A famous person once said, “In the Bible, it says they asked Jesus how many times you should forgive, and He said, ‘70 times 7.’ Well, I want you all to know that I’m keeping a chart.” Another celebrity said, “Forgive your enemies, but never forget their names.”
The world knows that forgiveness is a virtue but does not know what it truly means to forgive. We, as Christians, also have a very funny understanding of forgiveness.
Ephesians 4:31 says, “Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.” If you notice, these qualities are all connected to relationships.
It would seem impossible to forgive someone if our attitude toward the situation and the person is not godly. If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail. Our hammer mentality needs to be thrown out.
What if God were to have a hammer in His hand and hit you every time you hurt Him? Guess what? He did exactly that! On the cross, He hammered the nails into Jesus for every sin that you did, are doing, and will do.
Yes, even the sin of unforgiveness. He spared you because He wanted you. “Just look at what they did to me!” we cry out, pointing to our hurt. “Just look at what I did for you,” God reminds us, pointing to the cross.
If the cross does not change your unforgiving attitude, nothing will. If this is your major area of struggle, would you allow the Holy Spirit to free you from this stronghold?
Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. —Ephesians 4:31–32, NIV
Prayer: Lord, help us to forgive as you forgave.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Esther Barnabas works as a Partner Country Assistant for Compassion India
Read all the One in Spirit devotionals.