For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses. ~Matthew 6:14-15
All of us know that the starting and keeping of relationships is a give-and-take on the part of everyone in the process. The more we get to know people, the more we see their faults and weaknesses. As we interact and work together, it is expected that all of us will not see everything eye-to-eye and that we will inadvertently offend one another. When this happens, we find ourselves with relationships that are fractured and one or more parties that are hurt. It is during that time that we must decide that a spirit of forgiveness and restoration will be applied. This morning, we want to look at this vital matter of forgiveness.
There is the definition of forgiveness.
Forgiveness is when there is a decision to grant pardon to a party that has broken trust and made offense. It is the act of removing any claims of actions against another. It is ceasing to have resentment and hostility toward another person. Forgiveness is accepting an offending party back into fellowship with you.
There is the decision in forgiveness.
Forgiveness is a choice. Forgiveness cannot be forced upon a person who has been injured or offended. He must choose to forgive. The decision to forgive implies that the fault of the other is no longer being held against him. It is a decision to remove feelings of hardness and accept the person back on favorable terms. True forgiveness restores fellowship and friendship at a level as if the offense had never occurred.
There is the dual effect in forgiveness.
Jesus said that if we forgive men of their trespasses, our Father in Heaven will forgive us of our trespasses. When we are unforgiving of others, we are holding back God’s forgiveness of us for our sins! To live with a spirit of unforgiveness impairs our fellowship with God. An unforgiving spirit on our part is one of the great hindrances in prayers being answered. Long-term unforgiveness has bitterness as an underlying root and results in the loss of joy in Christ. Our conscience cannot be cleansed and made right when we are unforgiving.
There is the duty of forgiveness.
It is the duty of every Christian to keep short accounts with others and resolve matters of difference quickly and remedially. A spirit of unforgiveness is a sign of spiritual immaturity, insecurity, pride, and carnality. It is a self-righteous spirit that refuses to die to self and to allow the outflow of a Spirit-controlled life to be in effect. It is our duty to forgive others of any trespasses against us. We are to forgive our spouse, our children, our parents, our co-laborers, and whoever else it may be.
Did the Lord place someone on your heart that you have a breach with? Is there someone who is in need of your forgiveness? Have you noticed that your prayers have been going unanswered? Perhaps, today is the right time to resolve all matters of forgiveness and to seek restoration as quickly as possible.
Have a mercy-inspired God Morning!
Bible Reading Schedule: Esther 6-10