What I thought: God will forgive me even if I am not able to forgive others.
What I learned: God will not forgive me if I don’t forgive.
But if you do not let men have forgiveness for their sins, you will not have forgiveness from your Father for your sins. (Jesus, Matthew 6:15, BBE)
When I ask God to forgive me, He pours His forgiveness on my life like a rain cloud, but if I hold an umbrella over people who have offended me, God withdraws His cloud of forgiveness from me. (But what if I really am not able to forgive? See blog, What I thought: I can forgive.)
And his master got angry and handed him over to the jailers until he could pay everything that was owed. So My heavenly Father will also do to you if each of you does not forgive his brother from his heart.” (Jesus, quoted in Matthew 18:34-35, HCSB)
I think of this like giving a child a box of cookies bigger than she will possibly need, and then sending her off to play. If that child wraps her arms around the box of cookies as soon as other children approaches and refuses to share or even hits children who try to get close, what is our response? Take the cookies away and give them to the other children. They were a gift to be shared but they are being treated as a right to be selfish.
How much more is God offended when He gives me a limitless gift and I refuse to share?
“And whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father also who is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.” (Jesus, quoted in Mark 11:25, ESV)
Photo by Jcrakow, profile on http://www.flickr.com/people/bionicfarmer/
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