Wednesday, January 11, 2006
Forgive Your Debtors
And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you. —Ephesians 4:32
Jesus taught that our generous and constant forgiveness of sin should be the natural result of our understanding of the forgiveness that God has extended to us. Forgiven people should be forgiving people.
In The Lord’s Prayer, Jesus instructed us to pray, “Forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors” (Matthew 6:12). He was saying, “As you are receiving the forgiveness from God for the wrong that you have done, be sure to extend that same forgiveness to others who have wronged you.” It’s all connected.
This is important, because we are often on a quest to find that perfect something. We want the perfect husband. The perfect wife. The perfect church. The perfect friends. The perfect children. And we don’t find that perfection, because the people we expect to be perfect are just like us. They are flawed. We all are. We have to recognize that we sin and that people sin against us as well. We should forgive them, as we ourselves have been forgiven. The apostle Paul wrote, “And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you” (Ephesians 4:32).
A man once came to the great preacher John Wesley and said, “I never forgive and I never forget.” Wesley replied by saying, “Well, sir, I hope, then, that you never sin.”
Are you willing to be judged with the same judgment that you judge others with? “I never forgive and I never forget” — I’m so thankful God doesn’t deal with me that way. He is willing to do both. And so should we.
Copyright © 2006 by Harvest Ministries. All rights reserved.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Bible text from the New King James Version is not to be reproduced in copies or otherwise by any means except as permitted in writing by Thomas Nelson, Inc., Attn: Bible Rights and Permissions,
More by Greg Laurie: http://www.harvest.org/devotional/index.php/5.html