Session 8

Why should I forgive?

From Luke: A 24-Day Devotional

Read

Luke 23

At the darkest hour of Christ's life, His prayers still focused on forgiveness for the lost. When pain and separation from His Father were weighing down on Him, to the point of death, He never lost sight of His purpose.

While He was being crucified, “Jesus said, ‘Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing’” (Luke 23:34). The declaration of their need for forgiveness makes it clear that they were guilty, despite their ignorance. Some sins we willingly and rebelliously commit; others we are entirely unaware of. Regardless of what motivates sin, we are still indebted sinners, hopelessly lost unless we receive Jesus’ forgiveness.

Once we receive that forgiveness, Jesus says to forgive others (Matthew 6:14-15). It's easy to cling to our pain and hold it up as evidence as to why we should remain unforgiving. But, Jesus’ example on the cross allows no room to nurse grudges.

If we don't yield our pain to Jesus and follow His example, the hurts that we hold onto may become permanently attached to our hearts. Over time, unaddressed pain will likely give way to anger, which grows into a grudge, which develops into an unforgiving spirit.

When someone intentionally wounds us, we are offered the beautiful opportunity to share in Christ's sufferings. But, the Bible dictates how we should respond to those sufferings: die to self and offer the same forgiveness we've been shown.

Reflect:

  • Do you see pain as an opportunity to share in Christ's sufferings or a reason to hold a grudge? Why is that?
  • Is there someone who comes to mind when you read about forgiveness? Why not accept or extend that forgiveness today?
  • What step do you need to take toward forgiveness today? Ask Jesus to heal your hurt and give you the courage to forgive.

8 of 24

Devotionals From This Study

to Discover More

Session 1

How to make investments that last

The Bible describes two kinds of wealth. The first kind of wealth is used to buy and build houses, buy cars, go on vacation, get clothes,...

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Session 2

Instead of being quick to blame, be quick to thank

Americans are quick to blame others for our problems. We blame McDonald’s for our obesity. We blame Mountain Dew for our cavities. We bla...

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Session 3

How to know what you worship

Throughout the Bible, we see God’s people worshipping someone or something other than God. From the Israelites who worshipped Baal (1 Ki...

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Session 4

Jesus wants you as you are

Zacchaeus, the hated tax collector, wanted to see Jesus but couldn’t see over the crowd. So, he climbed up in a sycamore tree so he could...

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Session 5

What will relationships be like in heaven?

What happens when we die? How does this question make you feel? For many, it can evoke a sense of uncertainty and fear. In our desperate ...

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Session 6

What does Jesus want from me?

The widow gave everything—all she had to live on. Others gave a portion of their wealth. She gave all, out of her poverty. She could have...

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Session 7

How to be the greatest

Pride is a powerful force, perhaps more destructive than any other. The desire to elevate ourselves above others can drive us to do crazy...

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Session 8

Why should I forgive?

At the darkest hour of Christ’s life, His prayers still focused on forgiveness for the lost. When pain and separation from His Father wer...

Read Devotional

Session 9

Jesus meets us where we are

Have you ever felt like God let you down? Extreme disappointment can make us bitter and reluctant to hope for anything again. Proverbs 13...

Read Devotional

Session 10

You are never too weak to make a difference

How often have you caught yourself saying (or thinking), "I couldn’t possibly" or "God would never ask someone like me to do something li...

Read Devotional

Session 11

Obedience isn’t always easy

Obeying God is easier on some days than others. Maybe you feel like something or someone is disrupting your attempts to follow God, makin...

Read Devotional

Session 12

Where your family tree begins matters more than where it ends

A family tree shows family relationships throughout generations. Digging into your family history might reveal that you are related to pr...

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Session 13

The most powerful speaker to ever live

In school, we learn about great orators in history. People like Abraham Lincoln, Winston Churchill, and Martin Luther King Jr. who used w...

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Session 14

What it means to be made new

New. This word sells everything from dish soap to identity. No wonder we miss the magnitude of its meaning. New isn’t old plus something....

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Session 15

Following Jesus doesn’t always make friends

“Blessed are you when people hate you, and when they exclude you, and insult you and reject your name as evil, because of the Son of Man....

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Session 16

What do you think you’re entitled to?

If you feel entitled, you believe that your possession of one thing gives you the right or privilege to something else. For instance, “Th...

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Session 17

What do your actions say about who you are?

One day as Jesus was teaching to a large gathering of people, His mother and brothers tried to make their way through the crowd, but coul...

Read Devotional

Session 18

Who do you say Jesus is?

Jesus got alone with His disciples after a day full of ministering and serving. After Jesus spoke to His Father in prayer, He began to qu...

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Session 19

Busyness can cost you the best part of living

The Duck Dynasty picture of growing up in the South wasn’t far from the truth for a lot of us. Grandma thrived on cooking hearty meals fo...

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Session 20

What Jesus says about how to pray

The disciples asked Jesus to teach them how to pray. He responded by offering a simple model for our prayer time. "He said to them, ’Whe...

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Session 21

Why you don’t have to worry

In Luke 12, Jesus speaks to His disciples about anxiety and fear. Four times, Jesus specifically tells them not to be afraid. His message...

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Session 22

How to not be fake in your faith

Have you ever visited the home of someone who had a thing for decorative plants? Walk in and it’s hard not be impressed by their green t...

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Session 23

Who is in charge of your life?

In Luke 14, the Pharisees’ priorities stand in sharp contrast to Jesus’ transparency and compassion. First, they seat Jesus across from ...

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Session 24

Where to turn when you feel lost

There are so many ways to get lost. Sometimes we think we know where we’re going, but we end up on the wrong side of town altogether. Oth...

Read Devotional

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