“For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you,”
Forgiveness is a vitally important part of a Christian’s character and lifestyle. What does forgiveness mean? Is it as simple as saying sorry, or is there more to it? Forgiveness means stopping to feel resentment for wrongs and offences done against you. Forgiving someone means to renounce anger and hostile attitudes towards others.
You may ask how many times must I forgive before cutting all ties? The Apostle Peter asked this very same question to Jesus Christ in Matthew 18. Mathew 18: 21-22 says “Then Peter came up and said to him, “Lord, how often will my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times? Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you seven times, but seventy-seven times.”
Peter of all people should have known the importance of forgiveness while walking with Jesus. But you see Peter reasoned that there must be a limit to how often we should forgive? Forgiveness must go both ways. Forgiveness is the basis of God’s relationship to us and similarly our relationship with God. It defines who His children are. Matthew 6:14 says “For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you,”
John 14:15 says “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.” To have a right relationship with God, you need to love Jesus. The outworking of your love for Him is displayed through an act of obedience to His Law. All of His laws depend on one thing, and it is love. To love, you must be able to forgive. In-fact love fulfils all the of the Law. Matthew 22:37:40 says “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbour as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.” Again, Galatians 5:4 says “For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: “You shall love your neighbour as yourself.”
If you harbour unforgiveness in your life, then you need to deal with it right now. Unforgiveness is an indicator in your life about the actual status of your relationship with Jesus. With your mouth, you may declare that you love God, but if you are unable to forgive someone, then your declaration is false. 1 John 4:7-8 says “Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.”
So, I urge you right now to examine yourself for any unforgiveness. If there is, then remember God’s commandments to love God and to love others. Take the focus off yourself and look at Christ. Look at how He has called you to live your life. We need to imitate the life of Jesus Christ, and our aim is to represent Jesus through our life. By doing so, you are displaying your love for God and evidence that you are His child.