Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you. Ephesians 4:32

I have three children. This is a verse that they all get to practice daily! Being kind and forgiving people doesn't always come easy. I see the hurt on my children's faces as one of them has encountered the wrong end of the other sibling’s anger, frustration or selfishness. There's times I feel their pain and I feel equally frustrated with the other person as they do. But my kids are learning that we don't feel any better when we take revenge or hold grudges. We might have a moments satisfaction but in the long term my kids love each other and actually don't enjoy broken relationship.

As adults we are the same. It is not what we are built for. Jesus has modelled a love that goes beyond anything we can ever imagine but moreover he has given us the capacity to love in this way. His love is not something that we can achieve through perseverance or dutiful obedience. His love is imparted to us through the work of the cross. We receive this love by faith and then choose to walk in it.

My kids don't often feel like choosing forgiveness but whenever they take that step I see the whole countenance on their face change. It's like a sense of peace and wellbeing comes over them. Harmony is restored on the inside and hearts are healed.

God knows what's best for us. He knows the pain forgiveness causes us. There is even a physical toll on our bodies when we withhold forgiveness. But when we allow grace to flow the benefits are huge. We will find ourselves living free and reigning in life.