DVForgiving One AnotherAnd be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another, just as God in Christ also forgave you. —Ephesians 4:32Have you ever experienced a time when you were accused of something you didn’t do? How did you cope with it?
Is there a person in your life whom you really dislike or get easily annoyed with? How can you deal with this problem?
Peter once asked Jesus how many times he should forgive a brother who sinned against him. Jesus answered him, "I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven."
We hear forgiveness preached from the pulpit. But how can you put it into practice? It can be especially difficult when you have done nothing wrong. If someone accuses you of doing something you did not do, how are you able to forgive him?
Jesus told a parable (Mt 18:23-34) of a servant whose master released him from a debt of ten thousand talents, equivalent to 60 million denarii. One denarius was worth an average day’s wages; 60 million is as good as infinite, for it would be impossible to repay. Yet when this servant met another who owed him one hundred denarii, he had him put into prison. When his master discovered this matter, He sent the unforgiving servant to be punished.
As our heavenly Father has always forgiven our trespasses, we should forgive those who trespass against us. When Jesus taught his disciples to pray, He also taught them to forgive: "And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors" (Mt 6:12,14-15).
Jesus also set us the example of how to forgive another. Not only do we need to forgive our brethren but we also need to forgive our enemies (Lk 23:34). When Jesus was nailed on the cross, He prayed for those who crucified him. Isaac’s story (Gen 6:18-25) is also worthy of instruction: when the Philistines came and argued with him about the well he had dug, Isaac did not quarrel with them. Instead, he forgave them and let them have the well in peace. Twice, Isaac faced this situation and both times he forgave them. In the end, the Lord blessed Isaac and made the Philistines be at peace with Isaac. Forgiveness pleases God, and makes your enemy your friend.
God wants all of us to forgive one another. If we do not forgive others, how can we expect to be pardoned? Therefore, by relying on God, let us all pursue love in our hearts so that we may be able to forgive one another, as Christ has forgiven us (Col 3:13).