For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins. Matthew 6:14-15 (NIV)
Will you freely forgive others? What does that mean? Will you forgive others who have hurt and harmed you? Will you forgive others who have sinned against you? Will you forgive others who have done evil against you on purpose and by design? That is a lot to forgive. I’m not finished yet. Will you forgive others even though they do not merit or deserve your forgiveness? That is even more to forgive. I’m still not finished. Will you forgive those who even now are living as your enemies? Will you forgive those who right now might be plotting against you? Is that what you are asking of me? Wait, there is more. Will you forgive others without qualification? Will you forgive others without reservation? Is that how you want me to forgive? Before you answer any of my questions consider this; I forgave you without qualifications. I forgave you without reservations. You did not earn or merit my forgiveness. You were living as my enemy when I forgave you. I have freely forgiven you of all your past and present and future sins. Keep in mind, your forgiveness of your sins and cleansing of your unrighteousness was secured at great cost. My son died on the cross as payment of your sins. His blood cleansed you of all your unrighteousness. He gave His all so you could be forgiven. What about you, how much will you allow it to cost you to forgive others? Will you follow my example? Will you do for others what I have done for you? Here is what I will do. I will let go of all bitterness and resentment. I will not hold on to grudges. I will not seek revenge. I will not consider doing to others what they have done to me. Payback will not be in my heart and on my mind. Yes, I will follow your example. I will pray for those who have hurt and harmed me. I will love my enemies. I will live a life of doing good, even to those who have sinned against me. I will forgive without qualifications or reservations. Yes, I will freely forgive others just as you have freely forgiven me. That will be very good.
As you forgive others, I will continue to forgive you. As you forgive others, you will live in the hope and freedom and joy that I have secured for you. You will be a light for me in the darkness of this world. You will bear fruit for my kingdom and bring glory to my name. You will shine like a star in the universe. People will be drawn to you because they see my light and life shining in and through you. That is my dream and my desire. That is very good.
Heavenly Father, I will forgive others just as you have forgiven me. Who would I be to withhold my forgiveness from others when you have so graciously forgiven me? I will never allow unforgiveness on my part to prevent you from being able to freely forgive me. Amen
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