Ephesians 4:31-32, Colossians 3:13a NIV 2011
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.
Bear with each other and forgive one another.
Paul’s letters contain similar words Jesus used regarding forgiveness adding declarative words regarding temptation. Luke 11:4, “Forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who sins against us. And lead us not into temptation.” Paul challenged the Ephesians to get rid of the plank in their own eye, which would lead to clarity and forgiveness. Always using Christ as their plumb line for life, they would then be able to see how Christ’s crucifixion offered them forgiveness for their sins. Walking with fellow sinners added perspective to their life. Saved sinners are forgiven through Christ’s sacrifice at the cross.
From the day we accept Christ as our Lord and Savior, our sins are forgiven. It is incumbent upon us to continue to confess our sins and look beyond. The hardest words for me to say are, “I forgive you.” Why do I struggle with them? I want to remain mad at anyone that’s wronged me. Eventually I hear that still small voice and ask the Lord to help me forgive the individual. I forgive them and move with Him peacefully. Because Christ forgives me daily, I’m called to forgive others.
What stands in the way of forgiving others?