And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you. —Ephesians 4:32
God requires two things from us: to condemn ourselves for our sins and to forgive others. The former is for the sake of the latter. For those who consider their own sins are more lenient toward their fellow-servants. It’s easier, then, to forgive from the heart and not merely with the lips.
Therefore, don’t thrust the sword into yourself by being revengeful. For how does the grief you have been afflicted with compare to the ones you will face by remaining angry and bringing on God’s condemnation? If you are careful, and keep yourself under control, the evil will come upon the head of your afflictors. They will suffer harm. But if you continue to be indignant and displeased, then you will suffer harm from yourself…. See how much you gain by meekly bearing the spite of your enemies. First and greatest, you gain deliverance from sins. Secondly, strength and patience. Thirdly, gentleness and goodness. For those who don’t know how to be angry with their afflictors that grieve them will be much readier to serve those that love them. Fourthly, you will always be free from anger. Nothing can equal this. For those who are free from anger are clearly delivered from discouragement too. They won’t spend their lives on useless burdens and sorrows….
They will enjoy pleasure and ten thousand blessings.
All Scripture references are taken from the Holy Bible, King James Version. Excerpts from the early Church Fathers are in the public domain, but were organized and arranged for daily reading in Day by Day with the Early Church Fathers, © 1999 by Hendrickson Publishers, Peabody, Massachusetts. (No longer in print). Used by permission and in accordance with sections 3.3, 3.4, and 3.5 of Hendrickson’s “Rights and Permissions”. All rights reserved.
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