“Be kind and compassionate to one another,
forgiving each other,
just as in Christ God forgave you.”
Sometimes we need a reminder when it comes to the “one anothers” in scripture. Here is just a sampling of some of the 50 found in the New Testament:
- “…Be at peace with each other.” (Mark 9:50)
- “…Love one another…” (John 13:34)
- “Be devoted to one another in brotherly love…” (Rom 12:10)
- “…Honor one another above yourselves. (Rom 12:10)
- “Live in harmony with one another…” (Rom 12:16)
- “…Love one another…” (Rom 13:8)
- “…Stop passing judgment on one another.” (Rom 14:13)
- “Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you…” (Rom 15:7)
- “…Instruct one another.” (Rom 15:14)
- “Greet one another with a holy kiss…” (Rom 16:16)
In his book The Contemporary Christian, John Stott told a story about Marghanita Laski, a popular novelist and outspoken secular humanist. In a moment of candor, she said on a televised interview: “What I envy most about you Christians is your forgiveness. I have nobody to forgive me.”
Christians can say it differently. We can know what it means to be forgiven. First, by the Father, through the death of his Son, Jesus Christ. Second, we can know what it means to be forgiven by one another — because in Christ we know what forgiveness really means.As he has forgiven us, we are able to forgive others. Third, we can also learn how to forgive ourselves — sometimes the hardest task of all.
God’s unconditional acceptance enables us to finally release our regrets and begin taking steps on the road to making things right. Ms. Laski understood something fundamental about the human dilemma: We need to someone to forgive us.
In Christ, we have that someone. Through Christ, we are that someone.