Be Forgiving Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. Ephesians 4:32
When someone has wronged or offended you in some way, what is your attitude like toward that person?
A number of years ago, a high school friend hurt me deeply. I had invested a lot of time and energy into our friendship and had defended this friend to others. But as I became more involved in activities after school, I wasn’t always available to walk home from school with this friend and eventually she turned her attention to other things and people and didn’t want to “hang out” or associate with me anymore. My immediate response was one of hurt and frustration because I couldn’t understand why she was ignoring me.
It was a few years later, while in college, that a close friend convinced me that people will hurt us and when we put up defensive walls, we only alienate others who God may be placing in our lives. The only way to move on was to be forgiving of the offense that this person had done to me.
When I looked up “forgiving” in Ephesians 4:32, I found that it means “graciously to restore one to another.” Wow! Forgiveness is about restoration! I also noticed in this verse that “forgiving one another” seems to be an ongoing process like to be kind or to be compassionate.
Extending grace and restoration to another person brings peace. You may not forget what has happened but you are able to move forward. Once I was able to truly forgive my friend, I did move on and God opened many doors for me to help others see that truth in action.
During this season of gathering with friends and family, may we pause and be gracious toward others as we allow God to help us restore difficult relationships through the simple act of forgiveness.