"And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive hi, so that your Father in heaven will also forgive you your wrongdoing. But if you don't forgive, neither will your Father in heaven forgive your wrongdoing." Mark 11:25 - 26
I know. I know. I did NOT want to write about this topic. I get hammered every single time I do. There is simply no way to communicate on a topic this big in one blog post....but this is what I know beyond a shadow of doubt:
God is dead serious about me being a forgiving person! I am to be known as one who forgives because I was forgiven much!
Forgiveness is not absolving one of their sins against God. Only God can do that. I forgive the sins done against me. It is not saying what was done is "o.k." - it often wasn't. It is not forgiving - some things leaves scars so deep they cannot be forgotten. In it's simplest form, forgiveness is selling the debt to God....releasing "them" from accountability to me and leaving them to work through the matter with God. God will hold a person accountable for the sins done against Him....and to innocent children as well (Mark 9:42ff).
Forgiveness is letting go! I let the hurt go. I let the offense go from occupying space in my mind. I leave it alone. I leave it to Jesus.
If we are praying and are thinking of a wrong done to us - we need to forgive. We cannot allow unforgiveness to distract us from wholehearted pursuit of Jesus. If we simply cannot forgive without talking to the person, we need to humbly pray through and walk through the directions in Matt 18 - noting this speaks to SIN and not personal affront. Sometimes I need to get over myself - the other person hasn't really sinned against me, they've just ruffled me.
I'm also learning recently (as in the past six years) - it's o.k. to love and forgive another and not offer them full access to my life. This throws me back to the feet of Jesus....I MUST walk this out while clearly listening to what the Holy Spirit is directing me to do. There are times when he says to take down the boundaries and there are times when he says to hold the boundaries strong.
Wouldn't a formula be so much easier?
But would I daily depend on Jesus if I had formulas?
Living all of life before the face of God...