“But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father
forgive your trespasses.” Matthew 6:15
“But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.”
Some of life’s hurts are so deep and painful that to forgive the people who caused them seems impossible. Yet Jesus says that we can’t experience His forgiveness if we have an unforgiving spirit.
Forgiveness is an act of obedience and it takes faith. Faith says that God is Just. He will never allow the unjust to go without justice. And when we do not forgive we say that God is not just. When we forgive those who have done us wrong it illustrates the God that forgave the world of their sins and releases you from the bondage of hatred, bitterness and Satan’s control over your heart.
Jesus said forgive or not be forgiven. What He was really saying was, if He has forgiven you for such a great offence you need to forgive your brethren of their offence. Everyone has a great need to be forgiven. How about you?
I read about two sisters in World War II, Corrie Ten Boom and her sister Betsie were arrested for concealing Jews and were sent to a German concentration camp. Betsie died a slow and terrible death as a result of the cruel treatment.
Then, in 1947, Corrie spoke about God’s forgiveness to a church in Munich. Afterward, a man sought her out. She recognized him as one of the guards who had mistreated her and Betsie. He told her that he had become a Christian, and with extended hand he asked for her forgiveness. Corrie struggled with her feelings, but when she recalled the words of Jesus in Matthew 6:15, she knew she had to forgive. She silently prayed, “Jesus, help me!” and thrust her hand into the hand of her former tormentor.
Someone has said, “Forgiveness is not a case of ‘holy amnesia’ that wipes out the past. Instead, it is the experience of healing that drains the poison from the wound.”
God asks us to do for others what He has done for us through Jesus Christ. He’ll give us strength to forgive.
Since we all need forgiveness, we should always be forgiving.
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Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are taken from the New King James Version of the Bible.
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