Stories, thoughts and reflections on the Bible from the WSFC Staff.
I want to continue on in my series of emails that I’m calling “The Kingdom Prayer Plan.” This is Part 4 of some simple thoughts based upon the Lord’s Prayer in Matthew 6. This week’s portion is called:
“Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.”
One of the most important priorities for Kingdom expansion is forgiveness. This Kingdom priority is found in The Lord’s Prayer (Matthew 6:12) in which Jesus taught his disciples (that would include us now) to pray: “Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.”
As a follow up Jesus says in verses 14 and 15: “For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.” Those are strong words, definitely ones to take note of and make every assurance that we are conforming to! It’s been said that “not forgiving is like drinking rat poison and then waiting for the rat to die.” The one that gets hurt most is ourselves when we harbor unforgiveness!
The implications of forgiveness, or the lack thereof, are widespread, therefore, it’s important that we do something with our unforgiveness. What, you may wonder? Here are some thoughts:
1. Surrender it to God. Let him do a work upon your heart first and foremost.
2. Keep no records of wrongs. Stop waiting for “the straw that breaks the camels back” or the “shoe to drop.” The Bible says that love keeps no record of wrongs (1 Cor. 13).
3. Refuse to punish. Look at the example of Christ on the cross. Look at his kindness. He could have destroyed everyone that attacked him but he did not. We shouldn’t either.
4. Keep your mouth closed. A wise person once said, “Never miss a chance to keep your mouth shut.” Part of forgiveness is the discipline to not keep bringing it up again and again.
5. Deal with it immediately. Scripture tells us to “not let the sun go down upon our anger (Eph. 4:26).” It’s vital to be diligent about unforgiveness – deal with it before it gets out of control.
If there are areas of unforgiveness in your heart then I exhort you to make every effort to get those things taken care of soon. I believe, and the Word supports, that God’s blessings is dependent upon that act of obedience.