If you want to be like God, FORGIVE. We are never more like God than when we forgive. Then, we need to know what forgiveness looks like and how to forgive people.
Mt 5:43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven.
Eph 4:32 Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.
You cannot, and will not, love a person you have not forgiven. When you love a person, you WILL forgive them. This includes “unlovable” people for after all, in God’s sight there is nothing in us that draws him to love us.
How often must forgiveness be granted? If the standard is “As God in Christ forgave you,” it is constant… endlessly… daily… hourly… as often as necessary! And there are no “buts” attached to forgiveness.
“But you don’t know what they did…”
“But you don’t understand how mean they are…”
“But you don’t know what that person did to my wife, son, daughter, family, friends…”
“But forgiveness is so hard, I just can’t do it…”
Hopefully you get the point. Now, what does forgiveness look like?
When you have forgiven, you don’t secretly rejoice in your heart when enemies hurt, you weep for them,
When you have forgiven, you pray asking God to protect and bless the enemy and their family,
When you have forgiven, you treat and talk to enemies as love would have you to,
When you have forgiven, you defend enemies name and character to those who slander them,
When you have forgiven, you rejoice when something good happens to enemies.
How are we to be able to forgive?
Remember how much God has forgiven you (Eph 4:32 above),
Remember what you don’t deserve (Forgiveness) which God has given you,
Remember what you do deserve God has not done to you (Eternal damnation),
Meditate deeply on Mt 5:43-45 and Eph 4:32 (Above),
Ask God to help you to WANT to forgive and TO forgive.
If you don’t/won’t forgive your salvation is in doubt/question (1 Jn 3:15, 4:20). A person who won’t forgive doesn’t love…
So… is there someone you secretly hope gets what’s coming to them? That is the person, people, you must forgive…