“For if you forgive others their trespasses (their reckless and willful sins), your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others (nurturing your hurt and anger with the result that it interferes with your relationship with God), then your Father will not forgive your trespasses.” Matthew 6:14
Today I want to briefly talk about forgiveness and how important it is for and to us as followers of Jesus Christ. Family, forgiveness is a must!
The image above depicts “U Turn OK”. We have all seen these signs which let us know we are able to turn around and go in another direction. They are necessary because we can and will make mistakes while driving. I know I can attest to this. Plenty of times I have been traveling in one direction when I realized I was going the wrong way or had missed my turn and needed to find a place where I could turn around. To know you are going in the wrong direction and not do anything about, well, is insanity. We can never reach our destination if we ignore the signs instructing us to go another way. Similarly, Christ offers us the ability to forgive those who have wronged us, which is a change of direction in mindset.
With forgiveness we must make a conscientious effort to forgive when we are wronged or are on the wrong path. Some people feel if they forgive someone for a wrong they have done that person is off the hook. Negative friend. Forgiveness frees you and allows you the ability to breathe again without heaviness on your shoulders. Nine times out of ten- we (including myself) have wronged or demonstrated wrong behavior. Jesus Christ demonstrates the ultimate U-turn. He died for our sins that we did and will commit. If He has allowed us the ability to do a U-turn for our transgresses, then how much more should we extend the same invitation? The thing I love about forgiveness is that it is what I like to call, “ONE SIZE FITS ALL.” There is no need to try to size it up with the situation family, Christ has given us all the same amount of grace to forgive All.
I know you’re probably wondering, Charles what are you saying? I am saying that forgiveness is extended to all the same way and God is not a respecter of persons. The scripture tells us, “For if you forgive others their trespasses (their reckless and willful sins), your heavenly Father will also forgive you. (Matthew 6:14)”
He has commanded us to forgive in order to be forgiven. I am convinced that when we forgive it releases blessings and principals for us to help navigate through this world- if we look at it with the right perspective.
- Forgiveness is a lifestyle that we must walk in as believers.
- We must forgive ALL.
- Forgiveness is a transaction or the transferring of a thing.
- Forgiveness is necessary for our heart to be clean and aligned with Christ.
The principal of forgiveness being a lifestyle that we must walk in, teaches us that we must make a conscientious effort to be forgiving. A lifestyle means it is a way we live. Not just momentarily but making the effort to put in the work.
We must forgive all because this allows us to be able to be an example for others. This is how we can be used to help others to change directions for the better. Forgiveness requires that we change our mindset and move past our own hurt and thoughts; it is a sacrifice. And sacrifice always cost something. It is putting aside or laying something down -in this case we must lay “self” down.
When we say forgiveness is a transaction or the “transferring of a thing” it means that we are exchanging what is deserved for grace and mercy. Christ was the ultimate model of a “U-turn” when HE exchanged guilt for grace with us. That was a serious transaction where we received the better end of the deal. So if it is hard for you to forgive others think on the price that was paid for you.
Forgiveness is a requirement for us to be on one accord with Christ Jesus and align ourselves with Him. If our heart is not clean then how can we forgive? In order to forgive we must examine our hearts and consider the love Christ as more paramount than the offence. Remember His word says for us to “Forgive seventy times seven.”
We can do this family. U-turns are not just allowed, they are essential in order to change direction. With a change of direction we are able to change our hearts and mind, giving us the freedom to share the love of Christ to all.