There are many reasons why I forgive myself and others also. One reason is that I desire forgiveness from people. So how can this happen if I cannot even forgive them? And how can I forgive others if I cannot first learn to forgive myself? And if I cannot forgive myself, how can I ever accept God and other’s forgiveness for me? Even I cannot forgive others if there are still grudges built up in my heart towards any one person. But the best reason of all to forgive one another is because Jesus said that only by doing so will we be forgiven from the Father. This is so important to understand and for this reason will I quote what Jesus said. “For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” (Matthew 6:14,15) What Jesus said here has always stuck with me over these many years of reading the Bible. It is like it is now tattooed upon my heart, in order for me to never forget what the Son of God said to me and all mankind. Now, in life, it may be hard to forgive people who hurt us on purpose and never say sorry for their actions. But oh so sweet is it to go to them and say, “I forgive you. I know what you did to me was wrong, but know that I love you and don’t hold it against you. Even God loves you enough to pay the penalty of your sins on the cross, that you may be forgiven from Him also.” Saying this to a loved one or friend will bring tears to theirs and your eyes. Even a new friendship will begin like never before.
Jesus also said, “therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them. And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses. But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses.” (Mark 11:24-26) When we are sitting down, on our knees, or standing in prayer, remember those who have hurt us and do something great for them and God’s sake. That is lifting these people unto God and telling God that you forgive them. Everything they have done is now in the past and you are ready to move forward in life. For family members, we will go to them with open arms to receive them back into our lives. And for other people, we are waiting on God to give us the next steps going forward. Now, to emphasize what Jesus said, Paul also said, “let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.” (Ephesians 4:31,32) If you could just learn this one lesson on how to forgive, then forgiving one another will be that much easier. And that is to allow God to cast out of your life all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamour, and evil speaking. Once this happens, love will take root in your heart towards every person you come around. Even those who have hurt you will be forgiven as God has forgives us and them also.
Let us pray:
Lord, there are so many people in this world that need forgiveness. This world is very dark and it isn’t just because of how sinful it is, but because people are also depressed and very sad. Even now, there are people who are desirous to take their own lives because of how they have been hurt. So many people just want to find true love and joy that lasts, but are unable to find it. It is because You are not only missing in their lives, but also forgiveness from their family and friends are missing too. Wow! How broken has this world become? Where a lot of family members are not even talking to each other anymore, let alone visiting each other. A text here and there is more like it, where that friendship they once had is now missing. And God, if love is missing among family members, people won’t help but try to find love through friends instead. Finding love through our friends is fine, but when these same friends also hurt us, then it can be very difficult to think anything good of ourselves and others. So Lord, what people are missing is Your presence in their lives. If You were with them, then forgiveness towards one another would come naturally. You would be able to rip out of our lives every feeling of bitterness and anger, while replacing them with Your love towards one another. So if people have hurt us, our desire will be to come to them and forgive them. We will strive to fix any family relationship problem with open arms. But if we cannot look past ourselves, then that depression will continue to set in. It isn’t until we allow You to help us love one another as You love us is when true love will be experienced in this life. I love You, God. I believe in You. Amen.