“Shouldest not thou also have had compassion on thy fellowservant, even as I had pity on thee?”
Forgiveness is the greatest act of love and obedience. Having a forgiving heart is one of the most challenging, but life-giving aspects of our Christian faith. For a lot of us, it is the first step towards healing in our own hearts. The more we forgive, the more we become like Christ. God offers us undeserving mercy and grace each day and we should offer the same to those around us. As Born-again, Blood-bought followers of Jesus Christ, we need to be reminded of these three qualities of forgiveness in our hearts and express them to those around us:
We are forgiven
“Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered” (Romans 4:7).
Upon our confession of Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, we were instantly forgiven of all sin past, present, and future. No matter how rebellious, awful, and terrible we were towards God and man, the Lord instantly forgave us of all wrongdoing. The Grace of God covered our naked, vulnerable hearts in His Mercy and Love.
We are forgiving
“Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you” (Ephesians 4:31-32).
Forgiveness is one of the hardest things to give to someone who has hurt or wronged us. It takes courage and strength to offer forgiveness where we may feel it is undeserved. As Jesus forgave us of much, we should be as forgiving to others as Christ was infinitely more forgiving towards us. Typically, it is our pride that fuels un-forgiveness. It is the Christ-like trait of humility and grace that empowers us to forgive those around us. Even as Christ hung on the Cross, He still uttered words of forgiveness amid death and torture, “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34). Let no other human being rob us of our blessings from God and our call of God due to an unforgiving heart. We are to rise above the wrongdoings of others and stay the righteous course in our walk with Christ.
We are for giving
“Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work” (2 Corinthians 9:7-8).
We were saved by the greatest act of forgiveness the world will ever know. It is up to us to go out and share the same great act of forgiveness we have been shown. We need to operate in the likeness of Christ by loving others the way we are loved by Jesus. Yes, God loves a cheerful giver financially, but He loves a cheerful giver of love, mercy, and grace as well. Jesus Christ has given us more than we could ever deserve. His Grace is more than sufficient for our daily needs. If forgiveness is what keeps the windows of Heaven on a continual basis, then a heartfelt “I forgive you” is nothing compared to the “I love you and I will bless you” God speaks to our hearts daily.