For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.
Matthew 6 : 14 – 15
We read this and taught throughout our childhood and lives the importance of forgiveness, and that we should forgive people, and also ask for forgiveness when we are at fault. We have just read the Lord’s Prayer, which asks God to forgive us, just as we forgive others. Two verses later, we read the same thing about forgiveness, just with different terminology.
Clearly forgiveness is important, but as I am sure we have all experienced, there are different levels of forgiveness. There is a surface level forgiveness which is more of a brushing off of that person’s wrong doing, but still holding onto it, and pulling it out when you need to show them that they messed up on the same thing. There is forgiveness that moves a bit deeper, where you do actually forgive the person’s wrong doing, but when they mess up again, you have a harder time forgiving them again. The kind of forgiveness I think we are being told to practise here is the same forgiveness we are given by Christ. When someone does something wrong, we forgive them, remind them and show them that we love them, and let go of the wrong doing, never bringing it back up again.
True forgiveness is based in love and reconciliation. It is rooted in a love which reminds people that there is nothing they can do which will cause you to stop loving them. Just as we receive that kind of forgiveness from God, we are called to show that same level of forgiveness to EVERYONE.
Prayer: God of abundant grace, we give you thanks that you love us so much that you sent your son to die for us, so that we can receive your love, forgiveness, grace, and mercy. Help us to show that same forgiveness, love, grace, and mercy to all people in our lives. Help us to put aside our stubbornness, and show all people the same love you abundantly give us.
Action: Practise forgiveness. Practise forgiving others and forgiving yourselves.