I must confess, I didn’t like Algebra and Geometry classes. I didn’t fully grasp all those if/then statements.
This if/then statement seems pretty simple, though. Yes, I know there is no “then,” but it’s implied. Work with me here! (Envision my goofy grin at this point.)
IF we forgive,
God forgives us.
The commutative principle (see, Mrs. Davis, I did learn!) shows us the opposite transaction:
If we DON’T forgive,
God DOESN’T forgive us.
Oh. Oh my.
Well that’s pretty startling.
That seems awfully harsh.
I’m no scholar, haven’t been through seminary and all the commensurate theology classes, only lots of time in the Comfy Chair with the Author of the Bible, but if you don’t mind, allow me to posit a thought to you about what God is saying here.
God offers us forgiveness unto salvation. That’s a done deal. Nothing we do, say, or think changes that.
There’s also a done-deal principle that says sin separates us from God.
Another says if we confess our sin He is faithful and just to forgive us those sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
Walking in recovery from codependency has shown me that even when others used and abused me, I had a part. For too many years I didn’t squawk, complain, or leave. I didn’t stand up for me. I didn’t even ask for the bad behavior to stop.
This is where I think Matthew 6:14 comes in. In order for my sins of those times to be fully forgiven, I have to forgive the other parties involved. These are not sins that will steal my salvation, no one can snatch me from the Savior’s hand, but they create a rift between God and me and I want that rift destroyed.
In other words, this is yet another benefit of my forgiving someone. My act of wiping the debt book clean brings God’s forgiveness of me in that matter.
Who do you need to forgive today? Someone who made your childhood miserable? Someone who made your workplace intolerable? Someone who physically harmed you? Someone who beat you down verbally?
It’s time, y’all. It’s time to stop letting that someone maintain a hold on you.
- Look at what they did with clear, objective eyes.
- Recall what that felt like then. (Yes, this can be painful. Accept the acute pain to get rid of the chronic pain.)
- Recognize how that treatment of you affects you now – physically, mentally, sexually, emotionally.
- Admit any part you had in the treatment. You’re not taking blame for what was done! You’re looking at what you could have done to effect change in the situation. Did you say things that you knew would incite the person? Don’t take blame for their behavior, but accept the weight of the taunting you did. This is the time when you need the Spirit if God to show you these things. He will. He’s really cool like that.
Now the hard part. Yeah, I know that part was hard, this is harder.
FIRST FORGIVE YOU. Release yourself from every debt owed to you because of this particular situation.
Were you a child being abused? Release yourself from the debt of not telling. It’s done. It’s paid for.
Were you a spouse hearing how disgusting you are, that you could never measure up and you’d never amount to anything? Give yourself the priceless gift of the forgiveness of the debt of not standing up or getting out. It’s paid for.
Are you ready?
NEXT, FORGIVE THE ONE WHO HURT YOU. Release that person from the debt they owe you for their poor treatment of you. Just wipe the slate clean. Mark out the line on the ledger showing it’s done.
LASTLY, revel in the freedom of God’s amazing forgiveness. Wonder at the lightness you suddenly feel. Rest in the peace that has eluded you for far too long. Recognize that the rift between you and the Heavenly Father is closed.
Shower God with
gratitude and praise!
Forgiveness is a powerful weapon that too often we choose not to use. Maybe it’s time we pull it out of storage and make daily use of it. Maybe we should start today.
Coffee, Bible, Journal.