When I was a pastor, I had the wonderful opportunity to counsel many people in our congregation. And oftentimes, I would counsel people who admitted horrible offenses against their spouses.
The offenses covered the spectrum from lying to infidelity…and the spouse who was sinned against invariably said the same thing to me: ”I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to forgive my spouse for what they’ve done.”
And you know, that’s a very real emotion! Forgiving someone for a wrong they’ve done to us doesn’t come naturally. In fact, it often feels like an impossibility to forgive someone when they’ve wounded or hurt us!
Yet…in every case where I counseled someone where forgiveness was needed…I would point them to one verse from the Bible–Ephesians 4:32. Here is what this verse says:
Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.
Now, this verse sounds simple enough. Forgive each other as Christ forgave you. But in reality, this is often easier said than done.
More than likely, you are dealing with a root of unforgiveness or outright unforgiveness today. Now, before you dismiss this, think about it. Is there someone in your life that when you think about them they make your blood pressure rise? Or is there someone in your life that when you think about them the first thought you have is negative and not positive?
If so, you might need to deal with unforgiveness! God’s Word shares with us the importance of practicing forgiveness. In fact, the word forgive can be found 59 times in 47 different verses in the New Testament! This includes Ephesians 4:32, which I mentioned earlier.
The bottom line is that as believers in Christ, you and I have been forgiven of all of our sins…past, present, and future. Jesus took care of them on the cross. And since we have been forgiven of any sin we ever have or will commit, this means you and I don’t have any grounds to not forgive someone else!