If Ye Forgive
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
We know that starting and keeping 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, or that we inadvertently offend one another. When this happens, we find ourselves with relationships that are fractured and hurt. It is in those moments that we must decide that a spirit of forgiveness and restoration will be applied. This morning, we will look at this vital matter of forgiveness.
There is the definition.
Forgiveness is the decision to grant pardon to a party that has broken trust and made offense. It is the act of removing any claims of action against another. It is ceasing to have resentment and hostility toward another person. Forgiveness is the act of accepting an offending party back into fellowship with you.
There is the decision.
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 will no longer be held against them. It is a decision to remove hard feelings and accept the person back on favorable terms. True forgiveness restores fellowship and friendship as if the offense had never occurred.
There is the dual effect.
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 hold back God’s forgiveness toward us for our sins! To live with a spirit of unforgiveness impairs our fellowship with God. An unforgiving spirit is one of the great hindrances to prayers being answered. Long-term unforgiveness has bitterness as an underlying root and the loss of joy in Christ. Our conscience cannot be cleansed and made right when we are unforgiving.
There is the duty.
It is the duty of every Christian to keep short accounts with others and to resolve matters of differences 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 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 whomever else it may be.
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 forgiving God Morning!
Bible Reading Schedule: Esther 1-5