Online Bible Verses - Ephesians 4:32 - It's about forgiveness
“Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”
Always a good reminder. This one points directly at me. Anger is often embedded within an inability to forgive. One thing I inherited, not necessarily bad, the tendency to never forget. I can’t remember a phone number or password, but I never forget events. The positive of that in this world where everyone seems to look out for #1 only, you identify who can and cannot be trusted.
The downside, a tendency to hang on to anger and write someone off. I can recall things that were done or said when I was five years old and still be angry. It is that anger which can cloud good judgment. God’s remedy, to first make clear that forgiveness is a necessary element in evaluating ourselves. At the forefront, being aware of my own failure in being loyal to Him. Coupled with that failure, His infinitely deep well of grace. He will forgive and forget. Scripture tells me He does continually, and will going forward, give me a pass. How hypocritical then, for me to harbor permanent ill will towards anyone who may have done me wrong. We must always look inward and recall our failures, and, hopefully, see that over time we have overcome them. It follows then, that we give others a chance for redemption. If I am indeed redeemed from letting down He who has never done anything to hurt me, should I not follow the model He has shown me?
Keeping your guard up is, unfortunately, something we have to do. We can be wary and still operate in a spirit of forgiveness. One classic example would be with my mom. I have made it a point to drill into my children Exodus 20:12, “Honor your father and mother”, reminding them it is a statement without condition. If little people in my family desire a dose of guaranteed regret, then just go ahead and disrespect myself or my wife. Every time we go over it, I am acutely aware of the fact that I was a horrific violator of that tenant as a youth. At the same time, one positive was I always went back to my mom and apologized. She never, ever, failed to accept the apology. Always forgave, sometimes in tears. What the heck can I do, pretty smart but cannot build a time machine.
In any event, the way to be has been clearly defined. A spirit of forgiveness should always be at the forefront. We should not let anyone use us as punching bags, but also allow an avenue for reconciliation in the same way it has been put in place by God. He, according to His nature, forgives perfectly. We can only try to emulate.