This past Sunday morning while in the greeting line meeting with folks on their way out a newly saved woman approached me and asked a very honest question. A question I believe is relevant to many new Christians and that is on the matter of forgiveness. She asked me how do you forgive those who have hurt you. I told her that was a fair question and that many had to deal with this issue in their lives. I quoted Colossians 3:13 “…if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.” What was interesting was that I was preaching on this very topic for the evening service.
Unfortunately many today harbor ill feelings (which grows into bitterness) towards others. And as time goes on they become anchored to those emotions and it becomes nearly impossible to grow in grace. The Lord in his infinite wisdom, understanding human nature prepared for us in his word a means to overcoming that bitterness and showing via his example how to forgive.
In times like these it is good to put the brethren in remembrance, particularly with what Christ has done for you. Herein lies one of the problems, when was the last time YOU asked Christ for forgiveness. When was the last time you poured your heart to the Lord and asked him to cleanse you (1 John 1:9). It is hard to forgive if you have not received it.
The other issue is of course pride, nobody is going to tell me what to do, I didn’t do anything wrong, their wrong they need to come to me first and so on. Again a humble reminder that we are saved by grace through faith. The Bible says all have sinned and come short of the glory of God. Let’s put it this way, NOBODY has any bragging rights!
For others it is a matter of reflection. The Spirit quickens you in such way as to remind you how Christ loved you forgave you. The model of course is that we should also do the same for those who have offended us. I suggest that believers go back to Calvary and think on these things.
As Christians we have a lot to be grateful for. We serve a risen Saviour who loves us unconditionally and will advocate on our behalf when we fall into sin. How much more should we expediently deal with tension between the brethren and others. It will make for a healthier walk with God and teach you to appreciate Christ’s forgiveness all the more.- Pastor Tim