I love the NLT literal and dynamic translation of Mathew 6:5-18. While teaching the disciples how to pray and fast, Jesus also admonition His disciples to forgive others. In vv 14-15 Jesus said, “If you forgive those who sin against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you. But if you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins.”
Hands down, everyone of us has been wronged, offended, and sinned against at some point in our lives. However, the real question is how did we respond to the offender? Come on, let’s be honest…we probably failed to exhibit Jesus’ love, peace and compassion—right?!
According to additional scriptures, we are commanded to forgive others. Ephesians 4:32 declares, “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” Similarly, Colossians 3:13 proclaims, “Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.” The key in both Passages of text is that we are to forgive fellow believers as God has forgiven us.
In lieu of refusing to forgive, it’s incumbent upon every believer to refuse not to forgive. Extended forgiveness should never an option because as mentioned above, we too have been forgiven. On the other hand, forgiveness doesn’t necessarily excuse the offense, but it does release the offender from pending or further prosecution! As it stands, the same Jesus that died for our past, present, and future sins also died for the people that offend us. Go figure…..
Point blank, quit harboring unforgiveness. It’s physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually unhealthy and it compromises your peace with God! Life is too short! Let it go! I know some of you are thinking, the pain is too much to bear. Well, nothing outweighs the excruciating pain Jesus experienced when He was falsely accused, condemned, beaten, spat on, whipped, and crucified on the cross for all our sins.
At the end of the day, everyone of us has tasted God’s grace, felt God’s mercy, and benefited from God’s forgiveness. Therefore, let your grace, mercy, and forgiveness for others reflect God’s grace, mercy, and forgiveness for you!