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.
A person's wisdom yields patience; it is to one's glory to overlook an offense.
God had a reason to make forgiveness a key component in the Lord's Prayer.* Jesus had a reason to tell The Parable of the Unforgiving Servant.** Paul had a reason to send his forgiveness by letter for a wayward brother.***
The reason? Unforgiveness is an enemy device. Like the biggest, meanest NFL defensive linemen charging against a small, unprepared high school quarterback, so Satan's legions use unforgiveness to attack us.
Is that fair? Satan is no respecter of innocence. Nor of ignorance, fairness, justice, weakness or children.
In God's Book, unforgiveness is never acceptable. Because if Jesus forgives us no matter what or when, if not one of us deserves His amazing sacrifice, if God Himself promises to avenge our distresses, then what's our excuse to hold on to a merciless grudge?
Actors, models and talent for Christ: You forgive personal injustice. You forgive professional bias. You forgive media's naughtiness. You forgive every bad example. In the play of witnessing Jesus, showing forgiveness makes you a star.****
## The Enemy's Game: Tactics--Unforgiveness (Part 18)
* The Lord's Prayer: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew+6%3A5-14&version=NKJV
** The Parable of the Unforgiving Servant: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew+18:21-35
*** 'Now whom you forgive anything, I also forgive. For if indeed I have forgiven anything, I have forgiven that one for your sakes in the presence of Christ, lest Satan should take advantage of us; for we are not ignorant of his devices' (2 Corinthians 2:10-11).
**** Previous Devotion Series on Unforgiveness: http://careylewisdevotions.com/unforgiveness-part-1-leprosy-of-the-heart
**** Forgiving Forward (a recommended ministry): http://www.forgivingforward.com (Note: This website isn't fancy, but I have attended a seminar by Bruce Hebel. It was life-changing for all of us in that room. I strongly recommend churches bringing him in to speak, as well as anyone who is able to attend his seminar.)
NOTE: This series is a republished edit of a 2015 devotion series called, 'The Enemy's Game.' You may see notes to 'Actors, Models & Talent for Christ.' If you're not a performer, don't be deterred. In truth, every disciple acts for Christ, models Christ and stewards His talents.
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the The Enemy's Game series.