”Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you” (Ephesians 4:32 NIV).
Forgiveness is remembering how much you’ve been forgiven.
“Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you” (Ephesians 4:32 NIV). This is the starting point for genuine forgiveness. If you don’t feel forgiven, you won’t want to forgive anybody else. If you’re hard on yourself, you’re going to be hard on others. But the more grace you receive from God, the more gracious you’re going to be with others. The more forgiven you feel by God, the more forgiving you’ll be toward others.
Forgiveness is relinquishing your right to get even.
Romans 12:19 says, “Never avenge yourselves. Leave that to God, for he has said that he will repay those who deserve it” (TLB). Life is not fair, but one day God’s going to settle the score. He’s going to right the wrongs. So, who can get better justice—you or God?
Forgiveness is responding to evil with good.
The Bible says in Luke 6:27-28, “Do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you” (NIV). How can you tell when you’ve really forgiven somebody? When you can look at that person’s hurt and not just your own, and pray for God to bless him or her.
You ask, “How could I ever do that for the person who’s hurt me?” You can’t unless you allow the love of God to penetrate your life. Only the love of God can help you do something like that.
Forgiveness is repeating the process as long as necessary.
“Peter came to him and asked, ‘Lord, how often should I forgive someone who sins against me? Seven times?’ ‘No, not seven times,’ Jesus replied, ‘but seventy times seven!’” (Matthew 18:21-22 NLT). Jewish law said you had to forgive a person three times, so Peter doubled it and threw one in for good measure. But Jesus said to go even further with your forgiveness!
How long do you have to keep forgiving someone? As long as it takes. You have to keep forgiving that person until the pain stops and the desire to get revenge goes away.
YOU HAVE BEEN on a long, uphill journey, and your energy is almost spent. Though you have faltered at times, you have not let go of My hand. I am pleased with your desire to stay close to Me. There is one thing, however, that displeases Me: your tendency to complain. You may talk to Me as much as you like about the difficulty of the path we are following. I understand better than anyone else the stresses and strains that have afflicted you. You can ventilate safely to Me, because talking with Me tempers your thoughts and helps you see things from My perspective. Complaining to others is another matter altogether. It opens the door to deadly sins such as self-pity and rage. Whenever you are tempted to grumble, come to Me and talk it out. As you open up to Me, I
will put My thoughts in your mind and My song in your heart.
“I will refresh the weary and satisfy the faint.” JEREMIAH 31 : 25
Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a
crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe.
PHILIPPIANS 2 : 14 – 15
Content With God’s Provision
But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. 1 Timothy 6:6-7 (NIV)
God promises to meet all your financial needs, if you (1) ask him for help and (2) learn to be content —
If you’ve ever seen a baby born, you know they don’t come into the world with anything but a little umbilical cord and that quickly gets cut.
And then, at your funeral, you don’t take anything with you. The Bible teaches that we should learn to be content.
What is contentment? Contentment means my happiness is not dependent upon circumstances. Most people get caught into “when” thinking: “When I get a certain job … When I can retire … When I get the house paid off … When I get the bills paid off … then I’ll be happy!”
God says, “No, once you get there, you’ll always want something else.” If you don’t learn contentment, you’ll never be happy. You’ll always want more.
“Yet true godliness with contentment is itself great wealth. After all, we brought nothing with us when we came into the world, and we can’t take anything with us when we leave it. So if we have enough food and clothing, let us be content.” (1 Timothy 6:6-8 NLT)