Forgiving others is saying "I was once like you", and because of this, I can relate and have compassion upon you. I can forgive you because I have been forgiven. In forgiving you, I will give what I have received. We don't always have to know the reasons why people do the things they do but we always know the one who teaches us forgiveness - The Lord Jesus Christ.
The facts are: We have all done things that we are ashamed of and regret. We have all at one time or another gotten off the right path in life and have been led astray. If we say we have not, we are deceived. To say that we have not done this, we lie, because if this were true, if our lives have always been spotless, this would make us equal with Jesus, the spotless and sinless lamb who was slain for our sins.
Too much of the time, we Christians have selective memory. We forget those times in our life before we came to Christ. I know we do this, because we are much too hypocritical towards those that are out of the way - the unsaved.
The Apostle Paul was a very humble person. He talked of his life and what it was like before coming to Christ.
Galatians 1: 13For ye have heard of my conversation in time past in the Jews' religion, how that beyond measure I persecuted the church of God, and wasted it:
Some more on Paul's conversion:
1And Saul, yet breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord, went unto the high priest,
2And desired of him letters to Damascus to the synagogues, that if he found any of this way, whether they were men or women, he might bring them (christians) bound unto Jerusalem.
3And as he journeyed, he came near Damascus: and suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven:
4And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?
Paul persecuted the church of God and caused trouble and pain to Christians in many ways, yet God brought him out of this.
This enabled Paul to extend compassion and forgiveness to others in his life. This is the way it should be with us as well. I don't want to forget what Christ, through the power of the Holy Spirit has brought me out of. If I forget, I will lose my compassion and mercy that I should be showing others I meet in this life.
What is wrong with hypocritical and judgmental Christians today? They suffer from forgetting what Christ pulled them out of. How can you truly be thankful for your life, salvation and truth that God gives if you don't remember where you came from?
I know Christians who say we are to forget all of our past, forget about everything that went on with us before we came to Christ, but I tend to disagree.
I believe that God allows us to remember our past for these very important reasons:
1. So we won't go back to what he brought us out of.
2. To keep us humble.
3. To teach us about forgiveness
4. To give HIM the glory for what we've come out of.
During your life walk, don't neglect to remember what God has brought you out of. His mercy and forgiveness is rich toward us, so let's extend that mercy and forgiveness toward others. Let's all give what we have received from him.