Today’s Scripture: Matthew 6:14-15
For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
On February 11, 1990, Nelson Mandela walked out of Robben Island a free man. He had spent 27 years in the hole for a just cause. In 1994, he became the country’s first black president. With the weight of history on his side, and the sovereign powers of a president, Mandela had a unique opportunity to get his own pound of flesh. But no! He chose a different path and earned the eternal respect of the world. He chose forgiveness.
Forgiveness! What an awesome opportunity to share the divine attribute, and what a burden it presumably places on us. The truth is, the gains of forgiveness far outweigh the emotional strain. Think about it. The only alternative to forgiveness is a complete breakdown of the relationship. Frankly speaking, forgiveness can sometimes be difficult, but it is not impossible.
In parable after parable, Jesus emphasized the need to forgive, showing that forgiveness is practicable. “How many times?” Peter asked. “Seventy times seven,” Jesus replied, because forgiveness is an endless thread that must run through our relationships. It is typical for parties in a relationship to unintentionally or even intentionally hurt one another. Forgiveness however makes it possible for the relationship to endure, regardless.
Our relationship with God would have been irreconcilable outside God’s willingness to forgive us. And He demands the same of us. Consider your need to be forgiven by God and others! Then you will realize the importance of dispensing forgiveness to others. Let the spirit of forgiveness strengthen your marriage. Let it rule your relationship with your children. Be willing and ready to forgive your friends and neighbours, colleagues and associates, when they wrong you. Unforgiveness stifles creativity. Forgiveness does not only free the forgiven, it also frees the forgiver from bearing an emotional burden. Embrace forgiveness today.
Memorize & Meditate:
“Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. And be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.” Ephesians 4:31-32
Father, I receive the grace to embrace forgiveness today. Because the Spirit of Christ dwells in me, I have a forgiving heart. I let go of every iota of unforgiveness in my past or present relationships, in Jesus’ name.