“For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you don’t forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” Matthew 6:14-15 WEB
Forgiveness is a tight issue. There is no wriggle-room…
It’s easy to forget the enormity of what we have been forgiven and delivered from as the people of God. Forgiven is the hallmark of our psyche. We must never forget what we have been cleansed from. It should be the thankfulness in our prayers and joy of deliverance in our songs.
The unforgiving human psyche has no understanding of its wretchedness and sees no value in forgiveness. Indeed, we justify ourselves so comprehensively that we don’t see our sin. Even as Christians we need to pray for a sensitive conscience that sees sin and temptation coming and deals with it. The soul that has felt its rottenness can more easily pray for these insights.
However, the river runs deeper than we suspect. God puts a condition on our forgiveness from Him. He is clear and speaks clearly to us. If we refuse to forgive another person for the wrongs they have done against us, then we will not be forgiven. This is supremely difficult. God does not allow any deep hurt or major sin to be excluded from this condition. This is because, the wrong we have done against the holy God, could not be greater. We have purposefully and continually sinned against His person and perfect law. If He is prepared to forgive us, we are expected to no less forgive our detractors.
The reason is that we will become increasingly like Him in all our dealings, even in this world. The Christian grows in grace and becomes more like the Saviour Jesus. If we are serious about faith, repentance and walking with God, this will be our mindset.
Unfortunately we think that God is like us and we can pick and choose what parts of God’s righteous demands in our life we will obey. This is not a godly mindset and shows a lack of understanding of our own sinfulness.
The Lord Jesus forgave the cruelty of the men who tortured Him and nailed Him to a cross. We have absolutely no excuse for not forgiving anyone. This is a difficult statement.
It is easy to justify ourselves. The command is clear. If we want to be forgiven we must forgive. The mind of Christ must be in us and take hold of us, so that we think as He thinks, and forgive as He forgives…
May we love Him with an unfailing love…