Daily Devotionals

The Relationship Playbook: Week 2 - Friday

He does not punish us for all our sins; He does not deal harshly with us, as we deserve. Psalm 103:10

Who is that person in your life who constantly offers you forgiveness, even when you do not deserve it? For me, it is my sister. When I do something that hurts her, she graciously forgives me every single time. Sometimes I have a hard time asking people for forgiveness because I like to avoid conflict, and I do not know how they are going to respond. With my sister, it is easy to apologize because I am confident that she is going to be quick and gracious to offer forgiveness. Why? Because I know she is not going anywhere. She has proved this time and time again that she cares more about our relationship than any fight or disagreement we might have. I hope she would say the same about me. Who is that person for you? Who consistently shows you forgiveness, time, and time again? There is hardly anything so impactful as being the recipient of undeserved forgiveness. It changes us for the better. While I am certain that all of us want to receive forgiveness 100% of the time, extending forgiveness is difficult to do. For many of us, asking for forgiveness is much easier than offering forgiveness. While this is true, Scripture teaches us that, because of God's forgiveness, we should be quick to extend forgiveness to others.

Psalms 103 is a prayer of praise to God for everything that He has done for us. "Let all that I am praise the Lord; with my whole heart, I will praise His holy name," the author writes (verse 1). Then, he explains why he will praise God. He is forgiving, the Psalmist writes. He treats us better than we ever deserve to be treated. "He has removed our sins as far from us as the east is from the west" (verse 12). Truly, God has been far more gracious and far more compassionate and far more merciful than we deserve. He deserves all of our praise for this. Along with our praise, we find in Ephesians 4:33 that there is something else we are called in Scripture to do as a result of God's forgiveness: forgive others just like God has forgiven us.

When you think about the relationships with those close to you, are you offering the same forgiveness that God has shown you, or are you one who tends to hold on to your grudges instead of offering forgiveness? My friend, if you have received the forgiveness of God, your challenge today is to offer that same kind of forgiveness to those people in your life. Yes, even the people who are difficult to forgive, whether that is your spouse, your family member, your coworker, or your friend. Let's be people who, out of the forgiveness we have received from God, are quick to forgive others.

*Please note that forgiveness does not mean condoning or tolerating any abusive behavior. If you find yourself in such a situation, please seek help immediately.

Moving Toward Action

Our challenge today is simple, although perhaps incredibly difficult. Forgive someone today, whether it is your spouse, your friend, your family member, or a coworker. Whomever that person, let go of the anger you are feeling towards them and, out of the forgiveness God has shown you, extend forgiveness instead. When this happens, our relationships will be completely transformed.

Going Deeper

Read Psalm 103:1-22 (NLT)

Let all that I am praise the Lord;
    with my whole heart, I will praise his holy name.
Let all that I am praise the Lord;
    may I never forget the good things he does for me.
He forgives all my sins
    and heals all my diseases.
He redeems me from death
    and crowns me with love and tender mercies.
He fills my life with good things.
    My youth is renewed like the eagle’s!

The Lord gives righteousness
    and justice to all who are treated unfairly.

He revealed his character to Moses
    and his deeds to the people of Israel.
The Lord is compassionate and merciful,
    slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love.
He will not constantly accuse us,
    nor remain angry forever.
He does not punish us for all our sins;
    he does not deal harshly with us, as we deserve.
For his unfailing love toward those who fear him
    is as great as the height of the heavens above the earth.
He has removed our sins as far from us
    as the east is from the west.
The Lord is like a father to his children,
    tender and compassionate to those who fear him.
For he knows how weak we are;
    he remembers we are only dust.
Our days on earth are like grass;
    like wildflowers, we bloom and die.
The wind blows, and we are gone—
    as though we had never been here.
But the love of the Lord remains forever
    with those who fear him.
His salvation extends to the children’s children
    of those who are faithful to his covenant,
    of those who obey his commandments!

The Lord has made the heavens his throne;
    from there he rules over everything.

Praise the Lord, you angels,
    you mighty ones who carry out his plans,
    listening for each of his commands.
Yes, praise the Lord, you armies of angels
    who serve him and do his will!
Praise the Lord, everything he has created,
    everything in all his kingdom.

Let all that I am praise the Lord.