Forgiveness is one of those things that we all need. I know I mess up on a daily basis even though each day I seek to become more like my savior Jesus Christ. There are many times I need to ask for forgiveness from God for choosing the path of sin instead of the path that leads to life, or the many times I have to ask for forgiveness from others as I am insensitive, or make a sarcastic comment, or am impatient, or selfish. It is easy for me to recognize that I am a man in need of a savior. However, at times the difficulty comes when I need to forgive someone else.
Some very sobering scriptures that we find on this topic can be found in the book of Matthew 6:14-15 when Jesus says, “For if you forgive people their wrongdoings, your heavenly Father will forgive you as well. But if you don’t forgive people, your Father will not forgive your wrong doing.” Wow! Now that is a serious truth that we need to wrap our minds around. I am sure we could all agree that we all make many mistakes and are in need of forgiveness. However, we will not receive that forgiveness if we will not forgive others of their wrong doings.
We want to receive God’s mercy, love, grace, and forgiveness, yet there are many times we find ourselves resisting in forgiving others for their faults. I don’t know about your local setting but in mine we pray the Lord’s prayer each Sunday in our traditional service and one line of that prayer sticks out to me this day. In about the middle of the prayer it says, “And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.” We are praying God forgive me just as much as I have forgiven others! Do we really mean that?
This is usually where the excuses and the objections start arising. People will say, “But you don’t understand they did some things that really hurt my feelings.” People will say, “They said some mean things behind my back! Why should I forgive them?” It is at times like these that we forget how much we have been forgiven. If we desire to receive forgiveness from God, then today may we begin the process of forgiving others who have wronged us.
I encourage you to reflect and pray about this question today: Who do I need to forgive?