The Difficulty of Forgiving
This devotional was written by Kelly McFadden
“Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.” Colossians 3:13
My husband and I were living abroad and sharing a guest house with three others during a business project. The guest house had a guard and a live-in house overseer, which is common in the country where we were located. One morning, I realized we had been robbed. No lock was broken, nothing was amiss to the eye, but our travel money had been stolen and, based on the circumstances, it had to be connected with someone we knew. I was devastated. Not so much by the loss of the money as by the fact that a housemate had figured out how to break into our room, went through our things and took what was not his.
I became consumed as a detective trying to figure out what motive had pushed this person to steal and who it could be. In a place I had felt safe, I suddenly felt exposed, scared and homesick. He took more than money. This person robbed the joy and comfort of our travels. It would have been easier to forgive a stranger, but it was hard to forgive someone we knew.
Forgive as you were forgiven. Never before have these words meant as much as they did after this event. It wasn’t for strangers that God sent His Son; it was for His own creation, His children. Jesus came to die for the sins of the world, the sins of His people, so they could stand white as snow and cleansed of sin. He died for those He loved. He died for those who betrayed Him and those who spit on Him. He died for His beloved and forgave us all, in spite of the fact that we continue to sin and fail Him daily.
Our money is gone, the locks are changed, and I must admit sometimes I still feel hurt and confused by what happened. I try not to think back to that group living there and wonder who the culprit was. What I do know is that I must not harbor bitterness nor resentment that can only cause a heart to callous. If the Lord can forgive me for my sins, then I can forgive, I must forgive, others for theirs.
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1. Is there someone in your life towards whom you harbor bitterness or resentment? Why?
2. Take a moment to pray to the Lord and ask Him to give you God-sized love to forgive others as He forgave you.
Psalm 99:8; Luke 6:37-42; 1 John 1:9
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