Matthew 6:14 – “For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.”
Forgive and forget – three simple words that hold a world of meaning masked within. All of us desperately need forgiveness but few of us are willing to give it unconditionally. Today’s verse comes at the end of the Lord’s prayer. This verse and the next can be summarized as: If you forgive others, you will be forgiven. If you don’t, God will not forgive your sins either (Matthew 6:14-15). That’s such an alarming possibility, isn’t it?
Let’s face it. We’ve all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). But with simple faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, we’re forgiven and made righteous. We didn’t have to work for our forgiveness – it’s a free gift of grace God. Since we’ve freely received forgiveness from God, should we not freely offer it to others too? However, this is easier said than done.
It’s human nature to hold on to anger and bitterness when someone you trust willfully hurts you. Jesus Christ went through it too when one disciple betrayed Him, another denied knowing Him, and the rest fled away. But the same Holy Spirit who led Jesus to forgive His persecutors is with you too. Allow the Holy Spirit to soften your heart and give you the strength to let it go. Then you’ll be free to receive God’s love and forgiveness in your own life.
Prayer: Lord, thank you for the forgiveness You’ve freely given me. Please heal my hurt and free me from all bitterness. Soothe my wounded heart and help me forgive. I want to live free from all anger and hatred. In Jesus’s Name, Amen.