Costly Forgiveness

Read Together: Romans 5:1–11

As disciples of Jesus, we are called to forgive one another from the heart (Matt 18:35). We are to have hearts of mercy and forgiveness. But how do we actually get to this kind of heart-attitude? We start by returning again and again to God’s mercy toward us. We show mercy as those who have experienced God’s mercy. We forgive as those who have been forgiven more than we can comprehend.

Romans 5:1–11 can help us consider afresh just how much God has loved us and forgiven us. By the Spirit, the Father has poured his love into our hearts through the work of Jesus. Jesus died for God’s enemies (us!) so that we might be forgiven. This forgiveness was not cheap. It cost the death of God’s Son, and it displays the depths of God’s love. How can we who have experienced such costly love be stingy with our forgiveness?

Discussion Questions

1.    What does Romans 5:1–11 teach us about God’s love?

2.    How does God’s love transform our attitude toward others?

3.    When have you have seen someone show costly love for a person who didn’t deserve it?

Ideas for Younger Kids

  • Read “Debts and Debtors” in The Biggest Story Bible Storybook (pages 380–83). Discuss with your children God’s forgiveness of our sins and how we should forgive one another.

Memorization: “Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.” (Ephesians 4:32)

Song: Listen to “His Mercy Is More” (Matt Boswell).

Pray Together

Focus your prayer time together on the following areas:

  • Praise the Lord for his abundant mercy toward us in Jesus!
  • Confess before God the unforgiving spirit that can take over our hearts.  
  • Pray that God would help us to experience his mercy more deeply and learn to forgive others from the heart.

Go Together

  • Take some time this week to consider where you might be harboring unforgiveness in your heart. Take it to the Lord and reflect on how much he has forgiven you. Then begin to take steps toward forgiveness. If your situation is especially difficult and the hurt especially deep, we encourage you to seek out another mature believer to walk with you in this process to provide wisdom and encouragement as you seek to forgive the person who wronged you.

If you have any questions, comments, or ideas related to this Family Faith Talk guide or future guides, please let us know by leaving a comment!

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