Memorise: So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses. – Matthew 18:35
Read: Matthew 18:32-35 (KJV)
32 Then his lord, after that he had called him, said unto him, O thou wicked servant, I forgave thee all that debt, because thou desiredst me:
33 Shouldest not thou also have had compassion on thy fellowservant, even as I had pity on thee?
34 And his lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due unto him.
35 So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses.
Bible in One Year: 1 Chronicles 19:1-22:1, Proverbs 28:26-29:9
Forgiveness is a choice, not a feeling. It is also a commandment from God and a requirement to be fulfilled before anyone can enjoy the grace of receiving His forgiveness in our lives. The root cause of bitterness and unforgiveness in our lives is often the root cause of a number of other issues that we may be dealing with on a regular basis. Forgiving whether we feel like it or not, or releasing even the greatest offender into God’s hands will baffle, confound, and damage the whole realm of Satan. Just as all of heaven rejoices when we accept Christ, so hell impotently rages as we reclaim lost ground.
“14 For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: 15 But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” - Matthew 6:14-15
Let us assume that your problems are really big. You have been badly hurt by your partner’s actions. No one denies the pain and anger you are going through, especially if your partner has been unfaithful. But despite the unfaithfulness or whatever it is that has caused you to think about divorce, assuming that there has been true repentance, have you tried forgiveness? Forgiveness is ultimately the only way we can handle broken relationships. It is the only way we can lay past problems to rest. Forgiveness is not a surge of emotions; it is a deliberate act of will. For Christians, the forgiveness we exercise is based on the fact that we ourselves have been forgiven by God. I know that many hurting partners will say, ‘I have forgiven again and again.’ If that is so and your forgiveness has been abused and trampled on, it may well be time for another action. But before you take the final step, put all your problems into perspective. Is it worth throwing away the past years if it is possible to salvage the relationship with an act of Christian forgiveness? I am not suggesting it is easy, that the pain will mysteriously go away or that all the problems will be sorted out overnight. There may be a great deal of work that needs to be done.
Bitterness is a cyclical, repetitive, tightly closed circle of self-centered pain. It carries us round and around the same senseless arc. Like a child learning to ride a bicycle, knowing how to ride but not how to stop, we pedal on and on, afraid to quit, yet wishing desperately for someone to come and take the bars, break our circling, and let us off. Bitterness is useless. Repayment is impossible. Revenge is impotent. Resentment is impractical. Only forgiveness can reconcile the differences and restore healing to a relationship. Rejecting all the relationship that have failed us is the most common counsel among Christians and non-Christians alike. Cut off the old connections, withdraw from all interactions, live at a distance, and avoid any intimacy or involvement. Above all, do not risk working towards forgiveness. All these are contrary to the Word of God.
It is definitely not easy to forgive and it may be impossible to forget. However, it is possible for us to forgive because we have the power of the Holy Spirit within. Think for a moment, and honestly answer the big question, have you considered forgiveness?
Prayer Point: Father, please close the door against the spirit of unforgiveness in my life in Jesus’ name.