But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us. — 2 Corinthians 4:7
Everyone knows what it’s like to be disappointed by someone we love or admire. Our husbands, wives, children, or parents sometimes let us down. Our heroes stumble. Our leaders falter. It can devastate us and damage our relationships, because we place high expectations on those we love. Sometimes we forget they are broken people just like we are.
According to 2 Corinthians 4:7, we are all earthen vessels, jugs of clay, easily chipped. The Voice translates 2 Corinthians 4:7 like this:
But this beautiful treasure [the Gospel] is contained in us — cracked pots made of earth and clay — so that the transcendent character of this power will be clearly seen as coming from God and not from us.
God blesses us cracked pots in spite of our sinful, undeserving nature; and high on His list of blessings is forgiveness. As we look to Him alone, He gives us grace (He imparts a million blessings we don’t deserve) and mercy (He withholds a million judgments we do deserve).
If He gives grace and mercy to cracked pots like us, perhaps we need to extend the same to those we love.
Forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. — Matthew 6:12
The Bible is full of people who learned to forgive. Esau is one of the great forgivers in the Bible. His brother, Jacob, had exploited and deceived him, a story of sibling rivalry gone bad. But years later, when the brothers were reunited and Jacob feared his brother would try to kill him, Esau came instead with open arms and a forgiving spirit.
In the same way, Joseph forgave the brothers who had betrayed him. In fact, perhaps he had learned from his uncle Esau how to forgive others. Just as Job forgave the friends who had tormented him, Hosea forgave the wife who had betrayed him.
The prodigal’s father is a picture of parental forgiveness. Stephen forgave his executioners in the last moments of his life. The early Christians forgave Saul of Tarsus for persecuting them and allowed him into their community of believers as the apostle Paul. Philemon forgave Onesimus for robbing him and accepted him as a Christian brother.
And, of course, the greatest master of forgiveness in the Bible is the Lord Jesus Himself who shed His blood to provide redemption and forgiveness of sins.
Is there someone you need to forgive? The Bible says,
And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you. — Ephesians 4:32
Practice being a good forgiver.
Excerpted with permission from Ever Faithful by David Jeremiah, copyright David Jeremiah.
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We are cracked pots. We fail and we sin against others. We disappoint. And yet we are so loved by God. So precious to Him. Let’s extend that blessing to others and forgive as well. Who needs your forgiveness today? Who comes to mind? ~ Devotionals Daily