Counter Culture: Forgive as Forgiven

“Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” (Ephesians 4:32)

The final items on Paul’s list of specific ways in which Christians should look unnormal from everyone else have to do with how we treat each other.

ctc_350“Be kind and compassionate.” Think about how everyone else is seeing the world and step in when you can to make it easier for them. Act like you care about them. I love this quote from Philo of Alexandria (whoever he is): “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a great battle.”

Then the hardest, least normal action of all: Forgive everyone in the same way that God has forgiven you. Forgive as forgiven. You cannot do this until A) you know that you have been forgiven for great and ugly crimes against God and B) someone does something hurtful and ugly to you. Then you can practice. It’s harder than it looks — but it’s also entirely possible in Christ.

Think: Do you think it’s unfair that Paul links God’s forgiveness of our sin with our forgiveness of others? Do you need to adjust the way you think about your sin against God or other people’s sins against you?

Pray: Ask God to make your heart more compassionate toward others and more honest about how much you’ve been forgiven by God.

Do: Write two numbers: On a scale from 1 to 10 (with 1 being very little and 10 being the equivalent to an axe murderer), how much sin has God forgiven you for? On that same scale, how much sin has been committed against you?