Here's a Bible verse for you to chew on today: I pray that you may be active in sharing your faith, so that you will have a full understanding of every good thing we have in Christ. Philemon, verse six.
It has been said that the six hardest words to say are: "I was wrong. Please forgive me."
Many find it difficult to say these four words in return: "Yes, I forgive you."
One of the lessons the little letter of Philemon can teach us is the importance of practicing forgiveness.
I call it "practicing" because a forgiving nature doesn't come easily.
We can be hurt by the wrongs committed against us. We might suffer loss. We might feel pain. We can be abandoned. Our reputation might take an unjust hit.
The person inflicting such damage may come to their senses. With sincerity of heart they approach you to seek reconciliation. They speak to you the six hardest words to say. They ask for forgiveness. How do you respond?
One thing you can do is to remember "every good thing (you) have in Christ." You remember the humiliation of Christ: His immaculate conception and humble birth; His unjust suffering and His cruel death and burial. You think of the price your Savior God paid so that you might receive forgiveness for the wrongs you've committed against the Holy God. You remember the grace of God in your own life. You think on how the resurrected Christ reached out to those who failed Him during His passion. Then, through the power of the Holy Spirit, you extend grace to the person who seeks forgiveness from you.
Reconciliation takes place between you and a friend, just as it did between Philemon and Onesimus.
Grab some time today and read Paul's letter to Philemon. Check it out and let the forgiving love of your Savior heal your hurts and give you strength to extend God's grace to others.