Forgive Because You’re Forgiven
By Rick Warren
“Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others.” Colossians 3:13 (NLT)
Showing grace to others is what God wants us to do, but it’s not always easy because we’re so often focused on ourselves.
It’s easier sometimes to be selfish instead of gracious. Maybe you see the slow clerk at the grocery store as an interruption to your day rather than somebody who might be struggling to keep his job—or who just got the worst news of his life.
You may see a family member who’s struggling right now as a drain on you rather than someone who feels hopeless over a desperate situation. Or you see the person who cut you off on the freeway as your worst enemy rather than someone in need of God’s love.
We all need God’s love. That’s why Jesus Christ came into this world. He came to show people grace. The ultimate way God does this is through forgiveness. And the ultimate way he asks you to show grace to other people is by forgiving them.
Colossians 3:13 says, “Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others” (NLT).
People often ask me, “How can I find the strength to forgive? I don’t have it in me.” I don’t have it in me either! The only place I’ve ever found the strength to forgive is in remembering how much Jesus has forgiven me. When I remember that, then he gives me the strength and grace to forgive others.
Clara Barton, who founded the Red Cross, was reminded by a friend of an especially cruel thing that someone had done to her years before. Barton seemed not to recall it, and the friend asked, “Don’t you remember?” Her famous reply was, “No, I distinctly remember forgetting it.”
What do you need to forget?
If you don’t forgive, you’re not going to enjoy God’s vision for the rest of your life, because unforgiveness will keep you stuck in the past.
Forgive—and then get on with your life. This doesn’t mean there shouldn’t be consequences for what somebody did to you. It just means that you let go of your anger and hurt and give it to God so that you can move on with God’s purpose for your life.
When that seems impossible—when you feel like you can’t be gracious toward someone—remember this: Jesus forgave you. Remembering the grace God has shown you will give you the strength to be gracious to and forgive others.
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This devotional © 2018 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
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