“By this we are sure that we are in him. Whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked.” 1 John 2:5-6
In addition to this verse, the Bible tells us to “clothe yourself with the Lord Jesus Christ” (Romans 13:14) and to “fix …our eyes on Jesus”(Hebrews 12:12). All of these phrases boil down to the same meaning …imitate Christ, he is our model. We are to watch Him, to follow His example, to become one with Him.
So, think about Jesus and all the people he forgave:
He forgave the paralytic whose friends lowered him through the roof to be healed (Mark 2:5)
He forgave two tax collectors, Zaccheus (Luke 19:1-10) and Matthew (also called Levi) who became one of the twelve disciples (Luke 5:27-32)
He forgave the woman caught in adultery (John 8:1-11) and the sinful woman who anointed His feet (Luke 7:36-48).
He forgave Peter after he denied Him three times, and He even forgave those who crucified Him.
He forgave things that seemed unforgivable: sinful behavior, betrayal, selfishness, greed, even murder. If I want to become like Christ, shouldn’t I be willing to forgive:
the cashier at the store who was rude and abrupt?
my friend who forgot to call when she said she would?
the fellow church member who criticized me?
the neighbor who complains about everything I do?
Often the things I don’t want to forgive are truly petty. Instead of feeling empathy for the people who offend me, I go over and over my own feelings of hurt and anger. That’s turning in on yourself, the definition of sin, and it isn’t pleasing to God.
If I truly want to walk as He walked, I must forgive as he forgave.