For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.
In Love & Respect, Emerson Eggerichs states that "Forgiving is the direct opposite of judging. Judging is effortless, while forgiveness is purposeful and intentional and reaps more blessings."
During an afternoon routine of car talk with teenagers, chatting about their day…that car pulls out in front of you or squeezes into traffic, cutting you off, and causing you to slam on your brakes.
What is your first response…To fuss at the driver, judging them, "you idiot" or a sarcastic "what a jerk", Or is it to forgive and bless, "wow, I suppose they missed the sign”, or “they must be in a bigger hurry than we are"?
In a culture that preaches "Kindness" in protest, privately, kindness and forgiveness are far from one's tongue. Ouch!! I know some of you are guilt-ridden right now because you can relate. I am not shaming you! You can find enough of that lingering around… Instead, I am calling you to reflect. We are raising adults, not children. Yes, they begin as infants, grow into children and become adults…but daily, we must keep the end result in mind. Raising offspring is like building a ladder, one rung at a time, while the side rails are wobbling around searching for stability.
What are you modeling? A response offering forgiveness or one of judgment? Our children are watching, no matter their age. They see how we respond to those around us and in age-appropriate ways, taking notes.
Love, Forgiveness, Kindness, and Patience…are all innate characteristics of one's heart. God instills within our hearts the desire to do good to others and make wise choices, but the influence seen in our fleshly model can quickly taint the purity God wants in our hearts. As caregivers of little eyes, we must consider everything we say and do. The next generation is taking their "cues" from us. Are we passing down judgment, anger, bitterness and division, or are we raising humility, forgiveness, love, joy, peace and unity? Yep, I feel it too, the sinking feeling in my gut at the misbehavior my children have heard or seen in my actions. Thank you, Jesus, for forgiveness; every day is new.
Matt 6:14 "For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you."
Judgment is easy; it sneaks its way into the simplest sarcastic comment, while forgiveness that recognizes accountability and humility, is seemingly more difficult. But the truth is, forgiveness is where the blessing is found. It frees you up to love others, and forgiveness releases you from feeling resentful, which leads to judgment.
Eph 4:32 "Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you."
Here's the beautiful part, because Jesus chose to forgive, we can live knowing that we are forgiven; therefore, we can forgive others. I am not discounting our mistakes, instead expressing how repair and forgiveness invites others to see a glimpse of Jesus.
With a dose of humility, a spoonful of love and a heaping helping of grace, we can begin right now doing better. It's never too late to start…you messed up earlier, but now "you know better, so you do better."
It begins with us as adults, leaders, guides, teachers and fellow travelers in this journey called life. Today, choose to embrace humility, forgiveness, love, joy, peace and unity.
What you behold, you become. 2 Corinthians 3:18 says that when we behold Jesus with the eyes of faith, we are transformed; we become more like Him, from one degree of glory to another, that is progressively over time as we behold him more and more.
So let's behold Forgiveness, Compassion and Love so that we become Forgiving, Compassionate and Loving.
- Ashley Guzman