Everybody has been wronged or offended at one time or another! What can you do about it? What SHOULD you do about it? Ephesians 4:32 declares, “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as Christ forgave you.” Similarly, Colossians 3:13 proclaims, “Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another.

In order to forgive those who disrespect and devalue us, we must understand God’s forgiveness. God does not forgive everyone automatically with no preconditions—Forgiveness, properly understood, involves repentance on the offenders part and love and grace on God’s part. The love and grace are there, but the repentance is often lacking. So, the Bible’s command for us to forgive one another does not mean we ignore abuses. It means we gladly, gracefully, lovingly extend forgiveness to those who seek our forgiveness.

WE can forgive others easier when we realize that God forgives us. We who have been blessed by the grace of God have no right to withhold that grace from others. We have all sinned against God many times! WE have disrespected and abused the grace of God infinitely more than any person can tread on us. Jesus’ parable in Matthew 18:23–35 is a powerful illustration of this truth. Whose forgiveness do you need to seek? Who do you need to forgive?

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