“Take heed to yourselves. If your brother sins against you… forgive him.” —Luke 17:3 (NKJV)
Forgiveness isn’t optional in the Christian life. Regardless of what’s done to us, our responsibility is always to forgive.
Even as we read this, there’s something deep within our soul that wants to resist. “I understand God wants me to forgive people, and for the most part I do. But surely He doesn’t expect me to forgive so-and-so.”
If we’re completely honest, some things just seem too far over the line to be forgiven. And yet, God consistently calls us to forgive, no matter what. Why is that? Why doesn’t God categorize certain things as being unforgivable, the way we tend to?
Part of the reason is because He understands we do a lot of damage to ourselves when we don’t forgive. When we adopt an unforgiving attitude, it inevitably turns into bitterness and resentment. Someone once remarked, “Bitterness in the believer is like a bullet in the body.”
There’s a lot of truth to that. It becomes poisonous to our spiritual system, and forgiveness is the only way to flush it out and be free from it.
The Lord’s command to forgive is also a warning against not forgiving. He loves us dearly, and wants only what’s best for us. And what’s best for us is a heart that’s free and clear of the bitterness that corrodes our soul.
So if you haven’t forgiven someone for something he or she has done to you, forgive the person today. Regardless of the circumstances. Remember, if you fail to forgive, you’re hurting yourself. Anything short of forgiveness is hazardous to your spiritual health.
Bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do. Colossians 3:13 (NKJV)
small group time:::
THINK ABOUT IT... What does this passage reveal to me about God?
What does this passage reveal to me about myself?
Based on this, what changes do I need to make?
What is my prayer for today?