and forgive us our debts as we also forgive our debtors.
How much thought have you put into forgiveness? There are some out there who really don’t think about it, they just forgive and forget sort of thing. Although that can seem easy for some, for others it is incredibly hard. Even for those who forgive easily, they can have the future discomfort of “did I really forgive him?”.
God has forgiven us, from everything past, present and future. That was what Christ died for. This is what He suffered for, all of the punishments, all of the curses, He took them all upon Himself so that we don’t have to.
But what about you? You’ve been forgiven all this debt, do you also easily forgive others? Are you guilty of sin and have not been forgiven yourself? For that matter, have you forgiven yourself?
To forgive is not about forgetting past actions. It’s not about letting those who hurt you near you again. Sometimes there are things that are done to you that are so horrible that you never want to see that person again. Forgiveness is about letting go of the debt owed. If someone hurt you, sometimes people want them to make amends for the evil done, others want payback. God wants us to leave payback in His hands, and let go of the debt because Christ already paid for it all.
Think about this for a moment. If someone owes you something, you can make yourself crazy or angry waiting for that someone to pay it back. If instead, you are of the payback camp, you can easily become hateful and bitter trying to pay this person back. God knew the human condition, He knew what sin would do to us, so he gave the command to forgive. Not for the forgiven, but for ourselves!
Now, you say to yourself but you don’t understand what this person did to me! Rape, murder, abuse, violation of liberties, betrayal, all these things are horrid. But what about Christ? He suffered so much to take the punishment of all these sins upon Himself for all people! And what did He say?
Jesus said this when He was hanging on a cross, crucified by the very people He came to help. He had bean beaten, cut, bruised, ripped apart by so many, then put to shame, and hung up. So much evil was released on Him, yet still He chose to forgive!
This is no easy task! Don’t think for a moment that all evil must be forgiven easily, but also don’t let yourself be tricked. All evil is to be forgiven regardless! Do you have anyone you haven’t forgiven?
What about forgiving yourself? Many of the people I know live in guilt, or in fear. Their failures haunt them. Choices they made they feel they shouldn’t have and keep putting themselves down. What has God said about forgiveness? That it’s forgiven! Don’t be fooled, guilt has two camps.
- Godly guilt, conviction, which leads to repentance
- Evil guilt, self-destroying, which leads nowhere
The Godly guilt is there to guide us, to show us that if we did something wrong, we should do something about it and repent so as to try to not do it again. But the other guilt is from the devil himself. It’s an attack to keep you out of the good fight. If you’re too busy wrapped up feeling sorry about yourself, you can’t effectively serve God. You are forgiven, of all sins, of all mistakes, of all things! Period, there is nothing else. This is what God has to say about it, so why let yourself be guilty? If God forgives everything, what is there to feel guilty about?!