READ EPHESIANS 4:32
Grab several pieces of paper. On one piece of paper, draw a simple target with a bullseye in the center. Tape the target to a wall. Wad up the rest of the paper into balls. Practice throwing the paper wads at the target. Set a timer for one minute and see how many times you can hit the bullseye.
How did your target practice go? Did you hit the center of the target EVERY time? No way. No one makes a perfect throw every time because no one is perfect. But that’s not just true in target practice. No one is perfect at life either.
You will mess up. You will make mistakes and sometimes, you might even hurt someone else. But guess what? Jesus came so that we could be forgiven. He knew we wouldn’t make the wise choice every single time. And because we’ve been forgiven, we should forgive others too. That’s what today’s verse is all about. Because the story of Jesus changes how I forgive others.
THANK God for sending Jesus to forgive you so that you can also forgive.
READ PSALM 86:5
Forgiveness is hard. When someone hurts you, it’s natural to want to hurt them back or to refuse to forgive. But as followers of Jesus, we want to become more and more like Him. As we grow in our faith, we begin to (hopefully) respond the way He would.
So, what does this verse tell us about God? That He forgives. That He is good. That is He is full of love for all who call out to Him. That includes you. He’s forgiven you. He is good to you. And He is full of love for you.
When someone hurts you, or disappoints you, or says something mean about you, forgiveness is the answer. Because Jesus came to die for you so that you could be forgiven. And when others hurt you, God wants you to forgive like He does.
Grab a wide rubber band if you have one. Write the word "forgiven" on the band. Wear it as a bracelet this week to remind you to forgive others as God has forgiven you.
ASK God to help you forgive the way He forgives you.
READ ROMANS 12:3
Do you think too highly of yourself like this verse warns about? Do you tend to think about what’s best for you, instead of others? It’s easy to do. Most people think only of themselves.
But God asks us to act differently. He asks us to think about OTHERS first. And putting others first means we are to forgive when they hurt us. Instead of holding on to our anger, God is asking us to forgive. Instead of "winning" the argument or trying to get the other person back, God wants us to forgive and move on.
Find a balloon in your home if you can. If you don’t have a balloon, grab a sandwich bag instead. Without blowing up the balloon or bag, lay it flat on the counter and carefully write out the reference (Romans 12:3) for today’s verse. Then blow up the balloon or sandwich bag and tie off or close. Repeat today’s verse and then pop that balloon/bag. Think of this every time you don’t want forgive someone or put yourself before others.
LOOK for ways to forgive and put others first.
READ COLOSSIANS 3:13
Have you ever held a grudge? A grudge is a strong feeling of dislike or anger towards someone who has hurt you. We’ve all been guilty of holding a grudge at one time or another. But in the words of Queen Elsa, when it comes to grudges, it’s really better to just "let it go." Because when you hold on to all that anger, you ultimately end up hurting yourself.
God sent Jesus to save you from your sin. He offered forgiveness to you so that you could forgive others. So when you hold a grudge, it’s almost like saying, "Thanks for forgiving me, God. But I’m just going to keep on being angry."
What are you angry about? Who do you need to forgive? Write that person’s name on a card and the reason you are angry. On the flip side, write the words of this verse. Hold the card in your hands, wad it up and then throw it away.
KNOW that God has forgiven you so that you can forgive others.