For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses. Matthew 6:14-15
Question for today- On a scale of 1-10 (ten being the highest), how do you rate the importance of having a forgiving heart? If you rated this question less than 10, read on, then rate the question again.
The above scripture clearly tells us that if we forgive others, we will be forgiving; yet if we don't, then we won't be forgiving as well. I don't know about you, but I can't afford for God not to forgive me. I know that there will be times that I will make mistakes or that I may intentionally or unintentionally hurt someone's feeling. With that being said, I know that I will stand in need of forgiveness. However, if I am not willing to forgive others, then how can I expect to receive something that I am not willing to give.
No matter how hard we try, we will never be able to get around the Golden Rule: Do unto others as you will have them do unto you. If we can just follow this simple rule, then we will be able to do what God has called us to do. Saying I'm sorry and forgiving others becomes less stressful.
A lot of times we look at the importance of forgiving others, which is very important, but we also have to look at forgiving ourselves. If we are forgiving to others, but refused to forgive ourselves, then the enemy still has a hold on us. This lack of forgiveness will cause us to live in condemnation; which is not a state God intends for us to live in. God's Word convicts us so that we may turn from our evil ways. Never is it, or has been intended to condemn us.
However, Satan uses this tactic to keep us out of the will of God. If he can keep us in bondage, feeling sorry for ourselves, or thinking that we don't deserve forgiveness, then we won't operate in the Word of God, which will make us free (see John 8:31-32).
John 10:10 says, "The thief cometh not, but to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly." So if we know that the thief (which is Satan), comes to rob us of that which God has instore for us if we abide in His Word, why would we allow him access to do that. Why not use the power which we have been given, to have what we say we want.
The latter part of the scripture states that Jesus(I am) has come that we might have life, and that we might have it more abundantly. I think this statement is so powerful. Here Jesus is saying that in Him (through His Word), we can have life. But then He continues to say that they might have it more abundantly. Which means how much life you have is according to you; how much of His blessings is determine by how much of His Word you allow to operate in your life. But remember, inorder for you to know His Word, you have to study His Word. Then you have to apply it to your everyday life.
In 1 Samuel 15:22, we are told, "to obey is better than sacrifice." Forgiving others therefore becomes easier because we do it out of obedience to God. Because we love and respect Him. And also, because we don't won't to have to be punished for something we know to do inorder to do the right thing (sacrifice).
So, I ask you the question again: On a scale of 1-10 (ten being the highest), how do you rate the importance of having a forgiving heart?
And be ye kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you. Ephesian 4:32