Last week we looked at forgiving ourselves. Now, lets look at forgiving others.
Do you find yourself struggling with forgiveness?
Do you feel that forgiving a certain person who has hurt you, would somehow give them an unfair advantage over you?
If so, you aren’t alone. Many Christians find it difficult to forgive and forget what others have done. In this study, we will try to learn how we should deal with this common issue. Let’s first see what Jesus had to say.
Jesus told us how to pray:
Mat 6:9 Therefore pray in this way: Our Father, who is in Heaven, Hallowed be Your name.
Mat 6:10 Your kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven.
Mat 6:11 Give us this day our daily bread;
Mat 6:12 and forgive us our debts as we also forgive our debtors.
Mat 6:13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil. For Yours is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen.
Did you notice verse 12? Forgive us as we forgive others. Is that really what we want God to do? Have you noticed that before???
We are asking God to forgive us the way we forgive someone else. OOOOPS
What do you think about this? Did Jesus really mean that?
Jesus went on in the following verses, to explain what He meant:
Mat 6:14 For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you;
Mat 6:15 but if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
This is a covenant promise. If we do forgive others, God will forgive us. If we do not forgive others, God will not forgive us.
This is a choice we each have to make so many times through life. Even Peter asked Jesus about it:
Mat 18:21 Then Peter came to Him and said, Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me and I forgive him? Until seven times?
Mat 18:22 Jesus said to him, I do not say to you, Until seven times; but, Until seventy times seven.
I believe Jesus was saying that we should never stop forgiving those who do wrong to us. You notice Jesus didn’t say “it would be nice if you forgave”. Or if you can forgive please do. The covenant we mentioned before is set up to repay us as we treat those who wrong us.
When I think about how Jesus was treated. How people accused Him of things that He didn’t do. How they twisted His words to make it sound like He meant something different than He did. How they arrested Him with false charges. They scourged Him and struck His face with their fists, beat Him, pulled out His beard, all for no reason. Then they crucified Him. The most excruciating death ever conceived of, that was His sentence.
What did Jesus do? He forgave them all. He looked upon them with compassion. Through tremendous pain that was undeserved, He had mercy and forgave. HE asked His Father to forgive them too.
Can you fully grasp that fact? HE forgave those who hated HIM. Those who tortured HIM. Those who wanted HIM dead.
Forgiving others is not easy. We want sympathy and pity sometimes. If we forgive, it feels like the other person has won. Like they have gotten over on us somehow.
The pity party we plan is attended by two people, ourselves and the devil. Yes, that is blunt, but it’s true isn’t it?
Hasn’t GOD said we have to forgive?
Forgiving is a very important thing to God. Let’s look into how important it is to HIM.
Jesus told a parable about forgiving:
Mat 18:23 Therefore the kingdom of Heaven has been compared to a certain king who desired to make an accounting with his servants.
Mat 18:24 And when he had begun to count, one was brought to him who owed him ten thousand talents.
Mat 18:25 But as he had nothing to pay, his lord commanded that he, and his wife and children, and all that he had, be sold, and payment be made.
Mat 18:26 Then the servant fell down and worshiped him, saying, Lord, have patience with me and I will pay you all.
Mat 18:27 Then the lord of that servant was moved with compassion and released him and forgave him the debt.
Mat 18:28 But the same servant went out and found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii. And he laid hands on him and took him by the throat, saying, Pay me what you owe.
Mat 18:29 And his fellow servant fell down at his feet and begged him, saying, Have patience with me and I will pay you all.
Mat 18:30 And he would not, but went and cast him into prison until he should pay the debt.
Mat 18:31 So when his fellow servants saw what was done, they were very sorry. And they came and told their lord all that was done.
Mat 18:32 Then his lord, after he had called him, said to him, O wicked servant, I forgave you all that debt because you begged me.
Mat 18:33 Should you not also have pitied your fellow servant, even as I had pity on you?
Mat 18:34 And his lord was angry, and delivered him to the tormentors until he should pay all that was due to him.
Mat 18:35 So likewise shall My heavenly Father do also to you, unless each one of you from your hearts forgive his brother their trespasses.
The last two verses here, are wake-up call time. What do these verses say to you? When GOD says “shall”, HE means it.
I do not want my Father in heaven to treat me like this. So I choose to forgive ANYTHING. I won’t even wait. No hard choice to it, right? Choosing to forgive is easy. Carrying it out without keeping hold of it is the tuff part.
When we forgive, we bury the hatchet right? But we bury it with the handle sticking up out of the ground where we can reach it & pull it right up again. Don’t we?
Beloved, don’t do that. Don’t be tempted to get even. Don’t be tempted to nurse that offense that someone hurt us with. We can’t handle it!!!!!!!!!!!
When we do that we let the enemy steal our joy.
Forgive readily. Forgive freely. You know, that includes receiving forgiveness as well as giving forgiveness.
Do as Jesus has done for us. HE forgave everything.
GOD gave His best to give us forgiveness. Let’s take Him at His Word and obey.
Always remember this verse, when it seems impossible to do what we need to do:
Phi 4:13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
May GOD bless you as you strive to obey His command to forgive.
Bible Study by InAwe