1 John 2:12
“I write unto you, little children, because your sins are forgiven you for his name’s sake.”
One of the great attributes of God is that He is willing to forgive. After all that we have done to Him, He was willing to forgive us. Not only is He willing to forgive us before we get saved, but He is also willing to forgive us after we get saved. God’s forgiveness allows the believer to be able to be used in His service.
If God can find it in Himself to forgive us, it would seem that we can certainly find it in ourselves to forgive others. The verse above says that He forgave us “for his name’s sake.” If the only reason the believer ought to be willing to forgive, it ought to be “for his name’s sake.” You may not be able to find it in yourself to forgive others, but “for his name’s sake” you should be able to forgive. Let me share with you some thoughts about forgiveness.
First, you should be willing to forgive others because the LORD was willing to forgive you. There is nothing that someone else could do to you that is greater than what you have done to the LORD. Many people carry grudges in life because they believe their hurt is the greatest hurt, but they never stop to realize that the hurt they caused to Christ was much greater than they were ever hurt, yet He still forgave them. My friend, I am not denying that you have been hurt, but I am pointing out that if Christ could find it in Himself to forgive you, you should be able to forgive others.
Second, the fact that you can forgive is because there was some sort of relationship established. You cannot hurt someone that you have never met; therefore, there is no need to forgive someone whom you have never known. However, those who have hurt you have had some type of a relationship with you. God is able to forgive us because we have a relationship with Him. Have you ever stopped to think that you were hurt because of a relationship? Let me ask you, wouldn’t it be better to somehow find a way to forgive so that the relationship can be restored than it would be to continue to hold a grudge against someone and allow the relationship to be broken? Life is way too short to continue to allow relationships to be broken. You should want to forgive others so that you can restore the relationship you once had.
Third, forgiveness is the key that unlocks your ability to help others. The greatest reason the LORD can help us is because He has forgiven us. You will never be able to help others if you continue to harbor ill will about the things that they have done against you. You will find that one of the greatest benefits of helping others is that it enables you to have a relationship with them so that you can help them grow in the LORD. Helping others is where you find the greatest satisfaction in life, but you will never be able to enjoy that satisfaction until you unlock the door that enables you to help them, and that door is forgiveness.
Finally, the greatest thing you can do to help the cause of Christ is to forgive others. If there is any reason you should forgive others, it should be “for his name’s sake.” Building relationships is easy, but restoring the broken relationships will only be done when you realize the impact it will have for the LORD’s name. Let me encourage you to find that person whom you have never forgiven, and “for his name’s sake” forgive them. You will never regret the initiative and inconvenience it takes to forgive others.