“For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.”Matthew 6:14–15, ESV
Have you ever talked with someone who holds grudges? They seam to have the goods on everyone. The longer you talk to them, the more you realize they have a grudge on everyone about everything.
As Jesus is laying out the rule of His kingdom in Matthew 5-7, He uses some strong language for those that will not forgive i.e. hold grudges. When I think about the insurmountable pile of sin of which Jesus forgave me, I must forgive others.
People that hold grudges are broken people. At best, broken people hold grudges as a means of protection against future hurts from others. At worst, broken people hold grudges as a means of power over others that might try and hurt them. It’s a defense mechanism that isolates an individual from having deep relationships with others.
But what if you didn’t have to live broken?
What if you could be whole in the midst of all the tragedy in your life?
What if you could take the bad things and turn them into blessings for others?
Forgiveness Restores Relationships
“If you’re not willing to forgive sinners, you’re destined to be alone.”
Everyone has coping mechanisms to deal with the hardships of life. God has placed us in relationships to learn to cope together. When a person holds grudges, you tear down the very coping mechanisms that were meant to get you through life. When relationships are replaced with grudges for coping, you find yourself alone with no help. Better to restore the relationship so you may benefit from it’s healing powers.
Forgiveness Removes Consequences
“Forgiveness is not a power to control but a gift to pass on.”
As Jesus teaches the disciples to pray, forgiveness is a major theme of the prayer. Your attitude toward forgiveness determines God’s attitude toward your forgiveness. All God is asking us to do is to pass on the forgiveness that we have received.
“Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.”Colossians 3:12-13, ESV
Forgiveness Refocuses the Heart
“Forgiveness changes your perspective and allows you to see through God’s eyes.”
There is only one character in all the Bible that is called the accuser of the brethren and that is Satan. I don’t know about you but that’s not the company I want to keep. Isn’t it better to be know as the forgiver rather than the accuser. When you forgive, you put on Christ to those who need forgiveness. You see clearly how you can be a part of the solution instead of enhancing the problems.
Forgive, Restore, Redeem, and Bless, for this is the work of the Lord that forgave you.