“Forgive one another . . . Forgive as the Lord forgave you.” Col 3:13 (NIV)
We receive all of the blessings of God’s grace when we receive Jesus (Eph. 1:3). However, in God’s economy, our personal experience of those blessings is proportional to our giving them away. This is especially true of forgiveness. God has blessed us with the freedom of forgiveness in Christ. But that freedom isn’t fully experienced until we’ve extended the forgiveness we’ve received from God to others.
Refusing to forgive someone is like putting ourselves in jail for a crime someone else committed. It doesn’t protect us; it imprisons us. Our hearts become shackled to our offenders and their offenses with the heavy chains of anger and resentment. Forgiving our offenders is the key that removes the chains and opens the prison door.
“But, they don’t deserve to be forgiven!” Remember, neither did you.
God, by grace, forgave you anyway. He wants you to experience the fullness of His grace in forgiveness. You will only experience that fullness when by His grace you fully forgive others. Besides, every minute you’re angry is a minute you could be happy. Why not make all your minutes happy? Forgive as the Lord forgave you.
© Paul R Downing