“Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.” — Ephesians 4:32
In the early days of his presidency, Calvin Coolidge awoke one morning to find his hotel room was being robbed by a cat burglar going through his coat pockets. Coolidge spoke up, asking the man not to take his watch because it was sentimental to him.
Coolidge then engaged the thief in a conversation and discovered he was a college student with no money to pay his hotel bill or buy a ticket back to campus. Coolidge counted $32 out of his wallet, and declared it to be a loan to the young man. He then advised him to leave the way he had come to avoid the Secret Service.
And yes, the loan was paid back in full.
It’s amazing what can happen when you forgive. That’s because receiving forgiveness when you know you deserve justice is such a profound and uncommon act. But when you forgive others, especially when they’ve offended you greatly, you give them the gift of grace and you give yourself the gift of not harboring bitterness.
This is why forgiveness is so powerful… it goes both ways. So live with an attitude of forgiveness and you’ll give away unspeakable joy to others as you experience it yourself!
Pray and ask God to give you a daily attitude of forgiveness and grace toward others.
Questions for thought
Think of a time you were forgiven for something you’d done wrong. How did it make you feel?
Where in your life today can you show forgiveness as an expression of God’s love toward others?