By Gary Woodall

Have you been hurt, done wrong, abused, made fun of, or bullied? We all have at one time or another, some of us more than others, but it is common to all mankind. How do you handle that?

We know that God made us (Genesis 1:27) and that he loves us (Ephesians 2:4), so he knows what is best for us. He teaches us that we need to be forgiving. This point is driven home over and over in the scriptures, Old and New Testaments.

First, God tells us of His forgiveness in the Old Testament. (Leviticus 16:30, Numbers 14:19-21, Isaiah 43:25)

As far as the east is from the west. So far has He removed our transgressions from us (Psalm 103:12).

Second, in the New Testament He shows us His love and forgiveness in the gift of His Son (John 3:16). He showed us love and forgiveness (Romans 5:8-10) in that “while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”

Third, the God who made us and knows what is best for us, commanded us to do something He knew was best for us and our fellow man. He told us to be kind, tender hearted, and forgiving (Ephesians 4:32). He made sure we know that our own salvation and our own forgiveness is tied to our forgiveness of others.

“For if you forgive others for their transgressions, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions” (Matthew 6:14,15).

“So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience; bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you” (Colossians 3:12-13).

This is best for us in the here and now and best for us for all eternity. Be sure to develop a forgiving heart. This life’s peace of mind and your eternity depend on it.