Our scripture this morning is Ephesians 4:30-32.

And do not bring sorrow to God’s Holy Spirit by the way you live. Remember, he has identified you as his own, guaranteeing that you will be saved on the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.

Forgiveness is a tough subject because it means harm has been done to someone and often the relationship is damaged. Paul reminds us that when we offend or injure others we “bring sorrow to God’s Holy Spirit by the way you live”. It’s not how God intends us to treat Him or each other.

When we have caused another pain, we ask forgiveness by admitting the wrong behavior and working to mend the connection between us. When we have been hurt, we are called to forgive whether the other person asks or not. This is often difficult for us but it is the example Jesus gave us.

Even as He was crucified, He prayed “Father, forgive them, for they don’t know what they are doing” (Luke 23:34). Because He forgave us all our sin, we must forgive each other. It doesn’t mean it never happened, but through forgiving we let go of the hurt and continue in the grace God has given.

Loving Lord, we are thankful for the gift of our Savior and the blessing of salvation. Help us to forgive as He did and share Your love with the world. Amen.

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