Mark 11:25 – “And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive them, so that your Father in heaven may forgive your sins.”
Forgiveness can be hard sometimes. Minor slights we often can easily absolve, but the wounds that cut deeply, particularly those inflicted by the people closest to us—who we thought we could trust with our hearts, our confidence, a portion of our lives—are often the hardest to excuse.
I’ve actually been dealing with this issue for a while now—trying to come to terms with a wound caused by individuals that I considered to be like family. The slight occurred years ago, and it is not something that I think of often (we no longer communicate); however, it surprises me, when the situation does come to mind, that I’m still hurt and offended when I think about it. I want so badly to forgive and forget; but my flesh, and this part of me that places undue importance on “understanding why,” has made that key part of the healing process somewhat elusive. And so, in this respect, I am still very much a work in progress.
The Bible shows us that God takes forgiveness very seriously. Before we pray (Mark 11:25) or even present our offerings (Matthew 5:23-24), we are to come with a clear heart, having resolved all conflicts and absolved all slights against us (both seeking and granting forgiveness when necessary). Oftentimes, as in my case, this process is not something that we can do in our own power, and we must look to God for the guidance and the strength to show grace to someone who has not earned it in any way—much like God shows us such grace each and every day.
Mark 11:25, Luke 6:37, Colossians 3:13 are three of the many scriptures that draw the correlation between God’s forgiveness of our sins and our forgiveness of those who sin against us. While God’s promise of forgiveness should not be the motivating factor for our decisions to dole out absolution, it should serve as a model, an aim to strive for as we seek to be more like Christ and to love our neighbors as Christ loves us—with love, with grace, with patience, and with forgiveness.
Shine Your Light!
Thoughts, reactions, or testimonies? Leave a comment below! I look forward to hearing from you!
Luke 6:37 – “Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven.”
Colossians 3:13 – “bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.”