And an easy way to measure our growth as believers:
Forgive someone because Jesus tells us to.
Try it! You will come to like it.
"If you love me, you will obey what I command."
"If anyone loves me, they will obey my teaching."
And the test:
"Why do you call me 'Lord, Lord' and do not do what I say?"
"Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid."
Lord, lead us into that great adventure of forgiveness!
Our willingness to forgive is the measure of our devotion to the Lord. It cuts away all excuses.
Forgiveness is perhaps the most powerful means of spreading the gospel. Who better to show to someone the love of God in Jesus than the one they have hurt the most? Forgiveness is not so much something we do because we feel like it or because we work ourselves up into some 'spiritual' state. It is an act of active and continual obedience.
How often are we to forgive?
"Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, 'Lord, how many times shall I forgive by brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?'
"Jesus answered, 'I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.' "
"But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful."