When asking for forgiveness, the world has an expression they frequently use. They say, “Can you find it in your heart to forgive me?” But to paraphrase an old saying, they are asking others to look for forgiveness in all the wrong places! “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked” (Jer. 17:9). Any forgiveness that someone finds there is likely to come with conditions and many strings attached.
If you are finding it difficult to forgive someone, rather than trying to find it in your heart, find it in God’s grace.
“And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you” (Eph. 4:32)
Perhaps you are thinking, “Pastor, you don’t know how this brother offended me.” It’s true, I don’t. But was it more than how your sins offended God? Yet He forgave all of your sins by His grace, and now asks you to forgive your brother by grace. God was “satisfied” with the payment Christ made on the cross for your brother’s offense (Isa. 53:11), and has forgiven him for what he did to you. If you fail to forgive him by God’s grace, that means your standards are higher than His.
So don’t be like the world, looking for forgiveness in all the wrong places. If your brother’s sin “abounded” against you, let God’s grace “much more abound” (Rom. 5:20), even as it did when God forgave you. “Receive not the grace of God in vain” (2 Cor. 6:1). Let it abound in your life to others. Be a grace believer in the highest sense of the name.
To the Reader:
Some of our Two Minutes articles were written many years ago by Pastor C. R. Stam for publication in newspapers. When many of these articles were later compiled in book form, Pastor Stam wrote this word of explanation in the Preface:
"It should be borne in mind that the newspaper column, Two Minutes With the Bible, has now been published for many years, so that local, national and international events are discussed as if they occurred only recently. Rather than rewrite or date such articles, we have left them just as they were when first published. This, we felt, would add to the interest, especially since our readers understand that they first appeared as newspaper articles."
To this we would add that the same is true for the articles written by others that we continue to add, on a regular basis, to the Two Minutes library. We hope that you'll agree that while some of the references in these articles are dated, the spiritual truths taught therein are timeless.