As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath. But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved.
— Ephesians 2:1–5
For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
— Romans 6:23
Are some wrongs too big to forgive?
Remember yesterday’s story about the unmerciful servant who refused to forgive his fellow servant, even after he had been forgiven an enormous debt? The Bible says that we, too, have been greatly forgiven.
According to Ephesians 2:1–5, before coming to Christ, we were dead in our transgressions (our wrongdoing against God). Not just wrong, not just embarrassed, not just guilty. Dead. This is because the wages of sin is death, according to Romans 6:23. And because of this sin, we deserve God’s wrath — His ultimate judgment — by our very nature.
But God loves us so much that He made us alive in Christ. We no longer have to receive the harsh penalty that our debt deserves but can be set free from the terrible consequences of our actions. Not only that, but we can be seated with Christ in the heavenly places to enjoy the privileges of being in God’s family for all eternity. Talk about a change in destiny! All because the Master chose to forgive us a debt we could not pay back.
Now, let’s consider the person that you need to forgive and set it against the backdrop of what you have been forgiven for. How do those two compare? I guess whatever was done to you is small compared to what has been forgiven you. Notice I didn’t say it was small itself. An elephant is large unless we compare it to a blue whale or the Milky Way galaxy. The terms “large” or “small” are all about perspective.
Jesus calls us to forgive because, in His eyes, nothing is too big to outweigh the forgiveness we have already received by God’s grace. Even the “large” wrongs done against us are small by comparison, even when they don’t feel small. This is why forgiveness isn’t based on a feeling but on truth.
Tomorrow we’ll learn more about how to take this truth and turn it into forgiveness, even when we don’t feel like it.