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Forgiving When You Don’t Want To


Philemon 1

In the book of Philemon, Paul is making an appeal to a friend. Onesimus had created a debt, a relationship gap between himself and Philemon, and now Paul was asking Philemon to forgive Onesimus and accept him.

It couldn’t have been easy to be Philemon at this point, regardless of what Onesimus did.

It’s God’s grace that gives us freedom to love people even when we know they’ve done wrong. When we can remember our past and how we aren’t enslaved by it anymore, it becomes easier for our hearts to assume the best of other people and to give them grace.

All of us were born sinful and prone to unforgiveness, which keeps us from loving each other as well as we could. Unforgiveness is sin, and sin severs our hearts from goodness and hope.

The good news is, because of Jesus and what He did on the cross, we have grace. Grace is the unmerited favor of God. Grace takes us from our position as sinners and places us in a new role as God’s children. No longer the men and women we once were, we become a reflection of Jesus rather than the reminders of our shortcomings.

When we accept God’s grace and understand that He loves us where we are, we don’t have to grow weary fighting for His attention. We can trust that God is good and comes through on all of His promises. We can accept the little extra nuggets of goodness and favor without guilt.


  • Is there anyone in your past that you find it difficult to forgive?
  • What is one example of God’s grace in your life this week?
  • What’s one way you can extend grace to the people around you today?

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