Forgiveness Made Easy 10
By Charles H. Spurgeon.
"Forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you."—Ephesians 4:32.
Now, if you have drank into the spirit of our subject you will be strengthened to bear what I have to say to you upon a point of practice. "FORGIVING ONE ANOTHER, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you."
"Forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you." Now observe how the apostle puts it. Does he say "forgiving another"? No, that is not the text, if you look at it. It is "forgiving, one another." One another! Ah, then that means that if you have to forgive today, it is very likely that you will yourself need to be forgiven tomorrow for it is "forgiving one another." It is turn and turnabout, a mutual operation, a co-operative service. In fact, it is a joint-stock business of mutual forgiveness, and members of Christian churches should take large shares in this concern.
"Forgiving one another." You forgive me, and I forgive you, and we forgive them, and they forgive us, and so a circle of unlimited forbearance and love goes round the world. There is something wrong about me that needs to be forgiven by my brother, but there is also something wrong about my brother which needs to be forgiven by me, and this is what the apostle means—that we are all of us mutually to be exercising the sacred art and mystery of forgiving one another. If we always did this we should not endure those who have a special faculty for spying out faults.
There are some who, whatever church they are in, always bring an ill report of it. I have heard this sort of thing from many—"There is no love among Christians at all." I will tell you the character of the gentleman who makes that observation; he is both unloving and unlovely, and so he is out of the track of the pilgrims of love.
Another cries, "There is no sincerity in the world now." That man is a hypocrite: be you quite sure of that. Judge a bird by its song, and a man by his utterance. The censorious measure our corn, but they use their own bushels. You may know very well what a man is by what he says of others. It is a gauge of character which very seldom will deceive you, to judge other men by their own judgment of their fellows. Their speech betrays their heart.
Show me your tongue, sir! Now I know whether you are sick or well. He that speaks with an ill tongue of his neighbor hath an ill heart; rest assured of that. Let us begin our Christian career with the full assurance that we shall have a great deal to forgive in other people, but that there will be a great deal more to be forgiven in ourselves, and let us set our account upon having to exercise gentleness, and needing its exercise from others, "Forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you."