Who can forgive sins but God alone? —Luke 5:21
Unforgiveness… it is a snare that captures so many people. They become bitter, hateful, spiteful, vengeful… Their health is affected in many ways and they surely are not thinking right.
“Nearly everyone has been hurt by the actions or words of another. Perhaps your mother criticized your parenting skills, your colleague sabotaged a project or your partner had an affair. These wounds can leave you with lasting feelings of anger, bitterness or even vengeance.
But if you don’t practice forgiveness, you might be the one who pays most dearly. By embracing forgiveness, you can also embrace peace, hope, gratitude and joy. Consider how forgiveness can lead you down the path of physical, emotional and spiritual well-being” http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-living/adult-health/in-depth/forgiveness/art-20047692.
Part of being able to forgive is to reflect on what the Lord Jesus Christ has forgiven us of. Not only that, but the Lord God Almighty commands us to forgive (Colossians 3:13). Unforgiveness has an impact on our fellowship with God. One very familiar portion of God’s Word, the Lord’s Prayer, is recited so often and yet so many people do not understand what it is actually saying. So many surely are not applying what it says. “And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors” (Matthew 6:12). Did you catch that? That statement is asking God to forgive us “as we also have forgiven.” Then in verse 14-15 we read “For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.” Listen that means for the follower of Jesus Christ that unforgiveness is affecting their fellowship with God! To not forgive others is to not be forgiven ourselves. This is a very serious matter.
As we consider all that Jesus has done for us at the cross again this season, let us consider the wonderful forgiveness of our sin because of Him. Let us consider how fortunate we are to be reconciled with God through Jesus. Then, let us consider anew His command for us to be forgiving as He has forgiven us. Rejoice! God has forgiven us when we called on the Name of Jesus. Now… let us rejoice as we forgive others and experience relational reconciliation.
Dear Father, search my heart and if there is anyone I have not forgiven, help me to forgive in the authority of Jesus and by the Holy Spirit’s help. May it be so!