“Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven” Luke 6:37
In the pattern for prayer that He gave His disciples, which we know as “The Lord’s Prayer,” He said we were to forgive others as Christ has forgiven us. That means that if we do not forgive others, we cannot expect the Lord to forgive us.
When we have been hurt or wrongfully treated, our first reaction is to get back at the person who has mistreated us. We can think of lots of things we could say or do to make that person feel as badly as we do. But that is not what the Lord expects of us. Wouldn’t it be terrible if the Lord treated us in this matter, and punished us for every time we fail Him?
Forgiving someone does not mean that we forget entirely what they have done, or that we let them treat us badly repeatedly. It simply means that we recognize they are human and make mistakes the same as we do, and that we can forgive them and go on with our life. Even if they never ask for forgiveness, we can extend it to them.
Forgiveness is for our benefit as well as the one who has wronged us. If we do not forgive, there is a danger of bitterness growing in our hearts and keeping us from a good relationship with the Lord. The one who wronged us may go merrily on their way, not realizing how we feel, but we think about it every day and let it destroy us.
As people look at us, do they see a forgiving spirit and know that it is because we love Jesus.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, help me to have a forgiving spirit, no matter what others may do or say. You have forgiven me so much, and I want my life to be an example to others.
Devotion by Anne Johnston