Ephesians 4:32 — Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you (NIV).
Everyone wants to be forgiven unconditionally, but most people only forgive conditionally. This verse instructs us to be kind and compassionate to one another, but how do we do this? By forgiving others unconditionally as God forgave us.
God does not sit around and grade humanity based on an itemized list of everyone’s sins and then decide who He is and isn’t going to forgive. I can’t picture Him saying to Jesus, “Son, I’m sending You to die for the sins of mankind, except for this guy. He made fun of Me to some of his buddies, and they all laughed and called Me names. You won’t be dying for this girl either. She used to love Me, but she rejected Me and caused much division in My church. I’ll show her.”
God is kind and compassionate, and He has already forgiven mankind. And He did so unconditionally. In fact, the Father loved us so much that He gave Jesus over to death for our salvation. Jesus was His most valued possession, yet He willing offered Him as a sacrifice for our sins.
Maybe there is someone in your life that you have been unable to forgive for whatever reason. Perhaps you’ve been stabbed in the back or even abused. I don’t know how grossly you’ve been mistreated, but you must forgive as God forgave you. You cannot pick and choose who you forgive based on the level of hurt they’ve inflicted upon you.
Just as the Father gave up Jesus in order to forgive you, you may have to give up something valuable in order to forgive someone else. Ask God to help you forgive those who have wronged you. It’s liberating for you to let them off the hook.
Matthew 18:21-22 — 21 Then Peter came and said to Him, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me and I forgive him? Up to seven times?” 22 Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven” (NASB).
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