Friday, August 13, 2021

Why Should We Forgive?

Friday, August 13, 2021 


Have you ever felt that there is something very sweet about holding a grudge? The ability to withhold forgiveness and indulge in self-righteous feelings is a heady power. God is a God of justice. Wrongs should be righted. And we deserve to feel contempt for those who have wrong or hurt us. Except that is all a lie. Refusing to forgive doesn’t in any way grant us power, instead, it enslaves us to sin. And feeling contempt for others very rarely makes a significant difference in their lives. Absolute no good whatsoever comes from refusing to forgive. That’s is why Jesus said we are to forgive one another seventy time seven (Matthew 18:22). We should forgive to the degree that it becomes second nature to us - almost an automatic kind of response when someone offends us.


God gives us two very good reasons in Scripture for why we should forgive. First, God commands us to forgive others. God forgave us in that while we were yet sinners, His enemies, (Romans 5:10), and we should do likewise to one another. Second, those who do not forgive others indicate that they themselves should not be forgiven because a truly regenerate heat is a forgiving heart (Matthew 6:14-15). Jesus said, ”Freely you have received, freely give”.  I remember something my Godly grandfather, once said, “Whatever is down in the well is gonna come-up in the bucket”.  If we are filled with resentment and bitterness, we are going to exhibit , the “works of the flesh,” not the “fruit of the Spirit” which is the evidence of true salvation ( Galatians 5:19-23).


Most importantly, when we disobey one of God’s commands, such as the command to forgive, we sin against Him. He say’s to us, “if you cannot forgive you cannot be forgiven”. In refusing to forgive another person, we sin against that person but also against God. We also become attached and a slave to that person. God puts our transgressions from Him as far as the east is from the west (Psalms 103:12). God wants and expects us to extend the same grace we received from Him to others. When we do not, we dam up the river of God’s forgiveness. Remember the parable of  the unforgiving servant (Matthew 18:23-35), in it he gives us this truth, clearly. The servant had been forgiven a debt a massive debt - symbolizing the debt of sin we owe to God - then he, the servant, refuses to forgive a minor debt of a friend. The lesson of the parable is that if God’s forgiveness toward us in limitless, so should be ours be limitless toward others (Luke17:3-4).


PRAYER: “Lord forgives us our debts as we forgive our debtors…”

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