THE FREEDOM OF FORGIVENESS
HH, Sir Godfrey Gregg D.Div
Scripture: Matthew 6: 14-15
For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.
But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.
Thought for Today: Are the words “I forgive you” in your heart? Are those words followed by “will you forgive me”?
Forgiveness is at the heart of God’s love for you. He demonstrated His unfailing love when Christ gave His life and shed His blood to forgive your sins and mine. When you confess your sin, Christ is faithful and just to forgive you of your sin permanently. He never remembers that sin again. Having received this great forgiveness from Christ, why do we have such a difficult time forgiving the people in our life? Do you find yourself holding on to something someone said that offended you? Are you angry with a family member or friend who did something that hurt you? Are you harbouring unforgiveness against a co-worker or manager because of the way they mistreated you? Think about these and other examples of unforgiveness that you are harbouring in your heart.
The devil wants you to believe the lie that by refusing to forgive the people in your life who have hurt you, you punish them. Just the opposite is true, you are the one who is hurt emotionally and spiritually. In the verses following the Lord’s Prayer, Jesus teaches us that God, The Father will not forgive you of your sins if you do not forgive other people who have sinned against you. Can you imagine The Father turning a deaf ear to your prayers and holding your sins against you because of your stubborn refusal to forgive the other person?
Jesus cried out on the cross, “Father forgive them for they know not what they do”. As He hung on the cross dying, Jesus asked the Father to forgive those who put Him to death and did not understand the full extent of their sins against Him. Those who offend you often do not know the extent of their actions and how they have affected you. By refusing to forgive, you carry unnecessary weight and burden in your heart and mind because of your refusal to release the other person from the debt you believe they owe you. To forgive a person is a choice you must make. When you choose to forgive, it opens you, it frees you, it lifts you, it matures you and gives you peace. Through forgiveness, you mature to become a true disciple of Jesus Christ. Learn to confess your trespasses and pray for others and allow them to do the same with you. Forgive as Christ has forgiven you.
It’s Time to Pray: Forgiving Father and God, please forgive me of my many sins, faults and weaknesses. I need your forgiveness. Teach me how to love and forgive others as you have forgiven me. I come to You burdened and need your help. Once I have forgiven them, give me the desire to release them from the offence and move forward. Deposit your Word in my heart so that forgiveness is part of the way I live for you. In these times I cannot live without you and I am dependant on You Lord.