Summary: This seems like such a weak way to do things. Men like to just fight and then it’s done with. What is this forgiveness thing all about.
Matthew 6 – Part 4 – I CAN NEVER FORGIVE YOU!
I did something terribly wrong to a lady once by speaking against her and influencing my client (her son) to go against her. I was wrong and eventually my sin caught up with me. I knew I would have to apologise and so I went to her personally and did so. She said she did not forgive me and roasted me for my unprofessional behaviour. There was nothing more that I could do but try to win her trust again by being more responsible.
Those who don’t believe in Christ are not bound by the Biblical principles that I am to apply to my life. What about me? What happens when someone does something to me?
Matthew 6:12-15 (NLT) “... and forgive us our sins, as we have forgiven those who sin against us. And don’t let us yield to temptation, but rescue us from the evil one. “If you forgive those who sin against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you. But if you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins.”
This seems like such a weak way to do things. Men like to just fight and then it’s done with. What is this forgiveness thing all about.
The old King James version of the Bible says “forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.”
The word "DEBTS" (opheilçma) in the original language means “THAT WHICH IS OWED, THAT WHICH IS LEGALLY DUE.” When it refers to sin, as it does in this passage, it means “A FAILURE TO PAY MY DEBTS, A FAILURE TO DO MY DUTY; TO KEEP MY RESPONSIBILITIES.” (see POSB Commentary).
According to this passage, if I hold anything against another person and do not forgive them, then I am not forgiven by God. BECAUSE UNFORGIVENESS IS A SIN IN ITSELF.
One of the biggest lessons a leader can learn is forgiveness and so Jesus teaches His disciples on the mountain about this important principle. “Lord, if I am holding anything in my heart against anyone, help me to forgive them...." is probably one of the most important prayers I can pray.
The Bible says in 1 John 1:9 (NLT) says “...if we confess our sins to Him, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness.”
“... if we (ie Notice there’s a choice - maybe we will, maybe we won’t) confess our sins (ie admit to God that it is a sin, and that it is wrong, not merely feel sorry and shed a few tears. This is not about emotions. It’s about honesty with God. It doesn’t matter how you feel as long as you honestly see your sin as God sees it. Tears and feeling sorry for your sin is not confession. Let the tears come later.) to Him (ie to God, not everyone else), He is faithful (ie Faithful to forgive - He will always do this and can be relied upon) and just (ie Just to forgive - He died on the Cross and paid the penalty for our sin and so justice has been served. He is justly able to forgive us on the basis of what Christ has done, not on how sorry you are for your sin) to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness (ie even things we don’t know about are cleansed when we are honest with God about our sin and we can then have the power to turn away from doing further damage).”
Isaiah 55:7-9 (NLT) says “Let the wicked change their ways and banish the very thought of doing wrong. Let them turn to the Lord that He may have mercy on them. Yes, turn to our God, for He will forgive generously. “My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the Lord. “And My ways are far beyond anything you could imagine. For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so My ways are higher than your ways and My thoughts higher than your thoughts.”
So what if the person I forgive sins against me again? Luke 17:4 (NLT) says, “Even if that person wrongs you seven times a day and each time turns again and asks forgiveness, you must forgive.” Why? Ephesians 4:32 answers that by saying that is what God does for you. “Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.” In fact the Bible says over and over again that we are to forgive eachother. IT SEEMS THAT IT REALLY SHOWS OTHERS WHO GOD REALLY IS WHEN WE EXERCISE FORGIVENESS. Colossians 3:13 (NLT) says “Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others.”