For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
C.S. Lewis said that forgiveness is a beautiful idea until you actually have to do it. It’s true, isn’t it? We delight in the forgiveness of God, but…forgiving others when they have hurt us…well, that’s hard. The words of Jesus are hard as well—forgive if you want to be forgiven.
Jesus once told a story about a servant who was not able to pay his hefty debt—ten thousand bags of gold! After the servant begged for patience, the master took pity on him and canceled his entire debt. Then the servant went out and found a man who owed him a few hundred silver coins. The servant refused to forgive his debtor and had the man thrown into prison. When the master learned what the servant had done, he reversed his decision and had the ungrateful servant thrown into prison as well.
The point of the story is hard to miss: If you are not willing to forgive others of their relatively small debt, God will not forgive you of the great debt you have accumulated. As Lewis said—forgiveness is such a beautiful idea…. but it only comes to life when we are willing to forgive others.
Father, I pray for those who are having a hard time with forgiveness. Someone has hurt them and the pain is real. They are carrying resentment and anger. Please allow them to see the great debt you have canceled in their lives and give them the supernatural power to forgive that person who is right now on their minds. Give them the courage and strength to express their forgiveness and lay down the burden of bitterness. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
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