Be Still Know
Matthew 6.12 NLT
‘Forgive us our sins, as we have forgiven those who sin against us.’
The Lord’s Prayer has its feet firmly planted on the ground! It talks about our everyday life and here it faces up to the horrible but undeniable fact that sin forms a big part of our lives. But here’s the good news. Through our faith in Jesus, sin is no longer an overwhelming problem. Before we met Jesus sin defeated us but now, through his death on the cross, we can claim his forgiveness. We no longer need to trudge through life with the burden of our sins and failures. If we own up to our sins, he is willing to set us free from them, so that we can be fully alive.
God’s forgiveness is a wonderful gift but if we are willing to receive it, it places a huge responsibility on us. We have to share it. Day by day we need to be ready to pass it on when people offend us or deliberately trip us up. This is the tough bit. When we are deliberately wronged everything in us cries out for justice. We want the perpetrator to be punished. But the Lord’s Prayer reminds us that just as we received forgiveness as a free and totally undeserved gift, we now need to pass it on to others. C. S. Lewis wisely commented, “Everyone says forgiveness is a lovely idea, until they have something to forgive.”
Forgiving others rarely involves words. Forgiveness is something which happens in our hearts and expresses itself in our attitudes and actions. When someone has wronged us, our forgiveness will be shown in the kind and thoughtful way that we respond to them when we next meet. Our loving words will show that we have truly forgiven them and moved on. There’s nothing easy about forgiveness. It wasn’t easy for Jesus and it won’t be for us, but it’s the way of liberation. It’s the way to find life in all its fulness.
QUESTION: What has been your own experience of forgiving others?
PRAYER: Lord God, give me strength to pass on your gift of forgiveness to others. Amen
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