Ephesians 4:31, 32 - Forgiveness.
Ephesians 4:31, 32 (NIV) Get rid of all
bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along
with every form of malice. 32 Be kind and
compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just
as in Christ God forgave you.
Ephesians 4:31, 32 (NLT) Get rid of all
bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as
well as all types of evil behavior. 32 Instead,
be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving
one another, just as God through Christ has
Scott and I rarely leave our three boys
at home alone even though our oldest is
fifteen. It wouldn't be safe ... for them ... or the
neighborhood. They tend to go at it. The same was true for
me and my siblings when we were left on our
own. We would get into fights. I have two sisters
and a brother. We weren't kind to one another.
We weren't loving. We weren't thoughtful. In
fact, we could be mean. If there was a
disagreement and Mom wasn't around to sort it out, it got
When I didn't get my way, I often
resorted to screaming, hair pulling, and scratching,
followed by punching, kicking, and throwing toys. It
was every boy or girl for himself or herself.
Learning how to be kind takes some work. It doesn't
Our natural tendencies are selfish; just
ask any two-year-old. But Jesus isn't keen on
violence or name calling or trash talking. He wants
us to treat one another with the utmost
kindness. Each of us is special to Him. Jesus longs
for us to treat others with the same genuine
love and care that He gives us. When we show each
other mercy, the world changes. We begin to
resemble Him when we are kind to one another. Peace
steps in. Love abounds. Relationships flourish.
Cultivating kindness and forgiveness not only changes
us, it changes everyone we come in contact with.
By Susanna Foth Aughtmon
Faith Step: Be strategic about being
kind. Ask Jesus to show you the people who need
your compassion and forgiveness today and reach
out. [Mornings With Jesus 2018 Devotional by
Guideposts and Zondervan]
The Daily Necessity of Forgiveness
We need forgiveness every day because we
sin every day. Maybe youre thinking, I
dont know that I really sinned today.
Well, can you think of a single impure
thought you had? Did you lose your temper even once?
The Bible tells us, If we say that we have no
sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not
in us (1 John 1:8 NKJV).
The passage goes on to say, If we
confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive
us our sins and to cleanse us from all
unrighteousness (verse 9 NKJV).
In what we often call the Lords
Prayer, Jesus taught us to pray, Give us day by
day our daily bread. And forgive us our sins,
for we also forgive everyone who is indebted to
us (Luke 11:3"4 NKJV).
Jesus was saying that we not only should
pray for our daily bread, but we should be
praying for and extending forgiveness every day. God
wants us to forgive others.
Maybe someone has bullied you on social
media or insulted you. Maybe someone has hurt you,
and youre thinking, This person did
something so horrible that I cant forgive them.
I like what C. S. Lewis said about this:
Everyone says forgiveness is a lovely idea until they
have something to forgive. Its a great
concept until its time for us to forgive someone
who we think doesnt deserve it.
So, lets just concede that point and
say they dont deserve it. But hold on. Do you
You dont, yet God gave it to you. So
why would you not extend it to another person as
well? The Bible says, Instead, be kind to each
other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just
as God through Christ has forgiven you
(Ephesians 4:32 NLT).
God wants us to ask for forgiveness"and
extend it to others as well. [Greg Laurie from
Harvest Ministries; https://www.harvestdaily.com]
Forgive Because God Forgave You
You will, unfortunately, be hurt in this
life. And many of those hurts will be intentional
- the direct results of what people say about
you or do to you. In fact, any time you read the
word forgiveness, you likely instantly call
to mind certain heartaches, hurts, and problems
from your past. The memories still feel fresh
because youve been hurt very deeply.
When youre hurt deeply, its often
hard to consider forgiving the perpetrators. But
the Bible gives you one very important reason
you need to forgive.
You forgive others because God forgave
The Bible says in Ephesians 4:32, Be
kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving
each other, just as in Christ God forgave you
Thinking about how much God has forgiven
you will help you be more forgiving of those who
have hurt you.
The opposite is also true. If you dont
believe and accept in faith that youve been
forgiven by God, youll likely have a hard time
forgiving others. If thats the case, consider
whether you truly believe God has forgiven you. Talk
to God about any doubts.
Think of it like this: God has completely
wiped your slate clean of sin because of what
Jesus Christ did on the cross. All of the things
you deserve to be punished for have been cleared
away because God has forgiven you. As you accept
this truth, youll find it increasingly tough
to hold a grudge against someone else.
No matter what anyone does to you,
youll never have to forgive another person more
than God has already forgiven you. And he has
forgiven you. Thats a promise. [Daily Devotional
by Rick Warren:
But I Can't Forgive!
We experience divine forgiveness for our
sins only as we extend forgiveness to those who
have offended us.
This cuts deep.
Perhaps you might be saying at this
moment, "But I can't forgive; I have been hurt too
deeply." Then, may I say it very tenderly, but very
solemnly, you can never, never be forgiven. "But if
you don't forgive people," says Jesus, "your
Father will not forgive your wrongdoing" (Mt 6:15).
In refusing to forgive others you break the
bridge over which you yourself must pass.
A man once said to me: "I know I'm a
Christian, but someone did such an awful thing to me
that I find I can't forgive him." After spending
a good deal of time with him, and getting
nowhere, I said: "If it is really true that you can't
forgive this person, it suggests that you yourself
have not been forgiven, and you may be deluding
yourself that you are a Christian." He looked at me
aghast and went white in the face. My counseling
methods are not always as abrupt as that; however,
this brought him face to face with reality"and
it worked. He got down on his knees, right
where he was, and said: "Father, because You have
forgiven me, I offer Your forgiveness and my
forgiveness to my brother who has offended me, and I
absolve him of his offense in Jesus' name." Then
what happened? Instantly the joy of the Lord
streamed right into the center of his being, and he
laughed and laughed, literally, for almost an hour.
Lord Jesus, You who forgave those who
spat in Your face and nailed You to a cross, help
me to open my heart now and forgive all those
who have hurt me. I do it in Your strength and
power. Thank You, Lord Jesus. Amen. [Every Day With
Jesus Bible with Selwyn Hughes devotional]
Four Steps Towards Forgiveness
If youre like most people, you might
have some misconceptions about what it means to
forgive. And, because you dont understand
forgiveness, you find it really difficult to forgive.
As a follower of Jesus, you need to
understand forgiveness. The Bible clearly calls
Christians to forgive. Galatians 6:1 says, Brothers
and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you
who live by the Spirit should restore that
person gently (NIV).
So, if God expects you to forgive others,
what does healthy, biblical forgiveness look
like? Here are four things you should do when you
need to forgive someone.
1. Recognize no one is perfect. When you
hate somebody, you tend to lose your perspective
about that person. Resentment, bitterness, and
hurt make you stop seeing that person as a fellow
human being. You treat them like an animal. But
the truth is everyone is in the same boat. The
Bible says, Not a single person on earth is
always good and never sins (Ecclesiastes 7:20
NLT). Were all imperfect.
2. Relinquish your right to get even.
This is the heart of forgiveness. The Bible says,
Never avenge yourselves. Leave that to God, for he
has said that he will repay those who deserve
it (Romans 12:19 TLB). Even if you think you
deserve to retaliate, dont. If the hurt runs
deep, you may have to commit over and over again
to not getting even. But, no matter what, leave
the repayment to God.
3. Respond to evil with good. Humanly
speaking, its nearly impossible to respond to evil
with good. Youll need Gods help. Youll
need the love of Jesus to fill you up. Why?
[Love] keeps no record of wrongs (1 Corinthians
13:5 NIV). When you can respond to evil with
good, youll know youve fully released
someone from the wrong theyve done to you.
4. Refocus on Gods plan for your life.
As long as you continue to focus on the person
who has hurt you, that person controls you. In
fact, it often goes a step further: If you dont
release your offender, you will begin to resemble
your offender. So stop focusing on the hurt and
the person who hurt you. Instead, refocus on
Gods purpose for your life - his purpose is
greater than any problem or pain you might be
Dont sit another day in your
resentment. If youve been holding on to pain caused
by someone else, go through these four steps
and move on to the life you were created to
live! [Daily Devotional by Rick Warren:
Forgive How Often?
One day Simon Peter went to Jesus and
said, Lord, how often shall my brother sin
against me, and I forgive him? Up to seven times?
(Matthew 18:21 NKJV).
Maybe Peter wanted to impress the Lord
with his willingness to forgive. He probably
thought Jesus would say, Seven times! Lets
give Peter a round of applause. That is
incredible! I cant believe you with your forgiving
But Jesus essentially said, Seven
times? I was thinking of 70 times seven.
Was Jesus saying that we could forgive
someone up to 490 times, and then on the 491st
offense, we could nail them to the wall?
No. Jesus was advocating unlimited
forgiveness. He was saying, You forgive them over and
Jesus then went on to tell a story about
a king who decided to collect what his
servants owed him. But one of the servants who owed
him a significant amount couldnt pay the
debt. So the king ordered that the servant, his
wife, his children, and everything he had must be
sold to pay the debt.
But the desperate servant threw himself
down before the king and begged for mercy. The
king, feeling sorry for this man, decided to
immediately erase the entire debt.
Then Jesus continued with the story:
But when the man left the king, he went to a
fellow servant who owed him a few thousand dollars.
He grabbed him by the throat and demanded
instant payment ... He had the man arrested and put
in prison until the debt could be paid in
full (Matthew 18:28, 30 NLT).
When the king heard about what happened,
he threw the unforgiving servant into prison
until he paid the king everything he owed.
God has forgiven us of the most enormous
debt imaginable: all of our sins. Therefore, if
God has done that for us; then surely, we can
extend that same forgiveness to others.
Its only reasonable that we who are
forgiven should also forgive. [Greg Laurie from
Harvest Ministries; https://www.harvestdaily.com]
Forgiveness In Marriage
When I meet young couples who want to get
married, Ill ask them a few questions, including
how long theyve known each other. Then Ill
ask them whether theyve ever had an
Some of them say theyve never
disagreed about anything.
When that happens, I tell them to get out
of my office and go have a good fight. Im
not referring to anything physical, of course.
But what I am saying is they need to learn how
to disagree, because you have to learn how to
resolve conflict when youre married.
Youll have points of view that are
different from those of your spouse, so its very
important to listen to what he or she is saying. Hear
the other person out and then respond with your
point of view. Have a good exchange. But when the
voices start rising and the tempers start flaring,
it will be completely unproductive.
Cliff Barrows, who was a longtime
associate of Billy Graham, said there are eight words
you should be willing to say every day to your
spouse: Im sorry, Please forgive me,
and I love you.
I would add these words as well: It
was my fault.
Sometimes even the way we apologize
isnt really an apology at all. For instance, we
might say, Im sorry if you thought I was
saying that, because that was not my intention. So
if what I said hurt your feelings, its
because you misunderstood me.
Heres an actual apology: Im
sorry. I was wrong. Please forgive me.
When you and your spouse have a conflict,
who will be the first to resolve it? Whatever
tension the two of you are experiencing, if you
would simply say, Im sorry. Please forgive
me. I love you, you would be amazed at how
much good that will do. [Greg Laurie from Harvest
Relational Glue of Forgiveness
The glue that holds healthy relationships
together is kindness, compassion, and forgiveness. We
all make mistakes and fall short, so we all need
to give and receive forgiveness on a regular
basis. Billy Graham said, "Every human being is
under construction from conception to death.
Since we have received enormous
forgiveness from God, it's only fair that we treat
others the same way. Likewise, we have received
compassion and kindness from God. He is compassionate
and gentle, suffering with us when we suffer.
That's what our friends need from us: not
necessarily fixing the problem, but the gift of our
We instinctively know how to be kind to a
child who skins his knee: we hug and listen, and
when the hurt has passed, we coax the child to
get up and play again. The same compassion is
appropriate when a friend suffers a loss or faces a
trial. Even adults need physical touch and a
Kindness, compassion, and forgiveness
lead to strong relationships that will sustain us
through the ups and downs of life. [The Daniel Plan
Power Of Forgiveness
If we want to show real love and support
to each other, we will free each other from the
burden of blame by offering forgiveness. We'll cut
each other slack, letting go of the other
person's failures and treating others as Jesus treats
us. Jesus prayed even for those who were killing
him: "Father, forgive them, for they do not know
what they are doing" (Luke 23:34).
Our job is not to make people feel badly
for their mistakes. Our job is to reach out to
them when they fall and help them get back up on
their feet. Our job is to say, "Hey, I know you're
having a tough time, but I believe in you. I know
you can do this. I'm here to help you." Nothing
is more liberating than to know that somebody
believes in you.
Who in your small group, family, or
workplace needs you to offer them the grace of
forgiveness and understanding?
Offer someone grace and forgiveness, and
you will nourish their heart and soul while
rejuvenating your relationships. [The Daniel Plan 365-Day
LINKS FOR FURTHER STUDY ON THIS TOPIC
Ephesians 4:32 - The Grace of Forgiveness.
Ephesians 4:32 - The Grace of Kindness and
Matthew 6:14, 15 - More Thoughts on
If anyone has a paraphrase, commentary or
testimony on this passage of Scripture, either
personal or otherwise, I would be interested in
hearing from you. Thanks in advance and let's keep
uplifting Jesus that all might be drawn to Him. Fred
LINKS WORTH CHECKING OUT
Most Important Decision in Life:
Steps to Peace by Billy Graham:
A Man without Equal by Bill Bright:
Seeking God Made Real:
Prayer Made Real:
Importance of Choice:
http://creationhealth.com/CREATION-Health/Choice [click on video]
Medical Seminar on Healthful Living by David
DeRose, MD, MPH:
LINKS FOR BIBLE STUDIES
Lifting Up Jesus Bible Studies:
Amazing Facts Bible Studies:
Hope Awakens Bible Study Guides:
Glow Tract Video Bible Studies:
LINKS FOR BIBLE PROPHECY SEMINARS
Islam and Christianity in Prophecy, The
Third and Final Conflict by Tim Roosenberg:
Unlocking Bible Prophecies by Cami Oetman of
Adventist World Radio: https://www.awr.org/bible
Revelation Now by Pastor Doug Batchelor:
Hope Awakens by John Bradshaw of IIW:
Prophecies Decoded by Pastor Ron Clouzet: