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Forgive & Forget—Part 3 [Devotional]

Going Deeper with the Message:

You Also Must Forgive
by: Ben Biles

On Sunday, Tim made the point that “forgiveness is not weakness. Forgiveness is looking squarely at what the person did to you, recognizing the severity of what they did to you and choosing to release them of the debt that they owe you. It takes a lot of strength and courage to do that.” In other words, forgiveness is hard work. It takes a good amount of grit. It takes a strong person to be able to forgive. Yet, as people forgiven by God, we are called to forgive people when they wrong us. Not just once or twice, but always. God doesn’t make this optional. 

Consider one of my favorite verses in all of Scripture, Colossians 3:12-13, “Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.” Paul doesn’t make any exception to the rule. In all situations, we are required to forgive.  As much as we’d like to hold on to our grudges, that kind of mindset simply isn’t compatible with faith in Christ. Why? Because it is out of alignment with God’s own character and His own action. He showed the greatest commitment to forgiveness when He forgave the entire world of their sins through the sacrifice of His Son. In the same way, as God’s forgiven people, we must strive to exemplify God’s character in our lives to the world around us and part of that means forgiving people in all situations.

Jesus tells the parable in the Gospel of a man who was forgiven his enormous debt, but then went and wrongly treated those who owed him. This hypocrisy rightly disgusted his audience, but then Jesus flipped the script on them. If God has forgiven you all of your sins, then why are you not doing the same for those that have wronged you? The point is: when believers refuse to forgive, we display hypocrisy. If we are to spread the Gospel message with conviction and clarity, then we must first extend the same forgiveness that we have received in Jesus Christ to all people.

Living out the Message:

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