Ephesians 4:32 exhorts us to forgive each other “just as in Christ God forgave you.”
Forgiveness is one of the hardest and most unnatural things we could be asked to do. But the more we become like Jesus, who forgave even those who nailed Him to the cross, the more we will be willing to forgive.
Last week I spoke with a hulk of a man wedged in the soul-vise of bitterness. He adamantly insisted that a mutual friend was not a Christian because of something our friend had done to him. When another man became involved in the same incident, he’d even prayed for God to change the man’s mind about it or to kill him. If he doesn’t choose to forgive, his bitterness will crush every tender shoot of growth that sprouts in his heart.
Are you still bitter at someone you were bitter toward six months ago? If so, then regardless of all your Christian activities, you have deceived yourself about having made any real spiritual progress during that time.
Have you forgiven any longtime hurts during the past year? If so, then you have made a measurable advance in Christian maturity.