Forgiving a Requirement to Be Forgiven

For if you forgive others for their transgressions, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.  But if you do not forgive others, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions.

Matthew 6:14-15

Before receiving forgiveness from God, we are committed to forgive our offenders. God will not forgive those who believed himself unable to forgive his neighbor. I’m sure no one has offended us as much as we have offended God with our sins and, God was able to give His Son for the forgiveness of our sins, what offense could get so severe that you cannot forgive?

When I had a personal encounter with the Lord Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit gave me full conviction of my sins. At that moment I realized how dirty I was, how much I had offended God and my peers. I felt compelled not only to get right with God, but to confess my faults to those whom I had offended and apologize. The other thing I felt was out of my heart every root of bitterness and forgive my offenders.

That all sounds very nice, but what really happened when I searched every person I have offended and asked forgiveness was mostly rejection. Many of these people even felt more offended than before and some still at this stage of life deny me forgiveness. However, my youngest son gave me the most beautiful note. I talked with my son, who was then 11 years old about my encounter with Jesus Christ, and then I told him that I had not been a good father and that I had failed him. I asked to the child if he could forgive me and his response was the most beautiful expression of love: “Daddy, if God has forgiven you as you told me, who am I not to forgive you?”

Next thing I’ll tell you is applicable for me and also for you. I have offended God much more than what I have been offended for any human being. If God has forgiven me all my offenses against Him, am I perhaps more than God to refuse to forgive those who have offended me? Definitely the answer to that question is NO; no one is greater than God! Therefore, if we have God’s forgiveness available through the sacrifice of the Lamb slain on the cross, why deny forgiveness to our neighbor?

Today you are reading or listening to this message, I invite you to look inside your heart if still holds a grudge against someone. No matter if that person hurt you too, if abused you or cheated you. The magnitude of the offense he or she did will never be greater than the burden of your sins, which God has every intention to forgive.

But remember that God is waiting for you to take the first step and forgive each of your offenders. The Word of God is very clear and God is not obligated to forgive him or her who denies forgiveness to his or her neighbor. Forgive any offense against you, expels all rancor and bitterness from your life for your Heavenly Father will forgive everything. God bless you.

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