“Never Forget” is a familiar sentiment used to remember and honor tragedies. We must not forget the individual lives that were purposefully laid down or horrifically taken.
During communion, Christ-Followers are reminded to ‘Never Forget’ that Jesus paid for our eternal forgiveness. Romans 6.10 says, “The death he died, he died to sin once and for all.”
And yet, as Jesus was teaching the disciples to pray in Matthew 6.12-15 he prays, “Forgive us our debts as we also have forgiven our debtors.”
What forgiveness is Jesus addressing?
Pastor Jarrod reminded us this past weekend that Jesus is speaking about Relational Forgiveness – our personal ongoing forgiveness needed as we sin against God and the ongoing forgiveness we will need to extend to others who sin against us.
My Take Away – If I don’t forgive those who offend me, God can’t forgive me. It’s conditional because someone that God has truly forgiven will be empowered by the Holy Spirit to forgive others. A consistent lack of forgiveness in my heart is evidence that I haven’t truly experienced God’s forgiveness.
So, let’s be honest. Some sin is easy to forgive. Yet others, not so much. How do I handle forgiving the person who has REALLY hurt me? You know, the repeat offender?
- I acknowledge and believe that God would never command me to do something He won’t empower me to do. I take great comfort in knowing that the same power which raised Christ from the dead is given to me. (Ephesians 1:19-20).
- I tell on the person to God. God wants to hear our frustrations, hurts, and pain. In the Psalms, David is always telling God about what his enemies have done. David then allows God to redirect his heart back to Him.
- I forgive. Forgiveness is a choice and not a feeling. I state specifically what I am forgiving the person for, often saying it out loud. Hearing it reminds me of the choice I’ve made.
- I remind myself that I chose to forgive. I’ve never known ruminating on an offense to bring about any good.
- When I can’t extend forgiveness to the person yet, I ask God to give me a willingness to forgive.
- I “Never Forget”. I remember the grace and mercy that God extends to me and commands me to extend to others.
Here is a prayer you can pray right now to help you take the first step toward forgiving someone who has hurt you or wronged you:
You have forgiven me over and over again for which I am grateful. I forgive __name the person____________ for ____name the offense___________. I choose to extend forgiveness to them, trusting you to deal with them in your time and in your way. AMEN.
- Do you have a story about experiencing God through prayer?
- What is something that has inspired you in your prayer life?
- Can we pray with you about a challenge you are facing?
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