Bearing grudges, looking for revenge and harbouring antagonistic feelings are all things that we so easily do, forgetting that we regularly pray ‘forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us’. We need to forgive – and we need to be forgiven.
I like the idea of the church as a ‘community of the forgiven’. Steven Croft reminds us to take this seriously in his Jesus’ People: What the Church should do next. He writes (p. 35) – The Church is, by definition, the community of the forgiven. As long as we are mindful of how much God has forgiven us, it will not be difficult to be merciful to one another and, indeed, to those outside the community. In so far as we forget and choose to ignore God’s grace and forgiveness in our own lives, our hearts begin to harden towards others very rapidly.
Quite! How forgiving are we?