“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.” Luke 2:14
“It is natural for human beings to speak sharp words. Those who yield to this inclination open the door for Satan to enter their hearts and to make them quick to remember the mistakes and errors of others. Their failings are dwelt upon, their deficiencies noted, and words are spoken that cause a lack of confidence in one who is doing his best to fulfill his duty as a laborer together with God….
He who is unforgiving, cuts off the very channel through which alone he can receive mercy from God. We should not think that unless those who have injured us confess the wrong, we are justified in withholding from them our forgiveness. It is their part, no doubt, to humble their hearts by repentance and confession; but we are to have a spirit of compassion toward those who have trespassed against us, whether or not they confess their faults. However sorely they may have wounded us, we are not to cherish our grievances, and sympathize with ourselves over our injuries; but as we hope to be pardoned for our offenses against God, we are to pardon all who have done evil to us.
In the scripture it is written: “Then came Peter to Him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Till seven times? Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, until seven times: but, until seventy times seven.” Matt. 18:21-22.
Jesus, suffering and dying, heard every word as the priests declared, “He saved others; Himself He cannot save. Let Christ the King of Israel descend now from the cross, that we may see and believe.” Christ could have come down from the cross. But it is because He would not save Himself that the sinner has hope of pardon and favor with God….
The spotless Son of God hung upon the cross, His flesh lacerated with stripes; those hands so often reached out in blessing, nailed to the wooden bars; those feet so tireless on ministries of love, spiked to the tree; that royal head pierced by the crown of thorns; those quivering lips shaped to the cry of woe. And all that He endured — the blood drops that flowed from His head, His hands, His feet, the agony that racked His frame, and the unutterable anguish that filled His soul at the hiding of His Father’s face — speaks to each child of humanity, declaring, it is for thee that the Son of God consents to bear this burden of guilt; for thee He spoils the domain of death, and opens the gates of Paradise….
Jesus teaches that we can receive forgiveness from God only as we forgive others. It is the love of God that draws us unto Him, and that love cannot touch our hearts without creating love for our brethren.” Following The Lamp p.13
AH 441.2, 1TG No. 14:11, DA 749.1, DA 755.1, MB 113.2