One of the issues each of us deal with is that of hurt, pain and disappointment caused by others. Whether it’s justified or not, the Bible is clear on how we, as followers of Christ, need to forgive one another for those offenses. Forgiveness is not really an option but a requirement if we want the forgiveness and grace of God to be given to us for our trespasses against Him.
Joseph is a model of genuine forgiveness. He was rejected, kidnapped, enslaved and imprisoned. Although his brothers had been unfaithful to him, he graciously forgave them and shared his prosperity. Here’s a few points for us to ponder this week:
- Forgiveness is a mark of the Christian life. If we love someone the way Christ loves us, we will be willing to forgive. If we have experienced God’s grace, we will want to pass it on to others.
- Forgiveness is contrary to the pattern of the world. In this day of constant demands for individual “rights” and “retaliation” the command from Paul in Romans 12 to forgive sounds almost impossible. He knows, however, that even if your enemy never repents, forgiving him or her will free you of a heavy load of bitterness.
- Forgiveness is an act of the will. Forgiveness involved both attitudes and actions. Many times you’ll discover that right actions will lead to right feelings.
May the Lord help all of us to forgive those who have hurt us and to be free from bitterness and anger.