November 9 Sunday
“And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.”
Mark 11:25 (KJV)
Forgiving anyone who hurt you is not a choice. No matter how deep the hurt is, the command is to forgive. Forgiveness is not: well, I will forgive you but I will not forget. No, if you must forgive, you must be ready to forgive totally. Jesus said, if you do not forgive, even God will not forgive you. Can you afford that? Can you attempt to live a life where God will be against you? How will you survive if God turns His back on you? If you don’t forgive, that is what will happen.
Refusing to forgive your brother or sister is as good as you putting yourself above God. If God can forgive you, in spite of you, and you refuse to forgive, what you are saying by your action is that you are above God. Peter thought about it and asked Jesus, how many times should my brother sin against me and be forgiven, seven times? And Jesus looked at him and said, not 7, but seventy times seven (70 x 7 = 490). Can you imagine that? How can you count 490 sins against one individual in a day? In one day you may meet over 30 people. Do the math; even the best record keeper cannot keep such a record. Jesus was saying in effect to Peter; give your neighbor a blank cheque. Forgive as many times as he offends you; not because you want to, but because God said so.
No matter how grave the sin may be against you, I implore you today, by the mercies of God to forgive. If you find it so difficult, let me give you a recipe: begin to pray for that person. If you don’t know what to pray about, pray in tongues. Declare over and over to yourself, I forgive Mr. ABC. Say it over and over again. The first few times will be very difficult but after a while, it will be easier to forgive. Nobody is strong enough to hold you down, but you can hold yourself down with unforgiveness. If there is anyone you are holding a grudge against, let it go today. Call the person and tell him or her: I forgive you and you will see the healing power of God at work on your behalf.
Further Reading: Matthew 18:21 -35; Mark 11:24-26 Daily Bible Reading: Morning Jeremiah 46-47, Evening Hebrews 6