God Wants Us to Forgive
"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 11:25-26)
A soft knock sounded on Michele's door, and she rolled her eyes. She knew it was her sister, Joy. "Come in," she mumbled.
"Michele?" Joy's nose was all red from crying. "I'm sorry I played with your necklace and broke it. I'll buy you a new one just as soon as I save up enough money. Would you please forgive me?"
Michele sighed. Why did Joy always have to be so quick to apologize? She did not want to accept Joy's apology yet. She was still angry about the necklace. "I'm not ready to forgive you yet," she said. "Come back later, when I've had more time to think about it." Michele turned her back on Joy, and she heard a little sob as Joy quietly shut her door.
Several times in the Gospels, Jesus talked to His followers about the importance of forgiveness. He even told them that if they would not forgive each other, their prayers would be hindered (stopped or slowed down), and God would not forgive them. Why is it so important to God that we forgive each other?
In Matthew 18, Jesus told a story to explain why forgiveness is so important. A servant owed his master a debt that he could never repay. He would have to spend thousands of lifetimes working to earn that kind of money! The master graciously forgave the debt out of his great compassion for his servant. Then that same servant went out, found a man who owed him much less money, and demanded that he pay it all. When the debtor pleaded for forgiveness, the servant said no and threw the man into prison. That servant had forgotten how much he had been forgiven!
Christians have been forgiven of a sin-debt that is billions and trillions of times greater than anything they could ever repay. God has forgiven us because of what Jesus Christ did on the cross. That is why forgiveness is so important to God. By forgiving others, we show that we have not forgotten what God has done for us. Forgiving others is one way that we can be like God and demonstrate (show) His compassion.
If you were Michele, what would you do? Would you sit angrily in your room thinking bitter thoughts about Joy? Or would you run to find her with a heart full of God's love and forgiveness?
God wants us to forgive because He has forgiven us of the greatest debt ever.
» Is there anyone I'm refusing to forgive?
» What will I do about it today?
Truth In Real Life