Summary: Forgiveness is not an option.
Forgive or Not be Forgiven (Part 1)
But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not
forgive your sins. (NIV)
Jesus said that in order to be forgiven that we must forgive others
of their sins. I believe that this is one of the hardest issues that
people fight with. Especially when we feel that we have every right
not to forgive. Because someone has violated you or continues to
violate you, and they have not acknowledged any wrong doings. Maybe
someone has slandered or has spoken evil against you. They have
given a false report about your conduct or maybe put a twist on what really
might have taken place. They have offended you to the point of no
forgiveness. How can I forgive this person for what He or She has
said or done to me? They don’t deserve to be forgiven! Especially
when they continue to offend me. Sound familiar?
Hate! Who Me! Jesus said that you would hate! Wow, how is that
Possible that I should hate? Especially since I’m a Christian! I’m
not suppose to hate. I’m supposed to Love not Hate! Yet on the
outside we smile and tell others that we love and follow the teaching
of Jesus, yet on the inside we harbor this offence with a deep hatred.
That’s why we tell others about this person who has offended you.
We see them and we immediately feel the anger rise in us. We know
that they are continuing to plot evil against us. We see them
whispering in dark corners with others and every once in a while
someone will tell you that they heard about what happened. And when
this happens you feel like the offences happen again and again. Its
like a wound that keeps on reopening and your bleeding everywhere.
And we know the scriptures speak about forgiveness yet this thing of
unforgiveness stays in us. We don’t want to deal with it cause it’s
become our pet and we love to pick it up and stroke it whenever we
feel like we need to. It makes us feel better about ourselves. It
soothes us. We feel justified by this.
I have seen this happen to many people over the years of living for
God in the Church. It doesn’t amaze me that it happens in the Church
of Christ. In fact, if I was the devil and going to destroy a church
or a soul, this is exactly the strategy that I would use to do so,
because it works. And it works well!
If I can get you to hate your brother or sister and not forgive them
then God cannot, and will not forgive you! The Devil wins!
forgive your sins. (NIV)
Interesting that we think that were going to make heaven our home and
yet Jesus said He would not forgive our sins if we do not forgive.
in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. (NIV)