Ephesians 4:32 And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.
Why should we forgive others? At first glance, we might think we should do so out of the goodness of our heart. Yet, there must be a deeper and more foundational reason for our forgiveness. Fundamentally, our forgiveness should be centered upon the Lord and His forgiveness toward us. Read Ephesians 4:32 above again. What should motivate our complete forgiveness of others? Is it not because we have been completely forgiven by the Lord? Look closely and you will see that God forgave us “for Christ’s sake.” If God forgave you for the sake of His Son, should this not also be the basis of our forgiveness of others? John confirmed this foundational truth of God’s forgiveness in his first epistle when he said, “. . . your sins are forgiven you for his name’s sake” (1 John 2:12). When we forgive others, we do so “for Christ’s sake.” Forgiving others because you have been forgiven illustrates God’s mercy to others.
- (For children):Jesus told a story about a servant who owed money to someone but was completely forgiven of that debt. However, he did not treat others in the same fashion. When someone owed this servant money, he did not forgive them the debt but demanded the money owed to him. That was not right (see Matthew 18:32-33 and Colossians 3:13).
- (For everyone):How can we tell others about God’s mercy concerning His forgiveness if we will not forgive them for the times they have done us wrong? What kind of testimony does this present?
- What does it mean to forgive “for Christ’s sake”? Should we forgive because we feel like forgiving someone? What will happen if we do not feel like forgiving someone today?
- Thank God for His forgiveness.
- Ask the Lord to help you forgive “for Christ’s sake.”
Quotes from the next volume
(VOLUME 3, WEEK 17)
A hypocrite is a person who presents himself one way, when in reality, he is altogether something different.
The hypocrite lives for the present. He seeks the reward of man’s praise (Matthew 6:2) and finds his greatest joy only when that praise is received.
While the Pharisee was hypocritically thanking the Lord that he was not wicked like the publican, the publican was busy confessing to God how wicked he was.
Hypocrisy requires more effort than most people realize. In fact, the level of effort expended frequently exceeds what would be necessary to simply do right.