“If you forgive those who sin against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you. But if you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins.” Matthew 6:14-15
Forgiveness is the keystone to Christian belief. Without forgiveness it is just another religion among the many religions of the world. God forgives those who ask for it with a pure and sincere heart. God knows a heart’s motivation. He knows if the one seeking forgiveness is sincere in his or her desire to truly change their ways and follow a different path. That’s what forgiveness really is, not just a slate wiped clean, but also the impetus to change. The Spirit’s entrance into our lives confirms our being forgiven and should spark a personal revival in our soul. To continue down the same path that leads to destruction is to not fully understand the nature of God’s forgiveness.
There are those in our lives who we need to forgive. We need to forgive them as Christ forgave us: unconditionally, mercifully, graciously and lovingly. To not forgive others is to ignore what God’s forgiveness really means. If He can forgive you, then who are you not to forgive another? We are no better than the next person. Neither are we any worse. God sees us equally; equally in need of redemption. No one is exempt. All are in need of forgiveness. We must not hold another’s sin over their head. Forgive, for to not forgive enslaves you, not them. We forgive for our sake more then the one we are forgiving and we become a little freer when we do.
People are going to slip up from time to time. It is their reaction to that slip up that reveals the character change that has taken place. The difference lies in whether their sin is habitual or a singular event in time. We are to receive forgiveness from the Lord and then turn our back on that sin, make a 180-degree turn as it were, and walk off in the direction God has prescribed. Don’t get yourself caught up in a web of bitterness and angst; forgive freely as you have been forgiven. The person that benefits the most will be you. Until next time, walk with the King and be a blessing!NOTE: The NEW LIVING TRANSLATION has been used for today’s text and is published by Tyndale House.