Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. Ephesians 4:31-32
When I think of Jesus serving us there are two acts that immediately come to my mind. The first act of Jesus’ servanthood would absolutely be his ultimate sacrifice of dying on the cross to save us. The second act that I am reminded of would be His constant forgiveness of our endless sins. Every. Single. Day. He forgives us even though He knows we are going to mess up again. He forgives us even though we promise we “won’t do that again”. He forgives us. So we should forgive, too. Revenge. Justice. An eye for an eye. These are very real emotions that take over our mind and heart when we feel we have been wronged. People hurt us. They cut us deep. Life throws curve balls that we never even see coming. Showing God’s love and compassion to someone that has done something so incomprehensible to you lifts a burden off your shoulders, as well as theirs. It is a testament to the person that hurt you that portrays God’s love in the most powerful way. It is a true reflection of God’s character shining through your heart. Forgiveness. It is an act of surrender that shows God that you trust Him and know that He can heal all of your wounds. Living in a state of unforgiveness stifles our walk with God because we are not moving away from the hurt of the past. We are dwelling in a pool of lost dreams and pointed fingers that will eventually rise up and strangle us. Unforgiveness cultivates bitterness. Jesus could have easily been bitter, but He knew that bitterness was not going to help expand God’s Kingdom. Why would any sane person want to serve a God whose people are bitter, unhappy, and just downright sad? As humans, forgiveness seems unattainable, unmanageable, and often times insurmountable. As Christians, forgiveness will still not be a natural emotion that swells within us; however, with God we know, and can stand on the truth, that all things are possible. By praying and seeking to truly forgive the person that has hurt us, then God will provide us with the tools we need to start healing.
God, thank you for forgiving me. Every single day. Please give me the strength that I need to forgive others and move beyond any past hurts. Amen.