Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.
Ephesians 4:32 NIV
Forgiven and Forgiving
As one of the founding members of the Paris Club, an informal group of creditor countries, Canada has been providing bilateral debt relief to debtor countries since 1956. Since 1999, Canada has been committed to forgiving some of those debt relief loans. Côte d’Ivoire became the latest country to receive debt relief from Canada when Canada cancelled all of its outstanding debt (approximately $130 million) in August 2012. To date, Canada as forgiven the debts of 15 countries.
I watched a very moving news report the other day. The son of recent immigrants to Canada had been murdered. It was determined to be a hate crime – the young man was killed because of his race and religion. At the trial, the father of the murdered young man stood up and walked over the man who killed his son, hugged him and forgave him. It was a profoundly moving moment. It struck me that this is exactly what Jesus called His people to offer. And of all people, we should lead the way in offering forgiveness – we have experienced the forgiveness that Jesus has provided by His death on the Cross – and He provided that forgiveness freely, because He loves us. Paul writes this in Ephesians 4:32: “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” We don’t have a choice – we who are forgiven are commanded to forgive. It isn’t always easy – the father of the murdered young man couldn’t have found forgiving his son’s killer easy. After all, it wasn’t easy for God to send His Son, or for Jesus to die in our place. Forgive others today – it will set both of you free.
These have been words from the heart.