Monday, March 12, 2012

*BEST OF DTB #154* Forgiveness is not optional

In Matthew 6:14-15, we are given one of the most morally challenging and difficult passages in the entire Bible;

14For if you will forgive men their offences, your heavenly Father will forgive you also your offences.

15But if you will not forgive men, neither will your Father forgive you your offences.

So, when we say "well, he doesn't deserve it" and rationalize in our minds that it is OK for us to hold onto unforgiveness because of the grievousness of the injuries (or perceived injuries), we are actually nullifying our own salvation.

In short, Jesus is really not interested in our opinion on the matter. Here is the deal- If you wish to be forgiven, you must forgive. If you wish to be shown mercy, you must show mercy (Matthew 5:7).

What if they aren't sorry? Doesn't matter.
What if what they did was really bad? It Doesn't matter.
What if..... LISTEN. It just doesn't matter.

Yes, it is a high standard. In some cases it may even seem like an unreachable standard. Nevertheless, it is the standard you must reach if you are to be called a Christian. There is ample Biblical support.

Luke 11:4
And forgive us our sins, for we also forgive every one that is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation.

Matthew 7:2
For with what judgment you judge, you shall be judged: and with what measure you mete, it shall be measured to you again.
To get straight to the meat of the matter, we are not only unable to judge whether someone is worthy of salvation or mercy, but, in attempting to do so we are setting ourselves up to be measured by the same standard of measure.

No, thanks.

Knowing that we must reach such a difficult standard should not fill us with despair. It should fill us with zeal to approach the throne of grace, seeking the Divine assistance we need to get there, knowing two things;
  1. He who has created the greatest moral debt is most in need of mercy and how can they hope to find it in God if not first finding it in us?
  2. Forgiving the trespasses of others is the greatest proof that we are grateful for the kindness and mercy God has shown us.

My Lord, My God, grant me the grace to forgive. Amen

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