What is it that separates Christians from the world? There are several answers to this question, namely a unity with the Lord. However, there is another one that is of key importance: the Christian’s forgiving attitude. The New Testament illuminates the fact that Christians are to have a peaceable attitude. (Phil. 2:14-15) More to the point, Christians are to be of the same mind as Christ. (Phil 2:5) This means we are to show love to everyone, even those who have done us wrong. Easier said than done, right?
Consider this though, while Jesus was preaching His famed sermon on the mount, He taught them that: 1. They shouldn’t return evil with evil (Matt 5:38-42) and 2. They should love even their enemies. (Matt 5:43-48). This mindset was important to Jesus. It was important for Him to address it and teach that we should love, bless, and do good to even those who hate us.
Forgiveness is an important quality that all Christians must have. In Mark 11:25-26 Jesus taught that when we pray, we should forgive anything we have against someone. This trait is not easily developed but it is another quality that we should be practicing. (Phil 4:9) As Jesus was encouraging those hearing Him during that sermon on the mount, He called them to be perfect. (Matt 5:48) This is something that God’s people have always been called to. Be perfect as God is perfect. That is something that we will never attain. Paul himself realized his own imprecations but he strived to reach that goal. (Phil 3:13-14) We must strive to be more forgiving as Christians. We must strive for perfection.