FORGIVING EACH OTHER
The phrase "bear with each other" means to have patients to one another or have a tolerance to each other. Although we are children of God and commanded by God to love one another, we still make mistakes and commit sins that affect each other. In our relationship with each other, we will have conflicts because we are all different. We have our own temperaments, attitudes, likes, and dislikes. Even in a relationship between husband and wife, no matter how much they love each other, they still have conflicts. No person in the face of the earth has not had any conflict or misunderstanding with another person. This is the reason God wants us to bear with each other or be patient with one another.
We also need to forgive one another just as the Lord has forgiven us. We are forgiven by God so that we can forgive each other. Forgiving someone is not an option for us to do, but it is a command of God. One of the reasons we do not want to forgive is that we do not want to let go of the past because of the pain that we have experienced. We have to surrender our past pain to God, and let God heal our past so that we can live in the freedom of His forgiveness. The other reason we do not forgive is that we are having difficulty trusting the people who offended us. We are afraid that people will not change even when we forgive them. They may hurt us again, so we do not want to forgive. We also use their sin and guilt to get even with them. We want to avenge what they had done to us.
However, God wants us to forgive and let God deal with those who offended us. There are many other reasons that we do not want to forgive others, but we do not have an option not to forgive others. When Jesus was dying on the cross, he cried out to the Father to pray for those who crucified Him and said, "Father forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing." (Luke 23:34). Jesus gave us an example of how to forgive on the cross. It is very painful to forgive, but it is through forgiveness that we experience the love, the grace, and the mercy of God in our lives.
I know that forgiving someone is very difficult to some, especially to those who have been abused or taken advantage of. But I want to encourage you to ask God to heal you of the past and give you the courage and the strength to forgive no matter what they have done to you. Then and only then we will experience the joy of forgiveness.
Ask yourself these questions: Is there anyone that I have not forgiven? Why am I having difficulty forgiving that person? What does God want me to do with those who offended me? Why is it important for me to forgive?
Write down all the worries that you are facing today and lift them up to God.
Father in Heaven, please forgive me for all the sin that I have done. Please continue to change my heart and make me more like you day by day. As you forgive me of my sin, please help me to forgive those who offended me and not use their past sin to get even with them. Please help me to forgive just as you commanded me to forgive. Give me the courage and willing heart to forgive. Please help me with (mention your prayer requests). In the name of Jesus, I pray. Amen.