“For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.” – Jesus’s own words, Matthew 6:14-15 NIV
Pretty stringent words here. Think for a minute, what if it were true? What if God really wouldn’t forgive you unless you forgave as well?…Ouch.
Oh, there’s an exchange here and it’s a tough one. It reminds me of the golden rule: Treat others as you want to be treated, with the addition of: even if you haven’t been treated so well. And this leads us right back to the cross. There’s a sacrifice here, and a dying to self. It will hurt, people. It will.
Often, I think God sets us up in situations that are absolutely impossible for us to hurdle without him. And, I think He does this on purpose.
He calls to my spirit: “Forgive.”
And I say: “I can’t. I don’t know how.”
He says: “I know.”
I say: “Please help me.”
And somehow, invisibly and immediately, some cosmic circle begins to spin, people come into play, circumstances may persist, yet mental states begin to shift, and emotional cliffhangers begin to ease up a bit. Something begins to change inside of me and I know real help is coming; help specifically sparked by God and the awkward exchange I was willing to have.[/vc_column_text]
Here is the same passage of scripture, paraphrased. The different wording is interesting…”a connection between what God does and what you do”…
“In prayer there is a connection between what God does and what you do. You can’t get forgiveness from God, for instance, without also forgiving others. If you refuse to do your part, you cut yourself off from God’s part.” – Matthew 6:14-15 MSG
That’s an incredible notion that there is a connection between what I do in prayer and what God does for me. My prayers can have an affect on God or on the world around me? That’s pretty striking and secretly powerful. And, what is God’s part? God’s part is huge and all-encompassing: forgiveness of sins = His presense in this life and aftwards, forever; which means forever peace. No more anxiety, no more worries; pomise of provision for all our needs:
“And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.”
Those are pretty big promises. In fact, so big, it guarentees God will help me meet my need to learn how to forgive. Suddenly, because of my awkward conversation and admital of needing help, it is God’s respsonsibility to help me do the impossible which HE is asking me to do. I am simply called to move in obedience and respond to his baby-step directions in getting me there. Now the impossible seems that much less daunting, because you have the God, himself, helping you out. This seems to be the best boss in the world: “DO THIS impossible thing”…”with me and my help: We will do it together.”
“Anything God calls you to do, he equips you to do. Anything God calls you to do, he will enable you to do. Anything God calls you to do, he assumes responsibility for the resources needed to carry it out…My responsibility is to respond to the call. My responsibility is to obey what He says.” – Charles Stanley
He will help you to forgive, because He asked you to forgive.