- We are to bear with each other/to tolerate/to patiently endure one another's weaknesses, idiosyncrasies, imperfections, and offenses. Extend God's grace and mercy to others. Cultivate the grace of forbearance. Try to be understanding and overlook offenses. Do good and be kind to everyone, including those who are mean and unkind to us. "Finally, all of you, live in harmony with one another; be sympathetic, love as brothers, be compassionate and humble. Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult, but with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing." (1 Peter 3:8-9)
- We are to forgive one another like Jesus. Unconditionally. To forgive others is to imitate Christ. Choose to forgive, instead of complaining, blaming, and quarreling.
"When they hurled their insults at Him--He did not retaliate; when He suffered--He made no threats. Instead, He entrusted Himself to Him who judges justly." (1 Peter 2:23)
"None of us can live long in the thick of life--and not sometimes be touched rudely, perhaps even cruelly, by others. How shall we endure the things which hurt and wound us? We know what Jesus would do, what He actually did. "When they hurled their insults at Him--He did not retaliate; when He suffered--He made no threats."They drove the nails into His gentle hands, and as the iron went crashing through His tender flesh He prayed, "Father, forgive them!" They hung Him on the cross--but in answer to that cruelty, instead of a withering curse upon the world, He wrought salvation there for men!" (J.R. Miller)
- When we have a hard time forgiving others, we need to remind ourselves how much God has forgiven us. We must forgive those who offend/wrong/hurt us as the Lord forgave us. Each of us has sinned many more times against God than others have against us. "Whenever I see myself before God and realize something of what my blessed Lord has done for me at Calvary, I am ready to forgive anybody anything. I cannot withhold it. I do not even want to withhold it." (Martin Lloyd Jones) Freely give grace and forgiveness because you've been freely given grace and forgiveness. "Freely you have received; freely give." ~Jesus (Matthew 10:8b)
"Forgiveness is the key that unlocks the door of resentment and the handcuffs of hate. It is a power that breaks the chains of bitterness and the shackles of selfishness." (Corrie ten Boom)
Prayer: Heavenly Father, I can never thank You enough for Your inexhaustible grace and forgiveness for me! Please enable me to readily forgive others and myself as You have forgiven me. Please help me always see people through eyes of grace and mercy. Please empower me to love and forgive others like Jesus. In Jesus' Name, I pray. Amen.