Today's Devotional

Walking in Forgiveness (11 September)

No more lying, then! Each of you must tell the truth to the other believer, because we are all members together in the body of Christ. If you become angry, do not let your anger lead you into sin, and do not stay angry all day. . . .Do not use harmful words, but only helpful words, the kind that build up and provide what is needed, so that what you say will do good to those who hear you. And do not make God's Holy Spirit sad; for the Spirit is God's mark of ownership on you, a guarantee that the Day will come when God will set you free. Get rid of all bitterness, passion, and anger. No more shouting or insults, no more hateful feelings of any sort. Instead, be kind and tender-hearted to one another, and forgive one another, as God has forgiven you through Christ.
Ephesians 4:25-32

Mahatma Ghandi once said: "An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind."

A quick glance around our world today is more than enough for us to realize how much hatred is harbored by our fellow human beings. Acts of evil are widespread, ranging from lies and theft to murder and anger leading to vengeance.

Sadly, through our behavior many of us as Christians diminish the forgiveness and love which God offered us through the person and works of Jesus Christ. We often forget God's grace in our lives and the forgiveness we have received, and then we ignore the responsibilities that his grace requires of us. For example, many of us, as the Ephesians passage states, would steal or speak bad words that tear down and do not build up, and in doing so we grieve the Holy Spirit, as if God's forgiveness of our sins is merely something in our past, something that no longer matters.

If God, in all the richness of his mercy, had not lavished his forgiveness on us, we would have no hope in this life! It is therefore important that we take a moment to ask ourselves: where is the kindness that we need to be demonstrating as children of God? Why do we find forgiveness so difficult? Why do we compromise in our faith and beliefs?

May the world we live in, a world that has gone so far from Jesus' teachings of love and forgiveness, see the standards of the Bible demonstrated in us today. May you and I remember Christ's kindness and forgiveness on our behalf every time we find it too difficult to forgive or impossible to show kindness.

Let us be Christ-like, in his forgiveness of our sins and in his kindness and gentleness to all people. "Be kind and tender-hearted to one another, and forgive one another, as God has forgiven you through Christ." (Ephesians 4:32) Indeed, it is not easy, but let us hold hands with the Almighty, and he will make a miracle out of the impossible. May we encourage one another to walk in the life of forgiveness. Let us share his forgiveness with those in need. His forgiveness is deep, rich, and everlasting. May ours be the same!


© 2012 United Bible Societies - Palestinian Bible Society, Bible Society in Israel, and Arab Israeli Bible Society. All rights reserved.