of mental state is overpowering and dangerous, because it, like a cancer, can supplant righteous character. Oftentimes, animosity between people grows because steps are not taken to quickly resolve contentious issues. Jesus gave the following admonition for how members of the Church of God should deal with offenses, but the principle applies broadly:

“‘Moreover if your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone. If he hears you, you have gained your brother’” (Matthew 18:15).

Where does the responsibility fall in being a forgiver? Quite obviously, in the example above, it took the part of both the offended and offender to work out the problem. That is the way The Parable of the Lost Son is represented, also, but note how willingly receptive the Father is toward the return of his now repentant son:

“And he arose and came to his father. But when he was still a great way off, his father saw him and had compassion, and ran and fell on his neck and kissed him” (Luke 15:20).

If we are to be a godly forgiver, let’s not make it hard for others, with whom we may have problems, to approach us. Rather, we need to remember how openly God receives us when we often turn to Him asking for His forgiveness of our sins, for this is what He promises: “As far as the east is from the west, So far has He removed our transgressions from us” (Psalm 103:12).

Passover is ahead of us, and we are instructed to examine ourselves beforehand (1 Corinthians 11:28). One way to do so is to consider how well we are doing at being a forgiver of others. From the most minor of offenses to the greatest ones we encounter, are we able and willing to forgive?

Because of the supreme and selfless Sacrifice of Jesus Christ on our behalf, we have found and continue to find forgiveness with God.

Let’s be like God the Father and Jesus Christ—let us be a forgiver!

©2024 Church of the Eternal God