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  • To forgive like God forgives

      Article by Mario Richard

    “Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you. Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children.” Ephesians 4:32-5:1

    Perhaps you have heard this adage before:
    It is not the offense that destroys relationships, but instead, it is the inability to forgive that destroys relationships.

    Because offenses will come no matter what; we live in a fallen world.
    If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. (1 John 1:8)

    So at some points in our lives, we’re bound to have either offended someone or have been offended by someone.
    But since we’ve been forgiven of all of our offenses by our Heavenly father, who sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. (1 John 4:9-10)
    We are in turn called to be imitators of Him and to forgive others just like He’s done for us.

    And one crucial aspect I’d like to highlight regarding genuine forgiveness, which isn’t popular in the world, is how God forgives us to the point where He promises to never bring up our past against us.
    There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. (Romans 8:1)

    For I will be merciful toward their iniquities, and I will remember their sins no more.” (Hebrews 8:12)

    “I, I am he who blots out your transgressions for my own sake, and I will not remember your sins. (Isaiah 43:25)

    It is tempting to “forgive” yet at the same time hold on to the past, by remembering, or worse, reminding everyone what so and so has done.

    What incredible joy in knowing how God completely forgives us to the point of wiping our slate clean.

    “Come now, let us reason together, says the Lord: though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool. (Isaiah 1:18)

    And what a great example to imitate. It can be hard at times, but since we are called to be imitators of God, it assumes that it is possible for us to forgive like God has done for each of us.

    Ultimately, we’ve all offended our God, and yet he’s offered us unmerited Grace through his Son. How could we withhold forgiveness to others when we ourselves are just as much of a sinner? We are all wretched. We can be just as sinful as someone who is in jail for murder. Why? because Jesus said that anyone who has been angry with his brother deserves the same judgement as someone who committed murder (Matthew 5:21-22). Something to think about right?