In Paul’s letter to the Ephesian Church, he instructs the believers to be kind, tenderhearted, and forgive like Christ. What a challenge! As I read this verse and reflect on this past year, I can’t help but ask myself, “Have I been as kind as I could’ve been to those I’ve interacted with?” and “Have I given those around me enough grace or compassion?” I recently read a devotional that said: “We often judge others by their actions, but we judge ourselves by our intentions.” What if we made a better effort this year to judge others by the same standards that we hold ourselves to and decided to give people the “benefit of the doubt”? Solomon writes in the book of Proverbs: “Good sense makes one slow to anger, and it is his glory to overlook an offense.” (Proverbs 19:11 ESV)
Too often, we hold on to past hurts and grudges and allow them to weigh us down. I’ve often heard the example that not forgiving someone is like holding a hot potato and expecting the other person to get burned. Let’s make this the year that we finally let go of the “hot potato” and choose to pick up God’s grace in our own lives so we can accept the bigger plan He has for us. How much happier would we be if we extended the forgiveness to those in our lives that Jesus has extended to us?
We all have at least one person in our lives that we have not spoken to in a while or potentially somebody we’ve yet to reconcile with or forgive. Make this the opportunity to practice Ephesians 4:32 and forgive the way Jesus does. This could be your moment to go deeper in forgiveness and see a past relationship healed. If Jesus can die on a cross and forgive our sins, how much more should we forgive those in our own lives who have sinned against us? Let’s go deeper!