“If you forgive the failures of others, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you don’t forgive others, your Father will not forgive your failures.”Matthew 6:14-15 GW
There are two things that interfere with our relationship with God more than anything else: unconfessed sin and unforgiveness. We know that sin destroys our fellowship with God. What fellowship does Light have with darkness?
We also know that God is merciful and quick to forgive when we are truly repentant in heart. Blessed are those who mourn over their sin, they will be comforted. God wants to forgive us. He wants to set us free from our self-made prisons, but we hold the key.
The confession and forgiveness of sin is a powerful thing. I’ve seen people and relationships healed instantly when people choose to get honest. Honesty is the best medicine. Admit to God what you did wrong and He will forgive you and heal you. Which is easier to say? Be healed or your sins are forgiven? Sin causes sickness and death. Forgiveness releases the grace of God for reconciliation and healing.
Unforgiveness is a form of sin. It’s extremely toxic to the container that it’s in. Unforgiveness is when you’re unwilling or unable to forgive someone for willfully or unknowingly sinning against you by hurting you, betraying you, breaking your trust or causing you emotional pain. Sin is anything that is not motivated by God’s love.
With that knowledge, we can clearly see that we sin against each other everyday. We live in a world of sin. The Bible teaches us to do everything in love. If we’re not loving, we’re sinning. Clearly, we’re all guilty. So now what? Do we want condemnation and judgment? Or do we want grace and mercy?
God doesn’t play favorites. The rules apply the same to everybody. He is a just God. Thankfully, He’s also a merciful God. Basically, Jesus gets us out of the hell we deserve for free. But He doesn’t want us to continue in the error of our sinful ways. He wants us to follow His ways. What did Jesus do? He forgave sinners of their sins. He said, “Go and sin no more.”
Everyday we’re gonna sin. Everyday people are gonna sin against us. What is God’s instruction? Confess your sins and forgive those who sin against you. If you fail to forgive those who sin against you, God won’t forgive your failures to be loving towards others.
Love or sin. Those are our options. I choose love. Forgiving others of their failures is the loving thing to do. Mercy triumphs over judgment.
If you want to live a happy and holy life, get into the practice of forgiving quickly. It doesn’t mean you’re excusing their sin or saying it’s okay to wound others. It’s simply saying I don’t want to continue wounding myself with unforgiveness.
You may not feel like forgiving others. Sometimes people do inexcusably horrible things to each other. The truth is, you can forgive as an act of your will. Your will overrides your emotions and thoughts. You have the power to choose. You have free will. You can say, in spite of how you feel, “I choose, as an act of my free will, to forgive so and so for such and such. I no longer retain their sins. Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.”
Try it out today when someone fails you. See how you feel. There’s no sense in carrying a burden that was never yours to carry. There is only one fair Judge, and we’re not it. Choose to forgive. It makes all the difference in the world.
Father in Heaven, thank You for forgiving me of my failures. I choose today to forgive anyone and everyone who has ever failed to love me the way that You love me. I forgive those who have hurt me, betrayed me, stolen from me and let me down. I forgive everyone who has ever sinned against me. Help them to know Your love and Your grace and Your mercy today. In Jesus’ Name I pray. Amen.
For if you forgive others their trespasses [their reckless and willful sins], your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others [nurturing your hurt and anger with the result that it interferes with your relationship with God], then your Father will not forgive your trespasses.Matthew 6:14-15 AMP