Posted by: Terry | July 4, 2014

Forgive me when I don’t forgive

“If you do not forgive others their sins, your father will not forgive your sins.” (Mat. 6.15 NIV)

Forgiving others is the definitive expression of our experiencing God’s love and grace. Our failure to accept this leads us to create religions and rules.

Anyone with an ounce of honesty knows they fall short, fail, and hurt – themselves and others. Deep down we long for forgiveness, to be loved unconditionally, and to be accepted. And we know how unlovable we really are despite what others may see.

Yet, God says he loves us just as we are. My mind says, “There must be more, there must be rules, there must be religion, I have to do something to earn his love.” God says, “I love you, my Son died for you, you are forgiven. Now you go and forgive others as I have forgiven you, because I love them just as much as I love you.”

Every protest as to why a person does not deserve my forgiveness is a testimony that I do not yet grasp God’s love and forgiveness of me. Every harsh, unloving, judgment and criticism of another person highlights how limited my awareness is of how much I deserve to be judged and criticized.

Forgiving others is not a condition of God forgiving me, he has already done that, it is however evidence that I get it, that I trust in his forgiveness, that I humbly thank him for his love and forgiveness.

What does it mean to be a Christian? It is the firm conviction that regardless of my failures, my distractions, my selfish desires, and my failures, there is only one thing worth clinging to; one place where peace can be found – that Jesus is the promised Messiah and Lord; he offers mercy and grace to sinners and failures like me.

If Jesus loves and forgives sinners like me, how can I not forgive you? Please forgive me when I fail at forgiving you, I am still learning how.

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