Ephesians 4:32 “Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.”
One of the hardest things to do is to be kind and forgiving to people. Especially when those people have done you wrong. When someone mistreats you, the normal response is to get back at them. To hurt them like they’ve hurt you, to give them the silent treatment, or just do something to teach them a lesson. That’s what is considered normal. That’s how most people live their lives.
The Bible stands that on its head and tells us as Christians to be different. We’re challenged to not get back at someone, but to forgive them, just like God forgave us. Doing this isn’t normal, and it isn’t easy, but its what’s right.
And we can do it because God forgave us. We didn’t deserve God’s forgiveness, yet He gave it to us anyway. That means that it’s not too hard for us to forgive those who have mistreated us too.
However, that doesn’t mean that you have to be best friends with someone that hurt you or was unkind to you. It means that instead of spreading rumors about that person, or trashing their locker at school, you choose to drop it and let it go. Forgiveness isn’t saying that what they did or how they treated you was right, it’s simply choosing to stop the cycle of unforgiveness and hurt.
Forgiveness is letting the love of Jesus shine through you even when it’s hard. So challenge yourself today to push past what’s easy and choose to be kind and forgive others.
Pray: God, today I determine to forgive those around me who have hurt me. I choose to not get back or get even with them but to simply love them with your love. With your help, I know I can do it. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
When someone does you wrong, how do you respond? When most people are treated wrongly, they tend to blow up. Usually, they get angry, are mean, and want to get back at the other person. What happens when someone gets the part in the school play that you wanted? Do you get jealous and stop talking to them?
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. – 1 Corinthians 13:4 (NIV)
However, in this verse, we’re encouraged in this verse to be patient, and to be kind. That means that when someone does better than us, we don’t get envious of that person. Acting like that is hard to do in our own strength and ability.
No matter how hard it might seem to love someone when you’ve been wronged there is good news. The Bible tells us God’s love is already in our hearts (Romans 5:5). So what we need to do is let that love dominate the way we act and treat others. The love is already there, its just up to us to bring it out!
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So the Word became human and made his home among us. He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness. And we have seen his glory, the glory of the Father’s one and only Son. – John 1:14
Think about your school’s lunch room for a moment. In that room, is there a group of students that are more popular than the others? Is there a table that you just wish you could eat at? Or a group of students that won’t talk to you because you’re less popular than they are?
Jesus could have done what many popular people do. He could have only hung out with those who were as popular as He was. Instead, he did something different. Today’s Bible verse says that he became human and made his home among us. He was full of love and faithfulness.
It sounds like Jesus didn’t have an exclusive lunch table or friends. Instead, He made himself at home with us. He showed many people love and kindness who had never experienced it before. Jesus’ actions should make us so thankful that He chose to show us love and faithfulness. He didn’t ignore us, or hang out with the people who had it all together. Instead He poured His love out so that we could get to know the Father.