12 And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
Jesus calls us to forgive others just as how God has forgiven us.
God is so generous in forgiving our sins even before we ask for forgiveness or even think of it. The Cross demonstrated the full extent of God’s love that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. That generosity of forgiveness was seen through the selfless act of Jesus when He took away all our sins—past, present, and future.
This is good news because we don’t have to beg for forgiveness in view of the fact that God’s forgiveness is already done and complete. Any hint of condemnation or guilt hinders us from praying because we feel uncomfortable in approaching God. However, knowing that we have been forgiven of every sin empowers us to pray with confidence our prayers will be answered.
The way God has forgiven us affects the way we forgive others.
Your forgiveness of others starts with God. Just God has shown you grace in Christ, you can extend grace to forgive someone and show mercy even if you don’t get the apology you feel you deserve.
We forgive for our own sake. We forgive to find peace and so to move on from unforgiveness to freedom. In His parable of the unforgiving servant, Jesus tells us not to remain unchanged by God’s generous gift of forgiveness. Since we don’t earn our forgiveness, we should not impose others to earn theirs.
If forgiveness is a struggle for you, ask the Holy Spirit to let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your heart (Colossians 3:15) so that you can release everyone who has hurt you to God (Romans 12:19). Instead of bitterness, choose to be kind and compassionate, forgiving others, just as God forgave you (Ephesians 4:32).
Forgiveness is a process, not an overnight goal. It takes time to journey into a change of heart. Sometimes the hurt leaves us with emotional pain too deep for words. Just recognise where you are and appreciate God is with you every moment, every step of the way.
© Copyright Richard Tan, 2019.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the New King James Version®.
Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.