By grace you are saved through faith (Ephesians 2:8) which means you are declared righteous, because of your faith and not because of anything you did. Therefore God forgives your sins, not because of anything you did to deserve forgiveness, but because his is a good and loving God. Sinners on the whole are not saved because of anything in them, or anything that can ever be in them, but because of God’s love, mercy, compassion and grace.
God is love. He is full of goodness. It is because his mercy endures forever that mankind has not been destroyed because of his sinful nature, but are forgiven.
God forgives those who deserve to be punished and favors those who deserve no favour. Therefore God’s grace is not for the pure and holy. As a matter of fact God himself says there is no-one who is righteous, not even one. But yet, he justifies the ungodly because of his goodness and mercy.
So how do you as human give that same grace to yourself and to others who have hurt you?
Keep in mind our old nature is very strong. We have tried to fix ourselves but we can’t. Try as hard as we could to stop sinning it is very difficult to do on our own. Even though we know that God would forgive our sins, we just keep on doing the things we know we should not. It is just human nature. That is why we need God in our lives.
Ezekiel 36:26 says:
“And I will give you a new heart with new and right desires, and I will put a new spirit in you. I will take out your stony heart of sin and give you a new, obedient heart”.
Only God can give you a new heart and cleanse your old nature, and no matter how many times you may fall, God will continue to forgive you because he understands your human nature.
So do you consider yourself a new person, born again with the new heart God said he would place in you? Then you too can forgive someone who has hurt you the same way God forgave you even though you didn’t deserve to be forgiven.
Forgive as God Forgave you
Look at the parable of the unforgiving debtor in Matthew 18:23:35:
This King decided to bring his accounts up to date with servants who were indebted to him. One debtor owed him 10,000 talents which was like millions of dollars. The servant couldn’t pay so the King ordered that his wife and children be sold to pay off his debt. The servant begged the King asking him to be patient and he will pay him everything. The King felt sorry for him and forgave him the debt.
The servant then went to a fellow servant who owed him a few thousand dollars. He grabbed him and demanded he pay him immediately. This servant also begged for some time to pay it, but the creditor couldn’t wait and had him thrown into prison. Well, the King heard about this incident and he called the servant in and asked him why he couldn’t have mercy on his debtor the same way he showed him mercy? The King was so angry he had him thrown into prison until he could pay back all the money.
The parable ends by saying the Heavenly Father would do the same to you if you don’t forgive your brothers.
In Matthew 6: 14-15 it states:
“If you forgive those who sin against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you. But if you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins”.
So you are expected to forgive others the same way God forgave you, even if the person who hurt you does not deserve it. But forgiveness does not necessarily mean condoning or forgetting. Depending on what that person did to you, you may not forget but you can choose not to remain friends or be in a relationship with that person. And you don’t have to condone, excuse or justify their wrong doing. But forgiveness helps to heal you and allow you to move on.
Grace is God’s gift. Salvation is given to us through grace and faith. But we must act on that faith, because faith without works is dead (James 2:17). We must listen to God’s words and act on them, including forgiving others.