Moving on, I will continue by showing verses that speak about forgiveness of others. They are plentiful to be sure! This is because God knew how hard it would be for us to get along with each other. In Genesis 33, we first discover God’s example of forgiveness thru brothers. After the stunts that Jacob and his mother played on Isaac, Esau was greatly offended and hurt by the loss of his Birthright and Blessing. Amazingly, although Jacob was afraid, Esau came to meet his brother with open arms. He whole-heartedly forgave Jacob! Later in history, (Genesis 45:5-15), we have the account of Joseph and how he wept as he forgave his brothers for selling him into slavery. In both situations, the forgiveness of others was prompted by love–just like God’s forgiveness for us.
Jesus also spoke often about forgiveness. He basically said (Matthew 18:21-22), that we should never put a limit on how often we forgive each other! Likewise, (Mark 11:25), Jesus taught that when we stand praying and have something against someone, we should forgive them so that God in Heaven may forgive us too.
When God forgives us, our relationship is restored and we begin anew. The forgiving of sin gives us a joyous release within our spirit. Receiving this gift, (which in and of itself is an act of grace), allows us to start all over again with a clean slate. It gives us peace and lets us, once again, enter into the Holy of Holies.
The same is true with forgiveness of others. When a friend, co-worker, or family member offends us it is difficult to let the offense go. Our human tendency is to form grudges and walk around with hurt feelings. Thankfully, God helps us to rise above ourselves! Pride is all to often what keeps us from seeking and giving forgiveness. I know it is a mountain I have yet to conquer! However, when we do what God expects of us, there is cause for celebration. Reconciling with those with whom we took or gave offense can bring about the same excitement we have in Christ. God gave us each other to love, just as He gave us Himself.
Through my own relationship with God and with others, I am still learning how to cope and respond accordingly to the giving and receiving of forgiveness. Now, as all things must come to an end, so also should this mini sermon. 🙂 I now leave you with a verse of hope and love. Thanks for reading and always “Keep Looking Up”
Ephesians 4:32 — “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”