Forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who sins against us.
Unforgiveness is like a knot in your throat that prevents the Bread of Life from being swallowed. Unforgiveness is like a plug in God's Ear that prevents His response to your prayers.
Unforgiveness is like a hatred in your heart that prevents the indwelling of the Holy Spirit: 'Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer; and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him' (1 John 3:15).
But what if the person is guilty? Without the righteousness of Christ, we are all guilty. 'There is none righteous, no, not one' (Romans 3:10). 'And all our righteous acts are like filthy rags' (Isaiah 64:6).
Unforgiveness creates a back flow of sewage: our lives become filthy--even tortuous. Consider the conclusion in The Parable of the Unforgiving Servant:* '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 18:34-35).
Jesus reminds us: 'Whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, that your Father in Heaven may also forgive you your trespasses' (Mark 11:25).
Consider Corrie Ten Boom: a Christian Holocaust survivor who was sent to a death camp for helping the Jews. She lost her father, her sister, and everything but God. After the war, she traveled and preached on forgiveness.**
One of the people she met at a church in Germany was a brutal guard from her own past. That guard asked Corrie's forgiveness, and she gave it unconditionally. Therein, the victim of war crimes few of us can imagine was healed. And she prospered.
For every good reason, forgive.
To Be Continued...
*The Parable of the Unforgiving Servant:
**Corrie Ten Boom's book is called 'The Hiding Place:'
Recommended resources on forgiveness:
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the The Bread of Life series.