And become useful and helpful and kind to one another, tenderhearted . . . forgiving one another [readily and freely], as God in Christ forgave you.
— Ephesians 4:32 (AMPC)
The Bible teaches us to forgive “readily and freely.” That is God’s standard for us, no matter how we feel about it. We are to be quick to forgive.
According to 1 Peter 5:5, we can clothe ourselves with the character of Jesus Christ, meaning that we can choose to be long-suffering, patient, not easily offended, slow to anger, quick to forgive, and filled with mercy. My definition of “mercy” is to look beyond what is done to me that hurts and discover the reason why it was done. Many times, people do things even they don’t understand themselves, but there is always a reason why people behave as they do. Perhaps they are hurting and in their own pain they don’t even realize they are hurting someone else.
God forgives! We are to be merciful and forgiving, just as God in Christ forgives us our wrongdoing. He not only sees what we do that is wrong, but He understands why we did it, and is merciful and long-suffering. The choice to forgive others is ours. God will not force anyone to do it. Even if you don’t understand it, believe that God’s way is the best. It works. He can take what Satan meant to destroy you and turn it for your good.
Prayer Starter: Father, help me to try to control my anger and forgive quickly. In Jesus’ name, amen.