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Is Your Forgiveness Conditional?

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

Photo courtesy of pixabay.“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.)


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Andrea Merrell

Andrea Merrell is an award-winning author and professional freelance editor. She is an associate editor with Christian Devotions Ministries and LPC Books and was a finalist for the 2016 Editor of the Year Award at BRMCWC and the 2018 Excellence in Editing award by the Christian Editors Network. Andrea is a graduate of Christian Communicators and was a finalist in the 2015 USA Best Book Awards and the 2018 Selah Awards, as well as a semi-finalist in the 2018 ACFW Genesis contest. She has been published in numerous anthologies and online venues, teaches workshops on writing and editing, and is the co-founder and regular contributor to www.TheWriteEditing.com, a blog designed specifically for writers. Andrea is the author of Murder of a Manuscript, Praying for the Prodigal, and Marriage: Make It or Break It. Contact her at www.AndreaMerrell.com.