Forgiving is one of those fundamental lessons we try and teach our kids from an early age: when siblings bicker or hurt each other, or if friends break a toy. Yet when you think of it, it’s a pretty big ask considering that we adults can’t always master such grace ourselves. Thankfully, with age, we realize that although being able to pardon others is a work in progress, it’s essential if we are to lead a peaceful existence and draw closer to God.
As always, we can look to Jesus for inspiration. He gives us the ultimate lesson in forgiveness through the feast of the Divine Mercy that falls tomorrow. With such a beautiful example in mind, we thought we’d share with you a few timely reminders from Scripture on not only the importance of forgiveness, but also the joy of receiving forgiveness.
Matthew 6:14-15 points out that If you forgive others their transgressions, your heavenly Father will forgive you. But if you do not forgive others, neither will your Father forgive your transgressions. Ephesians 4:31-32 goes further to tell us that All bitterness, fury, anger, shouting, and reviling must be removed from you, along with all malice. [And] be kind to one another, compassionate, forgiving one another as God has forgiven you in Christ.
And if we look to this verse from Luke 17:3-4, we need to remember that we may be called upon to offer forgiveness for repeated acts. Be on your guard! If your brother sins, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him. And if he wrongs you seven times in one day and returns to you seven times saying, ‘I am sorry,’ you should forgive him.
The ability to forgive is a learning experience that often takes a lifetime. It’s not easy, but perhaps it’s not meant to be easy. Showing compassion and understanding takes an open heart.