For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.  (Matthew 6:14-15 ESV)

We all want to be forgiven. Forgiveness is one of the basic elements of Christianity. It is through forgiveness that we have an expectation of spending eternity with our Lord. Since all have sinned and the wages of sin is death, it is forgiveness that allows God to give the free gift of eternal life. When an innocent Jesus died on the cross He paid the wages of a guilty humanity. That is forgiveness, on God’s part, but what about our part?

In His famous Sermon on the Mount, Jesus said the sentence that is today’s devotion verse. Just before He said this, in what we call the Lord’s Prayer, He said that we are to ask God to forgive our sins, as we forgive the sins of those who have done us wrong. Several other places throughout the Bible we are admonished to forgive others.

But sometimes this is easier said than done. The deceiver will see to it that we remember even the smallest wrong. And some of us have scars that make forgiveness even harder. I really do understand. Please note that Jesus didn’t say forgive, unless it’s too hard. He said that if you don’t forgive, the father won’t forgive you! So how do we forgive? What does it really mean?

Many years ago a friend of mine said that forgiveness was a promise that we would never remind the person of the transgression again and every time we remembered it we would divert our mind away from what happened by praying that God would take this away from us and give us peace.

No, it’s not an easy thing to do. Sometimes the pain is so strong and the scars are so deep that it takes years; maybe even a lifetime. Jesus knows this. All we can do id the best that we can. For me, to even write a devotion like this one takes a lot of prayer asking for peace for what was done to me as a child. Even at 63 years old the scars still seem fresh. Have I forgiven? Well, I do not tell people the names and details and I do ask Jesus for peace and forgetfulness. So I can say that I’m working on it. And no, it’s not easy.

So, I’m going to pray now, for you and for me.

Father, I ask that you will provide healing and peace. Things have happened that were totally out of our control and we were victims. Help us to overcome this and to put it behind us.   I ask this in Jesus’ mighty and precious name. Amen.


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