We Desperately Need to Forgive and to Be Forgiven

We Desperately Need to Forgive and to Be Forgiven

Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. Matthew 6:12

It doesn’t take much honesty to admit that I’ve required a lot of forgiveness in my life. Through destructive, selfish behavior, I’ve indebted myself to both God and man, consuming more than my share of grace and mercy. The first thing I do upon awaking every morning is to thank God for his forgiveness.

I find it remarkable and horrifying then, when I’m candid enough to admit the resentments and unforgiveness to which I cling. When I fail God, I expect instant mercy. When someone wrongs me though, I feel he is indebted to me. I often refuse to let go of that power I have over my debtor, until I see groveling and hear begging for forgiveness. Letting go of that upper hand, without getting the compensation I think I’m entitled to, is painful. I don’t like to forgive for nothing. I demand satisfaction.

It’s hard to comprehend what condition I’d be in, if God demanded recompense from me for my every wrong. I’m sure I’d be dead. It has been absolutely necessary for my physical and spiritual survival then, for me to know the forgiveness of Christ. Living in a state of unforgiven – unforgiven by God – would be toxic to both my body and soul.

Living in a state of unforgiveness to others, is likewise poisonous to our existence. When we indulge in resentments, refusing to let go of the debt others owe us, we turn our mind and soul towards ourselves. We cannot pursue our need for retribution and bathe in the grace and mercy of God. I’m not saying God unforgives us if we fail to forgive. I’m saying we cannot know the joy of his grace in our lives while simultaneously indulging in a self-destructive behavior he has commanded us against. If we find God distant and if we can’t feel the joy of his forgiveness, often, we must look to the resentments that we maintain.

In today’s passage, Jesus teaches us to go to God daily, asking forgiveness for our wrongs of yesterday. This is inextricably linked to our own forgiveness of those who have wronged us . . . whether they have groveled before us or not. For our own spiritual and physical health, we desperately need to forgive and to be forgiven.

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  1. Demy Unruh says:

    Thank you. I needed to hear this today Scott. Truth expressed very well. Spoke to my heart.

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