"Forgive each other because the Lord forgave you.”
Colossians 3 v 13
Forgiveness is fundamental to the character of God. Throughout the Bible, God is described as slow to anger, abounding in love and forgiving sin Numbers 14 v 18. Jesus was uncompromising in his command to forgive. Forgive, he said, “seventy times seven” Matthew 18 v 21. In other words, forgive and keep on forgiving without limit. Forgiveness was at the heart of everything he did and is at the heart of the Lord’s Prayer. Christian preaching has always put forgiveness at the centre. We forgive because we are forgiven. Paul says: “Be compassionate and kind to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” Ephesians 4 v 32. Forgiveness cannot be given or received unless it is asked for, and the asking must be genuine and from the heart. Too often ‘sorry’ is said very easily, implying: ‘All I need to do is say I’m sorry and everything will be OK’. Real repentance demands that we take what we have done wrong with the utmost seriousness and have a deep desire not to do it again. At All Saints we understand that we all make mistakes, we know how hard it can be to admit and take responsibility for the wrongs things that we do. We talk about the importance of not just saying sorry but ways in which we can show that, and the impact that should have on our future thoughts, words and actions. We recognise that as we all need forgiveness so we must be ready to forgive others and be willing to forget the hurt they have caused us.