November 3, 2021

Loves’ Empathetic Forgiveness

Written by Boyd Bailey

Heartfelt forgiveness opens the door of pride’s prison and releases the offender and the one offended.”

Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – November 3, 2021

Father, forgive these people, Jesus said, for they don’t know what they are doing. Luke 23:34

Remarkably, at His lowest point—Jesus expresses His highest degree of empathy. Though a victim of mob violence, the meek and lowly One refrains from calling on an army of angels to make things right, but instead intercedes on behalf of these mindless actions, an insurrection of injustices. Having forgotten the miracles of healing, feeding, silencing storms and casting out demons—the fear driven crowd sought to crush the Savior of the world. Those with the power to release love chose to free a criminal and in his place convict an innocent man. Not just any man, but the man who was fully God. As the created ones groaned and growled, their Creator forgave. Though needing ministry—Jesus ministered to His ignorant enemies by praying to His heavenly Father to forgive them for their flesh fueled actions. Love forgives—to the utmost! 

With passionate pleas, Charles Spurgeon brings the words of Jesus alive to arrest the soul: 

“Father, oh! forgive them.” What love is this! One would suppose that the pain which He then felt might have distracted His mind from others, and His prayer might have been for Himself, that patience might be given, that strength might be sustained, but no, oblivious of Himself, His only care is still for those He seeks—the sinful sons of men. Just as an arrow from a bow shot forth with such force that it speeds onward to its target, His whole strength and soul speeds onward to the mark of the salvation of the sons of men. One thing, one thing only, does He do—He seeks still their good, and I say again, if not now by active ministering to them, yet by ministering for them, He prays “Father, forgive them.

As a follower of Jesus, I know in my head I am to perpetually forgive, but this truth does not always migrate to my heart. It is a struggle to be patient with, much less pardon, those who are reckless with their words and angry in their attitude. My heartfelt forgiveness does not catch up with my head knowledge until I truly take to heart the depth and breadth of God’s forgiveness. “In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace” (Ephesians 1:7).

Christ’s clemency on the cross for mankind is unconditional for all who believe. “Everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name” (Acts 10:43). The reminder that we are sinners saved by grace grows humility and dismisses pride. Indeed, a prideless person is able to offer perpetual forgiveness to offenders.

However, those who behave like they are unforgiven (by their unmerciful actions) will be treated as if they were unforgiven by their heavenly Father. A more-severe judgment awaits followers of Christ who withhold the grace and forgiveness they have received from God. True forgiveness offers a permanent pardon, not a temporary reprieve. 

Have you been treated unjustly and accused unfairly? Has someone you really respected let you down? Has a friend gossiped about you, or has a church member lied to you? If you stay stuck in self-pity and anger, you will miss an opportunity to model mercy, grace, and forgiveness. Jesus says it is easy to love those who love us; even the world does this.

“Do to others as you would have them do to you. If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even ‘sinners’ love those who love them. And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even ‘sinners’ do that” (Luke 6:31–33). Thus, heartfelt forgiveness goes the extra mile to extend grace to the undeserving. 

By God’s grace grant bold forgiveness to bad deeds against you and your family. Let go of the emotional debt another owes you, who can never repay you. Heartfelt forgiveness opens the door of pride’s prison and releases the offender and the one offended. Extend Jesus’ gift of perpetual forgiveness, and enjoy its freedom forever. 

“For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more” (Hebrews 8:12).


Heavenly Father, I am so grateful for Your great forgiveness of me. Grow my capacity to forgive others in Your generous way, through Christ’s love and in Jesus’ name, amen.


Is my forgiveness of others heartfelt and Christ centered?

Related Reading

Numbers 14:19; Matthew 18:35; Luke 7:47

Worship Resource

Elevation Worship & Maverick City: Mercy


If you are blessed by these daily devotionals please prayerfully consider a donation to support Wisdom Hunters Resources. We are trusting the Lord for His provision.

Learn how to help.

Download our app!


Recent Posts