I remember the last time someone really hurt me. The pain cut deep. Not only was I hurt, I was humiliated. For a time, I was perpetually angry. Every time this person called, I had a few choice words. Each conversation we had was dripping with sarcasm and bitterness. I admit, for a little while, it felt good. “I’ll show them!” I thought. But that feeling was fleeting. Most days, I would scream my lungs out, then hang up the phone and cry because the weight of the bitterness was just too much.
Even though I wanted that weight lifted, I felt like this person didn’t deserve forgiveness. I could forgive, I just didn’t want to. But I couldn’t ignore God… and His Word is clear on this topic. Depending on what translation you read, the word “forgive” is mentioned at least 60 times in the Bible. I’m pretty sure God is telling us something.
Think now of the person who hurt you. That person may not deserve your forgiveness, but we don’t deserve God’s forgiveness. You may not want to forgive, but God commands us to forgive. And it won’t be the last time you forgive. Forgiveness is a choice we have to make time and time (and time) again. It feels painful, but it brings freedom. And that is why God requires this of us, even though it is painful.
Below are some verses that will help guide you in the process of forgiveness. If there is someone or something you need to forgive, I encourage you to act today. Meditate on these verses, and ask God to give you the strength you need to choose forgiveness today and every day.
- Be tolerant with one another and forgive one another whenever any of you has a complaint against someone else. You must forgive one another just as the Lord has forgiven you. – Colossians 3:13 (GNTD)
- Do not judge others, and God will not judge you; do not condemn others, and God will not condemn you; forgive others, and God will forgive you. – Luke 6:37 (GNTD)
- Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, if my brother keeps on sinning against me, how many times do I have to forgive him? Seven times?” “No, not seven times,” answered Jesus, “but seventy times seven.” – Matthew 18:21, 22 (GNTD)
- And when you stand and pray, forgive anything you may have against anyone, so that your Father in heaven will forgive the wrongs you have done. – Mark 11:25 (GNTD)
- But God's mercy is so abundant, and his love for us is so great, that while we were spiritually dead in our disobedience he brought us to life with Christ. It is by God's grace that you have been saved. – Ephesians 2:4-5 (GNTD)
- He does not punish us as we deserve or repay us according to our sins and wrongs. – Psalm 103:10 (GNTD)
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