Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. Ephesians 4:32

Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. Ephesians 5:1-2

The only way to truly love is to mimic God’s way of love. Ephesians 4:32 tells us what to do. “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other.” How do we forgive? Even if someone wrongs you, mistreats you, talks bad about you, or any other harm someone may do to you, you are to forgive that person “just as in Christ God forgave you”.

Living a life holding a grudge against someone is a selfish act and, at its core is idolatry. You see, if you don’t forgive, you are putting yourself in a place of high esteem. Your attitude is: “I deserve to be treated better than this, after all, I am in the right and he is in the wrong.” You are putting yourself on a pedestal or an altar, if you will, claiming some honor or respect that in actuality only belongs to God.

God forgave you in Christ. When you are born again, you no longer live, you are dead and Christ is alive in you. If someone insults or harms you, you are not the one being insulted or harmed, but Christ is. The question you need to ask is “does this bother you, Jesus?” The answer from Jesus is a resounding “No!” Why? Because God offers forgiveness to that person also. And if that is the case, then you no longer need to feel that you have been harmed in any way.

Since God has forgiven you and loves you intimately and unconditionally, you need to follow that same example and love the person that supposedly wronged you. Love is a chain that starts with God, is channeled through Christ and into us through the Holy Spirit. By forgiving and loving that person unconditionally, you are offering your sacrifice to the God of the universe. Conversely, if you do not forgive or love that person, you are offering your sacrifice to yourself as a selfish God who demands the adoration and acclamation of others.

Are you willing to take the place of God by demanding this false worship?