Matthew 6:15 But if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
For the last few days the scenes of my encounters with external and internal customers kept replaying in my mind. I could hear their allegations, accusations, criticisms and at intervals rebuke; I would think of things I wished I had said that would have proven their words to be untrue. I compiled lists in my head of all the blame, criticism and disrespectful treatment I had received.
I felt hurt and I kept thinking, if only one person would say sorry, I would forgive in a heartbeat.
Those imaginary conversations was taking up too much space in my head…Surely there could be a better use of my time and my brain cells. That’s when I began to think about forgiveness.
It is only reasonable that those who are forgiven the greater sins, forgive the lesser sins. It is only reasonable that those who have been forgiven on a greater scale be willing to render forgiveness on a lesser scale. And what I mean by that is take a look at what you’ve been forgiven.
What has God forgiven you? What? All your sin, all your iniquity, all your transgression from the moment you arrived in this world till the moment you exit, if you’re His child, all is fully, completely forgiven. The grandness of this forgiveness is stunning. God doesn’t forgive just some of our sins, saving some to bring up later when He needs some leverage against us! He forgives them all (1 John 1:9). So we can’t say, “I forgive you for this, but I’m not going to forgive you for that!” It must be total. The grandness of God’s forgiveness is stunning.
As I prayed for the persons who wronged me, I found that the HARD FEELINGS and the HURT diminished. In fact I realized that I can’t pray for a person very long and still be angry with them….if we pray genuinely and earnestly, we discover that we can’t help but forgive that person.
Ephesians 4:32 Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.
Though I was truly wronged, I will not allow that wrong to rule my life. Though I was deeply hurt, I will not allow the hurt to harden my heart. Instead, I have released the wrong. I have given it over to the Lord.
Thus, Jesus’ words take on new meaning: “If you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins …. So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you.” (Matthew 6:14-15; Matthew 7:12) Thus, when we forgive, we extend God’s grace, which we do not deserve but have received, to those who may not deserve it but need it. Let us remember that we need to forgive to be forgiven.