“If you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you” Matthew 6:14
Jesus told a parable about an unforgiving servant (Matt. 18:23-34). The servant owed his master a large amount of money. Unable to pay, he begged for mercy. The master was moved with compassion and forgave him the entire debt. However, when the servant whose debt had been forgiven came upon one of his fellow servants, a man who owed him money, he was unforgiving. Though the second servant also begged for mercy, the first servant demanded to be paid. The first servant had received forgiveness from his master but was unwilling to extend forgiveness to others. How often are we like him? We repent and and ask for mercy and forgiveness from God but hold grudges against our fellow man. We have to remember that we are one body in Christ with many members. For us to function properly in God’s kingdom, we must be bound together by love. But unforgiveness causes disunity, anger, bitterness and resentment-hardly the fruit of love. Unforgiveness also hinders the other person as well as ourselves. John 20:23 says, “If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.” When you forgave someone they are set free to do the right thing.
I encourage you today to discover the importance and the power of forgiveness for yourself. If you are holding ought against anyone, forgive him or her right now, no matter how small or large the offense. Put yourself in a position to receive God’s forgiveness for yourself, and release the other person to respond as God intends. God promises to reward your obedience. Deut. 28:1-14 Ask the Lord to bring to mind any unforgiveness or bitterness you may be harboring. Choose to forgive and release the bitterness. Pray for those who have hurt you and bless those who have persecuted you. Matt. 6:14-15
God loves you and wants to forgive you but first you must forgive!
“Lord, we pray for forgiveness of our sins, and we ask that you will guide us in forgiving those that have sinned against us. Let our hearts be like Christ’s and let us look at others as Christ did and give them forgiveness.” – Amen