Scriptures: Matthew 18:21-35, Matthew 6:9-15
Many of us know the requirement of forgiveness, but not the value of forgiveness. We understand that God expects and even commands us to forgive, yet do we really understand the blessing of forgiveness?
Forgiveness acknowledges that there was a wrong commited. When we forgive we recognize that something was done that needs to be forgiven. Forgiveness is confrontational: its admitting that something wrong has been done to you
Forgiveness changes our status. When we offer forgiveness, we change from victim to victor. We must remember that we are in control of our victim status! When we forgive we are no longer powerless to that situation. When we forgive, the action or the person can no longer control our responses in the present. When we do not forgive, we are constantly responding with the pain and bitterness of our past.
Forgiveness makes sense! But why? Because it is something we all need: its a universal need. Everyone person you meet (and all those you don't) need forgiveness. Forgiveness is the wise choice. Once you allow yourself to forgive your mind and soul will experience a relief they desperately need. Ask yourself this question: why keep holding on to something that reminds you of hurt or pain? If you have a headache, you take aspirin to make it disappear. The cure for your present pain is forgiveness.
Forgiveness is a road to personal freedom. Holding onto bitterness and anger are self destructive! Not forgiving is like taking a spoon of poison each morning: a slow death with a constant sickness.
Forgiveness is not Jesus' suggestion. It is a very clear command. Jesus has a problem with those who receive forgiveness, but will not grant forgiveness. He requires it of us.
God is always ready to forgive, the question is: are you?