Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other just as in Christ God forgave you. (Eph. 4:32)
If you are a Christian, extending forgiveness to those who wrong you is a MUST, and no debate about it.
We have all experienced God’s kindness and compassion even when we did not deserve it. As a Christian God has forgiven all your past, present, and even future sins. He has forgiven the ugliest sin (each sin is ugly), sins of commission, sins of omission, and even the thoughts of our minds. God commands us to also be kind and compassionate to one another as He is to us. Just in case you did not fathom the implication of His command, He spells it out clearly: Forgive, as God in Christ forgave you.
It is impossible to be kind and compassionate to anyone and at the same time refuse to forgive the person for the wrongs they have committed. Jesus Christ illustrated this fact in the parable of the unmerciful servant recorded in Matthew 18:21-35. The servant was shown mercy and forgiven a debt he could not pay. But this man refused to show mercy to his fellow man who owed him some small change. Jesus categorically stated that the man had an obligation to forgive the debt of his fellow man, just as his debt was forgiven. On another level, we have believers who obey the letter of the word and not the spirit of it. They forgive those who wrong them but cut them off from relating with them anymore. Can you imagine Jesus forgiving you your sins and then telling you to keep your distance from Him? If that is not good, then do not treat anyone like that.
Jesus wants us to love one another as he has loved us, and he explained that the way that people will know that we are his disciples is by the love that we have for one another.
Author: Rev. Sunday Bwanhot
Rev. Sunday Bwanhot is a missionary with EMS/SIM. He pastor’s ECWA Chicago, serves as ECWA USA DCC Chairman and Team leader of SIM Culture Connexions.