From Pastor’s Desk: 4-11-21
Let there be no more resentment, no more anger or temper, no more violent self-assertiveness, no more slander and no more malicious remarks, Be kind to each other, be understanding. Be as ready to forgive others as God for Christ’s sake has forgiven you. – Ephesians 4:32 PHILLIPS
It seems as if we just can’t get into the full significance of forgiveness. It is human nature, I suppose, to look for any other way out than just humbly forgiving another of a wrong they have done. I know of no other aspect of life that is any more subjective than when we deal with forgiving others. We cannot put ourselves in their place to consider what the other person may be going through when the wrong was committed. This is not to excuse, rationalize, or justify wrong actions/reactions by someone, however, there most always is a reason for the action/reaction.
When things happen to us personally, though, it seems as if we, immediately, draw the parameters of our ‘safe space’ tightly around us and we tend to feel and think (if able) only from our perspective of being wronged. What the other person feels doesn’t matter; we’re the victim! Whatever situation from which the ill-spoken word or deed came, we don’t care; we’re the victim!
Lest this gets to lengthy, I’ll share only two Scriptures (there are many more) that rather puts the significance of forgiving others into a rather pointed perspective. The first is Matthew 5:23-24, “So that if, while you are offering your gift at the altar, you should remember that your brother has something against you, you must leave your gift there before the altar and go away. Make your peace with your brother first, then come and offer your gift.” The second, “1 John 3:14-15 We know that we have crossed the frontier from death to life because we do love our brothers. The man without love for his brothers is living in death already. The man who actively hates his brother is a potential murderer, and you will readily see that the eternal life of God cannot live in the heart of a murderer.
If that doesn’t put into perspective then just use the last part of Ephesians 4:32, “Be as ready to forgive others as God for Christ’s sake has forgiven you.”