For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
Forgiveness is the big kahuna. It is a wave that washes over us and our enemies alike--cleaning us and carrying us to Christ. Its power is undeniable. Satan is left with only one choice: flee the premises--or get taken away by the current. The after-effects of forgiveness are remarkable: beauty comes from ashes.
Because the cauldron of unforgiveness scorches us daily. We walk around like the living dead--buried under soot with an undeniable stench. We may look well physically. But underneath a facade of normalcy is a deadly spiritual disease; it is incurable by the hand of man.
Forgiveness is mentioned 37 times in the Gospels. The Parable of the Unforgiving Servant should be read diligently and repeatedly by those who harbor unforgiveness. It's the story of a servant who owed his master an unpayable debt. As a consequence, he faced a lifetime of slavery for himself and his family. So the servant pleaded with his master for mercy.
As told by Jesus, read its conclusion:
' 'You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt because you begged me. Should you not also have had compassion on your fellow servant, just as I had pity on you?' And his master was angry, and delivered him to the torturers until he should pay all that was due to him. So My heavenly Father also will do to you, if each of you, from his heart, does not forgive his brother his trespasses' (Matthew 18:32-35).
Victors over unforgiveness (like Joyce Meyer, who suffered grievously as a child) show us how God heals, restores and repays our personal losses. But each one of us who forgives an 'unforgivable' wrong shows the same thing: the glory of God. By riding high, we send godly waves through our own circle of influence.
Even more, we are delivered from the torture God allows us to endure--until we acknowledge that our sins forgiven by Him exceed any sins we must forgive in others.
To Be Continued...
The Parable of the Unforgiving Servant:
Book: Corrie Ten Boom's book: 'The Hiding Place':
Book: 'Forgiving Forward':
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Sermon On The Mount series.