In his letter to the church at Ephesus, Paul talks about the importance of ridding yourself of bitterness and instead being kind and forgiving towards others. He says, “Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind of one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you” (Ephesians 4:31-32). The word “forgiveness” literally means “to let go” or “to send away.” It refers to a cancellation of debt. In essence, when somebody does you wrong, they are in your debt. So, forgiveness is your willingness to simply write off that debt. Now, there is not a more difficult decision to make in life than to decide to forgive someone. But Paul is making it clear that God took the biggest debt ever incurred, which are the sins of everyone who has ever lived, and let Jesus Christ pay for them and cancel them. Therefore, we must understand that we should be forgiving people because we are forgiven people.
The truth of the matter is, most of us have some type of baggage we carry around with us all the time that we need to lose. This baggage weighs down our relationships with our friends, family, co-workers, and neighbors. It all too often destroys marriages, dissolves friendships, and damages our ability to relate properly to God. But the encouraging news for those of us who are tired of carrying it around is that we can lose our baggage. And not only can we lose our baggage, but we should lose our baggage. As followers of Jesus, we have been called to a higher standard in our relationships with others. We have a witness to maintain. We have a reputation to guard, because we don’t just represent ourselves; we represent the Lord. So, if we are going to represent Him well, we must take the necessary steps to lose our relational baggage.