Charlotte Bronte penned this inspiring line in my all-time favorite novel, Jane Eyre. I think about this quote often. I aspire for this quote to be fleshed out in my life like it was in Jane’s. The truth of the matter is that this is a constant internal struggle for me. My heart tends to hold on to the hurts inflicted on me, either intentionally or unintentionally, from others. I quickly cry out against others when they are too harsh, too judgmental, or too hypocritical.
When I am the offender, however, I just as quickly excuse my own wrong behavior by saying, “God isn’t finished with me yet.” The inference is that I am a work in progress; I deserve forgiveness because I’m still learning.
I think that tendency is what God had in mind when He penned (through Paul) –
Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ forgave you. -Ephesians 4:32
Just as God through Christ forgave you. The times in which my life has most successfully mirrored Jane Eyre’s words have been those times in which I have remembered that my offender, too, is a work in progress. God isn’t finished with them yet, either. And by offering the same grace that I expect, I am learning how to forgive, just as God through Christ forgave me.
PONDER: Is there someone in your life against whom you are nursing animosity? Are you mentally keeping a register of the wrongs committed against you? Let’s wipe the slate clean today and choose to walk with them in forgiveness, just as God through Christ forgave you.
Forgiving One Another is one of thirty devotionals I’ve written as part of a friend’s devotional project. You can read more short devotionals like this by clicking here or the Devotionals tab at the top of this page.