“Bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do.”
“so you also must do”
God wants us to follow the pattern of forgiveness Christ set.
Jesus Christ set God’s standard for forgiveness for us.
God wants us to forgive as Christ forgave us (Eph. 4:32). We may resist that idea and say, “I will not.” If we develop that attitude then God will by-pass us. God will not use us as long as we maintain that attitude. “But they are wrong; they are at fault.” That has nothing to do with it. Do you want God to by-pass you? “No.” Then forgive them.
We cannot afford unforgiveness. As long as we are “off limits” with God, God will not use us. God will stick us at the back of the line. An unforgiving spirit is a sour spirit. We can take something for a sour stomach but forgiveness is the medicine for a sour spirit.
There will always be those people with whom we cannot work out a problem. The Lord Jesus confronted the Pharisees. He did not forgive them for their distortions. He unmasked them. Therefore, there is a place for intolerance. Jesus was intolerant of their sin, sham and hypocrisy.
If Christ forgave what is keeping us from forgiving? Forgiveness means to forget the offense against us. We are not to bring it up to the offender, to constantly harass them with reminders of the hurt of the past is non forgiveness. Some of us not only get hysterical but we get historical! We go back over past injuries again and again. Rehashing the problem indicates there was no forgiveness in the first place.
“Well, I’ll forgive, but I’ll never forget.” Is that the way Christ forgave? How did Christ forgive us? He dismissed and forgot our sins. We must do the same. We must forgive freely, fully, finally. We forgive those who hurt us the same way — freely. Jesus will never taunt me with my sins; he will not bedevil me with them. God does not say that we are to pray about it; just do it. God does not want us to take it under advisement; just do it.