“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, NKJV.
Take a moment to observe the picture of the flower below. Does it look alive and vibrant? Not at all. It looks like all of the life has been drained from it. That is what unforgiveness does to us. It is a sin that separates us from the Source of life, which is God. It puts a complete halt on everything, because until we can forgive them, He can’t forgive us.
Many of us know this, yet we hold on to unforgiveness anyway, knowing the spiritual, physical and emotional damage it causes us. We say, “What they did to me was far worse than anything I’ve ever done to anyone!” We say in anger, “It’s easy for you to say forgive them, but you don’t know what they did!” Or we say, “I could never forgive them. I’ll take it to my grave.” Jesus’ response to our reasoning is, “But what did I forgive you of? Haven’t I shown you mercy and love when you don’t deserve it.”
Our righteousness is as filthy rags to Him. None of us deserved His love and mercy. Yet He poured it out on us so freely and forgave us of all our sin–past, present, and future. We were made clean with the blood of Jesus and made holy before Him. Now, He says, forgive them as I have forgiven you. Show them the same mercy that I’ve shown you.
We may have a choice to be unforgiving, but we don’t have a right, especially when God has forgiven us of so much. We may not have done what they’ve done, but to God, sin is sin.
Choose to forgive and live.
Prayer: Father God, I’m sorry for being unforgiving. I’m so sorry for not showing others the same mercy and love you’ve shown me. I humble myself right now under your mighty hand and I ask you to help me do what your Word is requiring of me to do. I may have a choice to hold on to my anger and unforgiveness, but Lord I don’t have a right when you’ve forgiven me and showed me so much mercy over the course of my life. Thank you for your mercy towards me. Help me to give your mercy away freely, without apologies being needed or even their remorse. Help me Lord to forgive and live. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
(Read Matthew 10:8)