“Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.” Ephesians 4:31-32 ESV
Tears rolled down my face as I slammed my phone down on the table in front of me. I had just received a text from a best friend that explained to me we were no longer going to continue our friendship. This person didn’t want me in their life anymore, and the whirl wind of emotions hit me like a train. A few months later, I still felt the sting of betrayal—the anger of the broken friendship had taken up residence inside my heart.
Forgiveness can be tough. It can even seem impossible. When we are having trouble forgiving someone, we must always look to Scripture and be reminded that we forgive because Christ has forgiven us…we don’t forgive because it’s deserved nor because what the person did is deemed okay or right.
Forgiveness does not require action or reconciliation from the other person—it is a continuous choice we choose to make. We must take on the image of Christ and not hold another person’s wrongdoings against them. In Ephesians 4, we see how replacing bitterness, wrath, and anger with tender-hearted forgiveness is the remedy for a heart held in bondage to malice.
The beauty of forgiveness reflects God’s forgiving nature through Jesus who paid the price for all our offenses against Him—past, present, and future. Although we may still feel pain over what someone has done to us, we can look to the Bible and know we are forgiven through Christ. Our offenses toward God make it impossible to have right standing with Him…but because of Jesus, our sins are forgiven, and we are deemed righteous. We forgive because we are forgiven. Are we making forgiveness about us, or are we making it about Christ?
Heavenly Father, I come to you with all my hurt and pain and ask that You give me power to forgive those who have wronged me. Search my heart and show me if there is any offensive way in me and lead me in Your examples of forgiveness.
Are you making other people suffer for their wrongdoings against you? Do you feel bitterness towards anyone in your life? Read Ephesians 4:31-32. Trust God with your hurt, and embrace the peace He supplies to you through forgiving.