By Rick Warren
“Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you” (Ephesians 4:32 NIV).
Because of how deeply we’ve been hurt, it’s hard to consider forgiving the perpetrators. But the Bible gives us one very important reason we need to forgive.
We forgive others because God forgave us.
The Bible says in Ephesians 4:32, “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you” (NIV). Ponder how much God has forgiven you, and it’ll cause you to be more forgiving of those who have hurt you.
The opposite is also true. If you don’t feel forgiven, you’ll have a hard time forgiving others. If you typically have a tough time forgiving others, you may not truly feel forgiven yourself.
Think of it like this: God has completely wiped your sin slate clean because of what Jesus Christ did on the cross. All of the things you deserve to be paid back for have been cleared away because God has forgiven you. Own that statement for yourself, and you’ll find it increasingly tough to hold a grudge against someone else.
Remember this: No matter what anyone does to you, you’ll never have to forgive any other person more than God has already forgiven you.
Rick Warren is pastor of Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, California. This editorial first appeared on his blog.