“And be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving one another, just as God also forgave you in Christ.” Ephesians 4:32 CSB
“For if you forgive others their offenses, your Heavenly Father will forgive you as well. But if you don’t forgive others, your Father will not forgive your offenses.” Matthew 6:14-15 CSB
Forgiving is an important word in the Christian faith. As a Christian, we know that Jesus Christ died on the cross to save each of us. He died to forgive our sins. God forgives us because His Son, Jesus, died for each of us and takes away our sins.
In our first verse for today, Paul tells us that we are to be kind and compassionate and forgive each other just like God forgave us. Our second verse is Jesus speaking to His disciples in the “Sermon on the Mount.” Jesus says we are to forgive others so that we can be forgiven. So, forgiveness isn’t just something we get from God, it is something God expects us to give to others. Remember that Jesus even asked God to forgive the people that killed Him!
Let’s look at a simple example. Your friend at school plays with a new kid at recess instead of you. You are hurt and mad. You pout and you turn your back on them and go play with someone else. But you are mad for the rest of the day and won’t talk to your friend. You won’t sit with your friend on the bus and turn away when your friend talks to you.
Your friend has “offended” you, hurt your feelings. And you want to hurt your friend back. But our verses tell us that we have to choose to forgive offenses. You have to decide to let go of your hurt and anger toward your friend. When you forgive, you will feel better, and you will be forgiven for your offenses by God. Forgive your friend and shine Jesus’ love for all to see.
Forgiving isn’t easy, but Jesus can help you. Say a prayer and ask for strength to forgive the person who hurt your feelings or offended you.
This week, is there someone who has hurt your feelings or made you angry? Talk to your parents about how to handle it. How can you let go of the hurt and anger so that you feel better? Ask your parents how they forgive others. Give your hurt and anger to Jesus and forgive as He forgives you.
Prayers for each of you as you become more like Jesus and forgive others.
Blessings as we all learn to forgive others!