Matthew 6:14-15 – “For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” NKJV
Mark 11:25-26 – “And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses. 26 But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father in heaven forgive your trespasses.” NKJV
Luke 6:37 – “…Forgive, and you will be forgiven.” NKJV
I have had many people tell me, “I don’t get mad I get even.” Others have lamented, “But if I forgive them they will just hurt me again.” To the first, the Bible declares that “vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” [Romans 12:19] so getting even is not a biblically accepted option. It may be what many do but it is not endorsed or accepted by the LORD of Hosts, Jehovah God. To the second, it may happen but when the disciples asked Jesus how many times they were to forgive, Jesus answered, “…I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.” [Matthew 18:22]. Sadly, some including a current politician indicated they were taking the 70 X 7 literally and on the 491st time she would GET EVEN. This was not a numeric specific but an illustration that forgiveness must be continual.
Personally, if someone demonstrates a propensity to remain in the condition or hold the attitude revealed in their actions that are harmful to me or the labor before me, I do not continue to place myself in a position for them to do further damage. I forgive and realize that the Bible does not demand “divine amnesia” so I learn from events and situations as to how to proceed and with whom I will associate on a deeper level. I will continue to pray and forgive not just because I have to but because I want to. I want the heart of Jesus to be in me and shine forth from me.
Forgiveness is not like an option on a car or computer. It is not elective or cosmetic surgery but essential to our Spiritual Walk and Life. When we fail to forgive we block the flow of forgiveness to us as well as through us. It not only harms those who need forgiveness but it harms us and places us in the chains of bitterness whereby many are defiled. We are not islands and everything we do or fail to do affects us and those around us whom we influence or who are watching the Bible of our lives.
Therefore, I urge you to never view forgiveness as something optional for it is a matter of life or death spiritually and will impact you physically, emotionally and often economically as well. My prayer is that the LORD send forth the Helper (Holy Spirit) to enable us to walk in forgiveness and offer forgiveness as a norm in our lives.
God bless you as you go through this day in Christ Jesus our Lord!