Wouldn’t it be great to not lie awake at night steaming about slights and offences, just to be able to let it all go? To get rid of that angry, burning knot in your stomach? It’s possible – but how?

I think that to really forgive others we have to first acknowledge our own guilt and need of grace. We have hurt God, offending against His law every time we put ourselves and our own interests above those of a loving God or our neighbour. It cost God the death of His own Son to put it right – the only way He could show us the mercy we needed while still remaining just.  When we finally get this we can understand what it cost God to purchase our own reconciliation – and the undeserved forgiveness offered to us.

In our politically correct, self-actualizing, all-about-me world, that really runs against the grain. But it’s just common sense if you take a minute to think about it: if we offer forgiveness to those who have hurt us on any other basis, we’re telling ourselves (whether we’ll admit it or not) we’re better than them, and so pass judgement on them. And if we go there, we may ask ourselves if we really have forgiven them.

God has done this wonderful thing for us, and we are commanded to do likewise for the people in our own lives. We can’t forgive on any other basis, and it’s frankly easier to forgive when you realize you’ve blown it too. It’s humbling in the best sort of way.