Mark 11:25 – And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven will also forgive you your wrongdoing. (HCSB)
Matthew 6:14-15 – For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins. (HCSB)
It seems that “forgive” has been my word study recently. I’m hearing sermons about forgiveness. I’m reading daily devotions about forgiveness. I’m reading a novel with the theme of forgiveness. I’m hearing other people talk about forgiveness. Are you trying to tell me something, Lord? I don’t really have a “get-even” attitude, but does that really equate forgiveness? I recently heard someone say that refusing to forgive someone is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die. We know that would never work, but everyday we encounter people who are holding tight to their anger, letting it eat away at them while the person they are refusing to forgive is going merrily along, possibly not even aware of the situation. Am I one of those people, clutching my anger like a child would a blanket? Lord, help me to never lose sight of the fact that You know my disappointments and my anger. You tell me that I need to forgive – not to benefit the other person but for my own wellbeing. Doctors tell us that anger and resentment lead to physical ailments and degeneration. You tell us that anger and resentment lead to spiritual ailments and degeneration. I saw a post on a social media site that said “Forgiveness doesn’t forgive their behavior. Forgiveness prevents their behavior from destroying you.” Lord, Your Son died a horrible death so that I could have a relationship with You. Am I am letting my stubborn pride and anger come between You and me? How many times have I said “Please forgive me, Lord” but then walked away with no forgiveness in my heart for others, much like the servant described in Matthew 18: 26-29? How many times have I said the words from the prayer model You gave, asking You to forgive me as I forgive others, fully expecting forgiveness from You without any plan to forgive others? Lord, I come to You asking for Your help in letting go of my unforgiving spirit. Help me to forgive as You have forgiven me.