Perhaps the easiest thing in the world to do is to take what you have, and who you have, for granted.
We don’t mean to do it. We don’t wake up every day with the intention of taking our loved ones for granted, but oftentimes that’s exactly what we do.
If you’re someone like me who has two loving parents, two wonderful siblings, four gracious grandparents and reliable friends in your life, you are more blessed than you probably realize.
There are so many people who would give anything to have one more conversation with a parent or child who has passed away. Yet there are so many people who go months, even years, without speaking to some of their immediate family members or former close friends.
Some of you have been wronged by people who were once closest to you. There have been unfaithful partners in marriage, disputes over money, arguments over disagreements that seem minor now but have led to an estranged relationship between you and somebody you once cared deeply for.
Today is the day for you to cast all of those feelings aside and do what can sometimes be the hardest thing to do for someone who has wronged you….forgive them.
I know what some of you are saying. “You have know idea what that person has put me through or how terribly they’ve treated me.”
You’re right. I have no idea. But I do know there is no limit on the forgiveness that has been given to you. And because of that, there should be no limit on the forgiveness that you show to other people.
Paul wrote in Colossians 3:13:
“Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.”
Think about some of the things you’ve done in your life that you deeply regret. Think about how many times you’ve lied or stolen or sinned.
If you’re a believer in Jesus, you have been forgiven of those sins. There hasn’t been a point of no return where you lose your salvation or are no longer forgiven by God because you’ve done something so terrible. Jesus knows all, and yet he still forgives.
Should we not also forgive others just as we have been forgiven?
Holding grudges against other people doesn’t accomplish anything. There’s no good that comes from it for you, and it becomes more a weight on your mind that it ever did for the person who wronged you in the first place.
I challenge you today to forgive those who have wronged you. Try to reach out and repair those estranged relationships. Cherish those who you have in your life because there will come a day when they are no longer there.
God’s forgiveness knows no bounds in your own life. Try to extend that same sort of forgiveness to other people.
Jesus said in Mark 25:11:
“And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive them, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.”