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Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Being an Example by Learning to Forgive

In review of Matthew 6:14 it says, “If you forgive others the wrongs they have done to you, your Father in heaven will also forgive you.”

Bottom Line:
Forgive and you will be forgiven.

What this means to me:
God has and will forgive me, therefore I will show the same forgiveness to others.

Today’s verse from Matthew tells me to forgive those who has sinned against me, then my heavenly Father will forgive me. The verse just after this says, “But if you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins.” Jesus is giving me a startling warning about forgiveness. If I refuse to forgive others, God will also refuse to forgive me. When I don't forgive, I'm denying our common grounds as sinners in need of God's forgiveness. God's forgiveness of sin is not the direct result of my forgiving others, but it is based on realizing what forgiveness means. While It is easy to ask God for forgiveness, it is often difficult to grant it to others. Whenever I ask God to forgive me, I should consider if I have forgiven those who have wronged me.

What I’m realizing is that my forgiveness and restoration should be a distinguishing mark of my love for the Lord. The world around me will likely always be bent on punishment and further disgrace when someone fails. However I am called to react differently, to forgive as I have been forgiven, and to seek to serve.

I should consider what I’m doing to show that I belong to Christ. Am I leading by example? Am I turning the other cheek when I’m mistreated or am I throwing a fit because of something done to me. If I’m not living as Christ did, God cannot use me. He only uses servants. I am His salt.  

I’m reminded this morning that my forgiving is setting an example. God wants me to mimic his character and He has forgiven me greatly for my wrong doings. I need to remember this and forgive others.

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