“I’ll forgive her when she apologizes … and not before!”
A statement like that is usually born out of the heat of the moment or a long, festering period of anger and resentment. Even though it’s totally understandable, it’s not healthy or scriptural.
If Jesus had waited on all those who persecuted, tormented, and crucified Him to come and confess their wrongdoing, there would be no forgiveness. Jesus responded in love and in accordance to His Father’s Word.
The truth is, people need love and forgiveness the most when they deserve it the least—even you and me. When Jesus said, “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do,” He was teaching us that the ability to pardon the sins of others is an act of faith and sheer obedience. It’s not conditional or based on the response of the offender. In fact, it’s not for their benefit … it’s for ours.
God tells us to forgive so He will forgive us. And when you assume the posture of prayer, remember that it’s not all asking. If you have anything against someone, forgive—only then will your heavenly Father be inclined to also wipe your slate clean of sins (Mark 11:25 MSG).
If your forgive-o-meter shows you are putting conditions and unrealistic expectations on others, or if you’re having trouble getting past a painful or frustrating situation, think about all God has done for you. Think about the sacrifice Jesus made so all your sins could be washed away by His shed blood. Remember the things God has forgiven you for.
God shows each of us love and forgiveness the most when we deserve it the least, and He expects us to do the same.
Are you willing?
(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)
(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)